Recently for my quiet time I read from 1 Samuel 24. It records the story of King Saul in pursuit of David whom he viewed as a threat to his throne. In God’s providence, David was hiding with his men deep in a cave that Saul entered alone. David had an easy opportunity to kill Saul and was encouraged to do so by his men but he refrained from killing the ruler the Lord anointed. After Saul left the cave, David followed and shouted, “My lord the king!” Getting Saul’s attention, he alerted him to the fact that God had put him in his hands and yet he spared his life. David strongly challenged King Saul even reminding him of an old proverb, “From evildoers come evil deeds.” Saul was so stricken by David’s words, that he ended up crying. He confessed that David was the better man and pronounced a blessing upon him as well as recognition that David would indeed be given the throne and would be a successful leader. Shortly thereafter, the king departed with his army for home but David and his men went back to their stronghold.
After securing blessing from the king why didn’t David follow him and go back home? I believe David knew Saul’s heart inclined toward evil and that he could not be trusted. Sure enough, in 1 Samuel 26, Saul and his troops again went hunting after David to kill him.
Proverbs 21:2--All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord evaluates the motives.
Our hearts represent who we are. David had a good heart and went on to become Israel’s most famous and powerful king. Sadly, Saul only gave part of his heart to God causing the Lord to grieve that He ever made him king. Perhaps this is why Solomon, David’s son, penned the proverb above—he knew the reason he inherited the throne was because of the strong moral principles of his God-fearing dad.
Dan Berg emailed me a letter he mailed to his daughter Cole, who recently joined the Marines. I’ve edited it slightly so this devotional will not be too long. Let me invite you to read and profit from Dan’s insight. His words speak about prayer and the heart.
Cole, I went fishing with Dana and it was cold. As we were out on the lake in his raft it started to snow but we kept at it. After four hours I had pulled in seven big trout and Dana caught one small one. As we sat there in his raft with the snow coming down Dana started to get discouraged, so he began to ask me how it was I was catching all these fish. I told him I started praying more when Gabe went into the Marines and even more so when you went in and I find myself praying about everything—even catching fish. Dana shared that he had not been praying as much as he used to and so he looked up and prayed. Then he changed the fishing pole he was using and on his second cast he pulled in a trophy trout! It got me thinking that sometimes prayer first must change the way we do things so it can change the things we do. . . Cole I have to ask the Lord often to change my heart so I can see better what He wants me to say or do. David said in Psalm 139:23,24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” Something to think about . . . in reveration.
No man can do wrong in his heart and see right afterward. If I am going to approach the holy ground, I must get into the right frame of mind—the excellency of a broken heart.—Oswald Chambers inThe Shadow of an Agony
©2006 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)