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Two Kinds of Hearts

I have found David… a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.
Acts 13:22

God’s words about David were spoken in startling contrast to the character of the reigning king of Israel, Saul.

Here’s a little background information. Speaking on behalf of God, the prophet Samuel rebuked Saul for failing to obey God’s specific instructions (1 Samuel 13). Again and again, as reported in 1 Samuel, Saul overstepped his bounds, the ones God set for him. On several occasions he specifically disobeyed God. Although he was very careful to offer prescribed sacrifices to God, Saul failed to offer God the ultimate sacrifice—obedience from a heart wholly devoted to Him (1 Samuel 15:22).

Finally, after one extremely serious act of disobedience, God sent Samuel to Saul with a twofold message: “Your kingdom shall not continue” and “The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).

God was communicating something along this order—”Saul, you’re through as king. I’ve put up with your rebellious, unresponsive heart long enough, and now I’ve found just the right man to serve Me. This man who will take your place is a man with a responsive heart, a man with a heart of obedience, a man who will follow all My commands, fulfill all My desires, and do all My will.”

Here we witness two very different kinds of hearts—the heart of David and the heart of Saul.

  • David served God while Saul served himself and did things his way.
  • David was concerned with following God’s will, but Saul cared solely for his own will.
  • David’s heart was centered on God, and Saul’s was centered on Saul.
  • Even though David didn’t always obey God, he had what mattered over the long haul—a heart after God. In sharp contrast, Saul’s devotion to God was impulsive and sporadic.
  • Although David was well-known for his physical prowess and might as a warrior, he was humbly dependent upon God, trusting in Him and repeatedly acknowledging, “The Lordis the strength of my life” (Psalm 27:1). Saul, on the other hand, was proud. He relied on his own skill, his own wisdom and judgment, and his arm of flesh.

God gave both of these kings opportunities to lead Israel, but in the end they walked down different paths—Saul away from God and David toward Him.

How’s your heart? The heart God delights in is compliant, cooperative, and responsive to Him and His commands.

Read Two Kinds of Hearts on Elizabeth & Jim George.


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