Monday, February 15, 2010

Another Heart

I'm in 1 Samuel now, and let me tell you, it's so much better than Numbers! (Is it okay to admit that?) Well, I just did. Read Numbers. I think you'll agree.

Samuel (whom Hannah begged God to give her at the beginning of the book) grew up with Eli the priest, then became a prophet and also judged Israel. After the people of Israel demanded that they be given a king (even though God's design was for He Himself to be their King), Samuel was forced to find such a man suitable for the task. God chose Saul from the tribe of Benjamin. I have no idea what sort of man Saul was before this. Scripture tells me that he was handsome and taller than all other men. He visited Samuel because he was looking for his father's lost donkeys (seriously!), and Samuel tells him, "Okay, the donkeys are fine. And oh, by the way, you're going to be the king of Israel."

Can you imagine, just for a moment, expecting one thing and being handed an entirely different--better--ticket? That's a little more than being moved to first class, right? And I see no evidence of Saul declining the offer.

Anyway, the best part is where Samuel tells Saul what will be happening to him in the next few hours. He would receive the Spirit of the Lord. He would prophesy. He would be turned into another man.

"When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart" (1 Sam. 10:9 ESV).

This could be one of my favorite parts of the bible! I love this image. Another heart. Because God chooses us even with hearts in their repugnant state. He chooses us with our baggage, with our filthy habits, with our self-exalting, self-pleasing agendas. He even chooses us when we think we had something to do with it. Even though we certainly didn't.

And don't we, too, get another heart?

Because the one we begin with is tainted, sick with sin. Once He lifts us out of our mess, we can't continue to serve in His court with our pride, with our worry, with our dirt. No, He loves us in these things, but He doesn't leave us in these things.

He gives us another heart.


Peace of Christ to you,

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