Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3336

Jump Start # 3336

1 Samuel 13:14 “But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”

  Our verse today is the cold reality of the consequences of King Saul’s disobedience with God. He was out and another was taking his place. It was more than he simply was no longer going to be king, but the lineage, the legacy would not be through his family. Not only was he being replaced, but his family heritage was changing. Sin will do that. It has long lasting consequences that can hurt generations.

  The replacement for Saul was the youthful, national hero, the giant killer, David. God was looking for someone who was after the heart of God. The Psalms reflect that spirit. The desire to build God a permanent house illustrates that. David was one who sought to please the Lord.

  The story of David is not picture perfect. There are several moments that remind us that he too, as we do, have feet of clay. David sinned. Those who know the story are quick to point out Bathsheba, the killing of her husband, the numbering of the nation, the careless way the ark was carried to Jerusalem upon a cart, the negligence towards Amnon who rapped his daughter. But if someone studied our lives as we do David, they might notice times we didn’t go to worship when we could have, or, the times we lied because we didn’t want to tell the truth. All of us are in the need of a Savior.

  However, there is one aspect of David’s life I really have trouble with. It’s the concubines. I can even understand the multiple marriages as a political move, but concubines, I don’t see how that fits in with one who seeks the heart of God. Concubines don’t add stability or peace to a kingdom. Most often, men married to have legitimate children. Concubines weren’t married. Concubines were just for pleasure. And, the Law of Moses, the Ten Commandments, if followed would have put an end to concubines.

  When Absalom, David’s son, declared himself to be the king and moved into Jerusalem, David fled. He took his wives and ran to the hills. However, he left his ten concubines to watch over his house. Why does he have concubines? Is he no longer a man after God’s own heart? Trying to fit this together, causes me fits.

  Here are some thoughts:

  First, we tend to focus a lot upon other people. We try to figure them out and decide who is in and who is out as far as their walk with the Lord is concerned. Samson is another one that is a mystery. Why is he included in Hebrews 11? All of those “gained approval.” It seems that Samson couldn’t make up his mind whether he was to be with Israel or the Philistines.

  And, maybe this is a good reminder to us that we don’t have to figure everyone out. Before every funeral starts, we’ve made up our mind whether the deceased is in Heaven or not. There are times that I must wonder if we have a bit of the Pharisees spirit in us. Let the Lord figure Samson out. Let the Lord deal with David and his concubines. Ours is not to be the one who sits upon the throne of God.

  This impacts our fellowship today. Some seem to be just in the place that they ought to be. But then there are others. In and out. Up and down. One foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom. Always a near train wreck. Always moving from one disaster to the next. As a church, fellowship is built upon determining whether one is walking in the light or not. But that ‘walking in the light,’ often translates to near perfection in some minds. The John passage, where walking in the light comes from, also, in the same sentence tells us that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. Walking in light and in sin at the same time just doesn’t fit in the same category for most folks.

Second, what God says may not be what we say. And, when that happens, God is right. God is always right. The preacher Stephen said in Acts 7, “David found favor in God’s sight.” Inspiration led him to say that. We might say that with a giant “HOWEVER,” that had to qualify that. He found favor however, he committed adultery. He found favor however, he had someone murdered. He found favor however, he disobeyed God. He found favor, however, there were those concubines. Interestingly, God didn’t use a “HOWEVER.” How could one find favor with God with such a black list to his name? And, maybe we have forgotten about the grace of God. Later in Acts, our passage today is quoted and again, the “man after My heart” is repeated. This is quoted centuries after the story is over. God is still saying this about David. After all those mistakes. After all that blood is on his hands. After all those sins. After all those concubines. He remains a man after God’s own heart. Salvation is by grace through faith. We know that, but we have trouble putting shoes on that when it comes to concubines, blood and sin.

  Maybe David’s story will help us with our guilt. We need to obey the Lord. We need to walk so close to the Lord that we could reach out and touch Him. However, like David, we have a list of things that are just not right in our lives. Attitudes, especially towards others. Sins that we struggle with. We try, but these things keep us from enjoying the fellowship of God. We walk among each other with such guilt that we wonder if any of us will make it to Heaven. We hear lessons on grace but our lack of perfection creates such guilt.

  David’s concubines—are we to conclude that it didn’t matter? Can I use that as a reason to do a belly flop into the pool of sin? Running through these verses and within this article is the thought that David was after the heart of God. He didn’t do wrong knowing that it’s no big deal. He didn’t do wrong thinking that God will give him a pass. That’s taking advantage of God and that’s abusing grace. That’s not the spirit of one who is after God’s own heart.

  Third, here we are all these years later trying to figure out how concubines and a heart for God fits. There are things we likely do not understand. There are things that we may never know. Paul told the Corinthians that our ambition is to please the Lord. When that is driving our hearts, we will do the best that we can. Not being serious about our walk with God and not caring what God says and having a heart that will do whatever it wants to do, will only take us further from the Lord, not closer. David wasn’t like that.

  Am I after the heart of God? Do I want to please the Lord?