The LORD Looks At The Heart
So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the LORD’S anointed is before Him.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.
So Samuel arose and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him. And Saul’s servants said to him, “Surely, a distressing spirit from God is troubling you. “Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp; and it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well.” 1 Samuel 16:6-16
King Saul who wasn’t a bad king and was loved by the people forgot who put him on the throne even though prophet Samuel said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD (1 Samuel 15:1). King Saul, the anointed one, who prophesied with the prophets and had a supernatural miraculous change of heart and was filled with the Spirit of God, was rejected by God and the Spirit was removed from him because he rejected the Word of God that was given to him, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. ‘Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ “Saul attacked the Amalekites and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword but Saul and the people spared king Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.
Saul was not seeking to serve God, he was only concerned about lost donkeys. So when he received the spirit of God and was anointed as king, he was not inwardly prepared. Because of this, he soon lost both. King Saul, even though God have him another heart and prophesied among the prophets, had disobeyed God in not listening to the voice of the Lord as given by God’s friend and true man of God Samuel. Saul did not do exactly what the Lord instructed him to do in destroying all of God’s enemies per His instructions. Saul in his egotism, selfishness and greed spared the King and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and was unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless was utterly destroyed. So the Lord told Samuel:
“I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” 1 Samuel 15:11
It also grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the LORD all night. Now some will find it strange and surprising that God wants to and speaks to people about what is on His heart. But God who created the universe and everything in it including all its emotions, words, and vocabulary created the word friendship and trust. True men of God not only have the ear of God they also listen to His voice and know what is on God’s heart just like Samuel did.
Now King Saul, also an anointed one who prophesied with the prophets and had a change of heart given by God, did not know what was on God’s heart or else he would have done things He had done. Typical of egotistical man even when Saul was wrong he was still right. God’s word recorded:
Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD.” But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.” 1 Samuel 15;13-15
But a prophet plus God is greater and carries more power and weight with God than any earthly King. So Samuel said to Saul words he never expected to hear. For those who reject God’s words will find themselves rejected:
“Be quiet! And I will tell you what the LORD said to me last night.” And he said to him, “Speak on.” So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel? “Now the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ “Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?” And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. “But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.”
Then Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:16-23
Saul had the favor of his people until he died even though the Lord was upset with him and had turned his face from him. Yes, rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. And those who reject the word of the LORD, will be rejected by Him also. It does not pay to argue with God or a true man of God and to ignore God’s word which says:
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:5-10
Those who do things in secret and not out in the light are walking in darkness. They have sinned and have by not obeying the word of the Lord and being accountable, honest and true men full of integrity and truth. They do not fool God nor His true servants. For Saul also told Samuel something that didn’t fool God because He looks at and knows the heart:
“I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. “Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD.” But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 1 Samuel 15:24-26
Then King Saul not only sinned in rejecting the word of the Lord, but he made another foolish mistake. He put his hand onto a real man of God who was God’s friend and prophet. This is something that even Kings can not do. God word records:
And as Samuel turned around to go away, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. So Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. “And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent.” Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD your God.” So Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul worshiped the LORD.
Then Samuel said, “Bring Agag king of the Amalekites here to me.” So Agag came to him cautiously. And Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” But Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hacked Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal. Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house at Gibeah of Saul. And Samuel went no more to see Saul until the day of his death. Nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul, and the LORD regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel. 1 Samuel 15:27-35
Samuel did the job that King Saul did not do and he hacked King Agag before the Lord. Samuel and the Lord had turned their face from Saul until the day of his death. God was sorry that he made Saul King over Israel. But life had to go on and He would raised up for His people a man after His own heart, who would do all His will. So the Lord said to Samuel:
“How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” 1 Samuel 16:1
So Samuel did what the LORD instructed him to do and went to Bethlehem and anointed David who was a man after God’s own heart! People don’t consider the fact that God uses whatever is given to Him. But some people are like paper towels. They are used once and disposed by God just like He disposed of Saul. Jesus told us that these kind of things do happen in life by His different words:
“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
“Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? “It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Luke 14:34-35
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. John 15:6