All the angels cry holy, all creation cries holy!
”Do you really understand and embrace my Holiness? There are many twisted views of My Holiness out there – giving it almost a negative slant in many people’s eyes. Yet it is an integral part of who I am – My very being, My everything is holy – from the beginning of time, forever more. It describes My total otherness in size and power, in the total influence and control I hold over the universe apart from my total purity. Yet within that a deep heart of mercy for those of My creation, mercy and love so deep that I endured the cross to open the way for every person to participate in my Holiness. If you have chosen to follow Me you will be enveloped by My Holiness – it will protect you and change you to become more and more holy like Me – and remember the word, “without holiness it is impossible to see the Lord”. So Go out and worship Me in My holiness and enjoy it as it envelops you.”
Now to 1 Samuel 13. The story of King Saul and his reign as he becomes the central figure in the story. When I say central figure the real central figure is, of course Yahweh Himself. Saul will reign for 42 years. War is in the air. There seems to be a constant conflict between Israel and its neighbours (sounds familiar), especially the Philistines at that time.
The focus of the chapter however is 7b to 11. Can you see what this is and why Saul failed totally as a true king? The key lies in the words in vs 14 “the Lord has sought a man after His own heart”. The situation is dire, surrounded and outnumbered by the enemy Saul waits anxiously for Samuel to come and offer sacrifices to God, which Saul felt would give them the victory.
However God tests him as Samuel does not arrive at the exact time he promised so Saul takes things into his own hands and offers a fellowship sacrifice to the Lord.
To us it may sound as a minor slip or sin, but the words of Samuel, as he opens with “What have you done?” warn us that something serious has happened here. can you see why this act is so serious and carried the serious consequences it did?
Well the words of Samuel where he says “the Lord sought a man after His own heart“, in vs 14, reveal the problem. The problem lay in Saul’s heart, His actions, usurping the role of a prophet and priest revealed that his heart was not devoted to God. He saw this act as a sort of almost superstitious significance, to get God to act. He was not seeking God’s fellowship or God’s heart, he was carrying out a ritual which he saw as carrying significance in itself.
It is almost like someone taking communion while his life is in disarray and there is no heart connection with our Lord. It becomes a meaningless act which is actually so abhorrent to God that He says some have even died because of this.
The words in vs 14 ring out through the ages and the one who is described like that is none other than the future king, king David. Paul describes king David in Acts 13:22b “God made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David, son of Jesses a man after my own heart, he will do everything I want him to do’. You see David was devoted to God. His heart connected with Him. So when he committed sins, some grievous, his lament was ‘Against you and you only have I sinned’.
Ultimately the Real One who would delight the Lord was Jesus Himself of whom God said: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”, as the Spirit descended on Him at His baptism. He is the ultimate King from David’s line
The question I have to ask myself, “Where does my heart lie? Would God call me a man after His own heart because I would anything He asks?”
The contrast between the two kings will become more and more apparent as 1 Samuel continues.
The rest of the chapter shows Israel being completely disarmed in the face of the Philistine forces. With the chapter ending: “So, on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a spear in his hand, only Saul and and his son Jonathan had them”. Like any good tale we are left hanging for the next episode. What is going to happen to the Israelites now?
Are you a man or a woman after God’s own heart? If you are ‘In Christ” you are because when God looks at you He sees His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased.
May God bless you till next week.