The Heart – Prestudy

The Heart – Prestudy

The Heart – Pre-study

Key Verse: 1 Samuel 16:7 – "But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on
his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him:
for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance,
but the LORD looketh on the heart."

Study Text: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

At the center of our "human design" is the heart, but it does many
things besides pumping blood. The bible tells us that out of our heart comes
disbelief, belief, desires, discernment and thoughts, just to name a few. What
does this really mean? That the heart affects us not only physically but also
spiritually; therefore, the heart is the common denominator for the overall
performance of a person. For example, if a person has a heart operating at 10%,
you are probably not going to see him playing basketball, unless God provides a
miracle. Well, the same principle applies spiritually. If a person’s heart is
not right with God, you are probably not going to see that person experiencing
the fullness of his/her salvation. This may also lead to God delaying blessings
from coming or allowing that person’s "spiritual sight" to be
hindered (but that’s another lesson). So let’s go into our pre-study which will
set the tone for this series.

This week’s text takes us to the time immediately after Saul was
"de-throned" as the king of Israel and it was Samuel’s job to anoint
the new king. The Lord told Samuel, "fill thine horn with oil, and go, I
will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided ME a king among
his sons" (1st). Now let’s take a minute to look at this verse. The Lord
didn’t say that He would provide "Israel" or "you" with a
king; He said, "ME." And the NIV and Amplified Bibles translate this
to mean "For Myself." So God had chosen a king for Himself rather
than for Israel – keep this thought.

Let’s look at the difference between these two kings, Saul & David. Now
regarding the calling upon their lives, we see that Saul was sent, but David
was chosen. Huh? I’ll say it again. Saul was sent, but David was chosen. If we
"back pedal" to 1 Samuel 9:16 we will see that a day before Saul’s
arrival, the Lord told Samuel, "Tomorrow about this time I WILL SEND THEE
A MAN." Now the Lord didn’t say a King, Priest, Prince, Ruler, Abdicator
or Monarch. He said, "A MAN." But why? We’ll have to back up a little
further to answer that.

In 1 Samuel 8:4 the elders of Israel asked Samuel to name them a king since
(1) Samuel was too old to be king, (2) his sons, natural successors, had chosen
not to follow the ways of God and (3) because other nations had kings. Samuel
was displeased with this rejection of him and his family. But the Lord
explained to Samuel in the 7th – 9th verses that "it is not you they have
rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the
day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving
other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them
solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do"
(see the 10th-18th verses). But in spite of Samuel’s warning, the people cried,
"We want a king over us," so in the 21st verse the Lord tells Samuel,
"Listen to them and give them a king."

Where are we going with all this background? Well, here it is. Israel had a
Lord. As a matter of fact, they had THE LORD!!! But they didn’t want Him; they
wanted a king just like the other nations. Their hearts were not right, so as a
result the Lord gave them A MAN—-Saul—- not a king (1 Samuel 9:16). In the
NIV, Amplified and New International versions this verse reads, "I WILL
SEND YOU A MAN." So because their hearts were not right, Israel failed to
get what they truly desired: a king above all kings!!!

Well of course, just like the heart of Israel, Saul’s heart was not right
either. Hhmmmmmm—–a nation with a foul heart and a king with a foul heart.
That was a perfect fit. Saul was a king who often disobeyed God’s commands;
Israel was a nation that constantly disobeyed God. The lesson here – sometimes
God will give you a mate who is exactly like you to show you how badly you need
to change!!!!!

Now back to our text. After Saul’s dismissal the Lord tells Samuel that He
has CHOSEN a king from among the sons of Jesse. So Samuel heads to meet and
anoint the new king. Upon arriving, Samuel sees Eliab and thinks, "Surely
the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord" (6th). Now I would have
to guess that Eliab was about 6 ‘4, dark and handsome – sorta like myself. Just
think about it Eliab, Eddie – 5 Letters beginning with "E" (Laugh
with me people). But the Lord spoke to Samuel and said, "Look not on his
countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for
the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but
the LORD looketh on the heart." Now this is where my brother Eliab and I
part ways!!!

Samuel went on and inspected seven sons of Jesse, but none of them met the
Lord’s approval. Samuel then asked, "Are these all the sons you
have?" Jesse replied, "There is still the youngest but he is tending
sheep." Samuel then said, "send for him." So when David came,
Samuel saw this young boy with a ruddy appearance and probably thought,
"This can’t be him." However, the Lord said to Samuel, "Rise and
anoint him; he is the one." After his anointing, the Spirit of the Lord
came upon David in Power, and to make a long story short, David went on to be a
successful king.

To wrap this up, I want to take you to the "First Mention." As we
look back at the first mention of Saul we see that he was, "an impressive
young man without equal among the Israelites – A HEAD TALLER than any of the
others" (1 Samuel 9:2) — The Physical. However, the "First
Mention" of David states: "Man looks at the outward appearance, but
the Lord looks at the heart" — The Spiritual (1 Samuel 16:7). This tells
us of what the Lord is seeking in His king. In His infinite wisdom, the Lord
knows that if the heart isn’t right, nothing else will be right. Actions won’t
be right, thoughts won’t be right, desires won’t be right, nothing will be
right. The best way to put it is "heartless." This refers to a person
who lacks feelings, compassion, drive, determination, goals, dreams,
desires—–and a love for God and the things of God. And the bible states that
David’s heart was perfect with the Lord (1 Kings 11:4).

So throughout this series we are going to get our hearts right because if
our hearts are not right, we are not in a position to petition God for the
ultimate rewards He has for us. Perhaps the best analogy we can give goes back
to relationships. Get your hearts right so that when you ask God for a king/queen,
you’ll get a king/queen. If not, you’ll be like Israel and get what they got
—- just a man/woman! Not the complete package —- just a spirit encased in
flesh which will probably be one of two things: (1) Someone that falls way
short of your expectations or (2) Something worse — someone with similar
shortcomings to show you how badly you need to change. So begin your inward
change now so that you can get the King/Queen God has chosen for you.