God WANTS us to be ‘DIFFERENT’ with ‘ANOTHER’ HEART
March 23 Bible Reading: 1 Samuel Chapters 10-12
"Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you. You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and surely I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, till I come to you and show you what you should do." So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. (1 Sam 10:6-9)
As the current spiritual leader of Israel, Prophet Samuel had the responsibility to carry out God’s will on behalf of the community. He therefore anointed Saul to be the first king of Israel (10:1) as instructed by God earlier (9:16). In order to confirm his kingly anointing, Saul was given four signs: one that his lost donkeys would be found (10:2), two that he would meet men who would provide him with bread (10:3–4), three that he would meet a band of prophets and join them in prophesying (10:5–7), and four that he should go ahead to Gilgal to wait for Prophet Samuel who would offer sacrifices there (10:8).
The first three signs occurred the very same day, but that was accompanied by a radical change in Saul’s own life and disposition (vv. 9–16). God gave him “another heart” (v. 9), a giftedness to reign as a King. It was a divine equipping of Saul with inner abilities for performing the duties of the kingship for which he had been anointed. The Spirit of God that came upon Saul (v. 10) was to equip and empower him to lead the people as their ruler and to do his tasks wisely. This was the same Holy Spirit who came upon Othniel, Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson (see Judg. 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6, 19; 15:14). This may have caused a genuine spiritual transformation or an empowerment in Saul’s life!
However, we will soon see that Saul’s subsequent attitudes and behavior do not reflect a genuine spiritual life. Yet Saul seems to have struggled with sin and desired to worship God (14:34, 35; 15:24–34). What we can understand is that God empowered Saul with a passion to do great things for God and this was accompanied by an inner drive which enabled Saul to be used by God for the deliverance of Israel from the Philistines!
This is one of the earliest direct biblical references to the inner changes that God makes in those who chose to serve Him. Saul turned into “another man” with “another heart” that was transformed and empowered by the Spirit of God. Both the transformation and empowering of the Holy Spirit (v. 6), as well as the regeneration of the heart were essential if Saul was to lead Israel in the direction God intends.
Today, let us ask God to create in us a ‘clean’ heart, and renew His Spirit in us (Psalms 51:10), as He desires from us (see Ezek. 18:31). God will take away our stony hearts and give us hearts of flesh that is sensitive to Him (Ezek. 11:19). We will be truly different (another person) then: this is called ‘regeneration’. Let us accept the promise that God has for us today: "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them." (Ezek 36:26-27)