the heart of God
The end of First Samuel describes the death of King Saul. The beginning of Second Samuel describes David hearing of Saul’s death. Now, Let’s read about David hearing of Saul’s death in 2 Samuel 1:1-16
After the death of Saul, when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. And on the third day, a man came from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. And when he came to David, he fell to the ground and paid homage and declared the death of Saul. Vs 1-2 Then David queried, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?”
He narrated, “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul, leaning on his spear…When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and said to me, ‘Stand here by me and kill me! I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’ Vs 5-10.
On hearing that David and all the men with him mourned and wept Vs 11 Then David inquired, "How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy the LORD'S anointed?" Then David called one of his young men and said, "Go near, and execute him!" David said to him, "Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, 'I have killed the LORD'S anointed.' "Vs 13-16.
Evidently, the last chapter of 1 Samuel tells us that Saul did NOT die by the sword of someone else. Saul died by his own sword.
David for sure sensed in his heart that the whole account which this young Amalekite gives is a fabrication; he runs to David with a heart full of greed and deception. He should have known better than to devise a story like this. You might recall that David would not kill Saul, even when he had many chances to do so. In fact, David told one of his men when they had the drop on Saul, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD's anointed and be guiltless?” (1 Samuel 26:9). But look how God uses David to bring his judgment against this young man. He has confessed to killing God's anointed king, and he dies because of that very confession.
Remember, how out of pure jealousy, hatred, spite, and ungodliness, Saul destroyed David’s best years of life – and Saul was utterly unrepentant to the end. Yet David mourned and wept and fasted when he learned of Saul’s death.
And so how would we receive news of Saul’s death? Wouldn’t we honor the man who finished off the man who vexed us, over and over again?
David received this message with his heart, if he was described as “a man after God’s own heart”, couldn’t we say he had a godly heart? A God-centered heart. Isn’t this what God saw when He told Samuel that “man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) What we see here is that David had responded, not with an eye to his own agenda, but God’s agenda; not with a taste to his own desires, but God’s righteousness, God’s priorities, God’s love for His people. He responded with the heart of God!
Every day, we receive, a post or an e-mail criticizing the church, a pastor, a leader or maybe an update from a rival, gossip from a neighbor; when this message is brought to us, what does our response reveal about OUR heart? We are often filled with anger, jealously, bitterness, lust, and pride because our focus is on our own good, and our own glory? And when that happens, our response is anything but righteous.
David sings “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10) Let this be our prayer today.
Dear GodI thank You that You desire to speak to me every day— to obey Your Word and enjoy an abundant life. Show me the conceit in my heart and help me to guard my heart from the influences of this world and the people around me. Help me not to be deceived by the devil and his lies, but to respond to them listening to the heart of God. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
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