“And Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God with which He commanded you. For then, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now, your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.'”
-1 Samuel 13:13–14
This is Samuel delivering a message to Saul that his kingdom was coming to an end and God was raising up someone else to lead. And notice the language “You have done foolishly,” Samuel tells Saul, “You have not kept the command of the Lord your God.” He says it four different times. “You’ve not kept the command of the Lord your God with which He commanded you.
Those who are after God’s heart are obedient to God’s commands.
1 Samuel 13:13–14 Reminds Us of God’s Heart
The Lord has commanded someone else to be prince over His people because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” So, hear this word command over and over again in 1 Samuel 13:13–14, and then see it next to this phrase, “The Lord has sought out a man after His own heart,” and then put these phrases together. What does it mean to be a man or woman after God’s heart? It means to carefully keep the commands of God, to do what God has said in His word to do. Those who are after God’s heart are obedient to God’s commands.
And so can we just pray this for our lives as well as people around us. God, we want to be men and women after your heart. God, I want that description to be true of me before you. I’m assuming we all want that description of us to be true of us before you. So God, may it be so. Make our hearts soft toward you. Make our hearts a reflection of your heart, evident in the way we obey your commands. God, please help us to obey your commands, to be careful in our obedience to your commands, to not treat your commands lightly, to not act foolishly.
This Verse Leads Us to Ask for Wisdom and Humility
Grant us wisdom and humility, we pray, to obey your commands, to keep the commands of you the Lord, our God, that we might walk in step with your word, in step with your spirit, that we might honor you and obey you and live and love and lead after your heart. We pray for this in each one of our lives. Make us men and women after your heart who keep and obey and observe and gladly follow your commands. We pray this in Jesus’ name, in the name of the one who perfectly reflects your heart, who perfectly obeyed your commands. Oh, may your power at work in us make us this kind of man, make us this kind of woman after your heart obeying your commands. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.