Looking at the Heart

heartReading today in 1 Samuel, I got to the story of Saul and David. It has always shocked  interested me that God could “Regret” making Saul King. In 1 Samuel 15: 10-11 it says:

The word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.”

It didn’t shock God that Saul would do this, but the word “Regret” stings doesn’t it. It makes me wonder if there are things that I have done that has made God, “Regret” his involvement in my life.  Time to unpack this a little more.

Later in the chapter, Saul tries to convince Samuel that his heart was committed to God. Samuel, knowing better, interrupts Saul’s pathetic excuses and says “STOP! I will tell you what you’ve done. Samuel goes on to say that Saul had not obeyed the voice of the Lord, and then says that since Saul had rejected the Word of the Lord, that God had rejected him being king.

In chapter 16, God sends Samuel to annoint the next king. He tells Samuel in 16:7, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature,… For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appeaance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

So when God rejected Saul, it was because He could look at Saul’s heart and saw the condition of it.

The obvious takeaways from this scripture are:

  1. Obey God’s voice and accept the Word. The Word is true and a shield to all. When we reject the Word, we not only remove the shield that is our defense, but we sever the connection between us and God’s voice.
  2. We should look at other people’s heart and not outward appearance. This is tough. Too often, we’ll judge before we ever get a chance to know someone. We have so much to learn from each other. The moment we judge the person’s actions or outward appearance, we’ve lost the chance to look at the heart.

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