Matters of the Heart
Several past Presidents of our wonderful country either said or implied that character does not matter.
1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
God judges by faith and character not appearance. While most of us spend hours maintaining our outward appearance, we should be spending more time developing our inner character.
Jeremiah 17:10 – “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”
God makes it clear why we sin. It is a matter of the heart. Our hearts have been inclined toward sin from the time we were born. We can yield to temptations, or we can ask God to help us resist temptation when it comes.
In 1 Samuel 24, King Saul is pursuing David. After David killed Goliath, King Saul became extremely jealous of David, so David’s life turned into a life on the run and hiding from King Saul.
David and his mighty men were hiding in a cave when Saul came into the cave. 1 Samuel 24:3-7 – He, Saul, came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Afterward, David was conscience stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” With these words David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.
David was under a huge amount of pressure and pain, so this was a test to bring out his true character. A test is meant to strengthen us, develop our character, and prepare us for the tasks ahead. David did not compromise. He showed he was a man of strong integrity and godly character.
Luke 6:45 – The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
Jesus reminds us that our speech and actions reveal the true underlying beliefs, attitudes, and motivations. The good impressions we try to make cannot last if our hearts are deceptive.
Proverbs 27:19 – As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.
What did King Saul’s heart reflect? Proverbs 26:24-26 – A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart. His malice may be concealed by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
Proverbs 6:16-19 – There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him; haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
Are you a King Saul or a David? Are you a David being pursed by a King Saul? Are you a King Saul doing the pursuing?
Unfortunately, Bobby and I have several individuals where Proverbs 26:24-26 and Proverbs 6:16-19 describe these individuals.
Acts 13:22 – After removing Saul, he, God, made David their, Israel’s, king. He, God, testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’