Saturday, June 14, 2014

Gospel Doctrine OT c22: Look On the Heart

Gospel Doctrine OT c22 Look on the Heart
1 Samuel 9-16

Israel wants a King. Samuel tells them it is not God’s way but they want one anyway. God gives them a king: Saul.

Who was Saul?
1 Sam 9:2- a choice, young man, goodliest of all and head and shoulders above all others.
9:21- not of high standing or prestige
Seeking his father’s lost livestock, he goes to Samuel the prophet for counsel (9:6).
The Lord told Samuel the day before that Saul would come. The day Saul arrived, Samuel was expecting him (9:17).
Samuel anointed Saul (10:1). He was accepted as king (10:24). There were those who despised him, but Saul held his peace (10:27). Saul went away with a changed heart (10:9).

Focus of the lesson is the HEART.
??What is God’s concern with the heart?? What is it about the heart that is so important??
            Physical implications- it keeps us alive, constant, strongest muscle
            Spiritual implications- true desires, spirit speaks to it/through it, capacity to love

Marvin J. Ashton- “When the Lord measures an individual, He does not take a tape measure
around the person’s head to determine his mental capacity, nor his chest to determine his manliness, but He measures the heart as an indicator of the person’s capacity and potential to bless others.

“Why the heart? Because the heart is a synonym for one’s entire makeup. We often use phrases about the heart to describe the total person. Thus, we describe people as being “big-hearted” or “goodhearted” or having a “heart of gold.” Or we speak of people with faint hearts, wise hearts, pure hearts, willing hearts, deceitful hearts, conniving hearts, courageous hearts, cold hearts, hearts of stone, or selfish hearts. (Gen Conf Oct. 1988)

What was the condition of Saul’s heart?
Based off of what we know from the beginning, his heart was humble. Humble enough to ask guidance from the prophet. His heart was not bothered by those who despised him. He didn’t care about the worldly cares of men.
Was that good enough? Once a good heart, always a good heart?

Saul was a good, righteous and courageous king. He led his people well, protected them and defended them. Nahash the Ammonite came against Jabesh of Israel. Saul waged war and won victory. The people loved him as their king. (C11)

In Chapter 12, Samuel gives a discourse and warns the people about being ruled by a king again. God then shows his great power by sending thunder and rain during the harvest, causing the people to repent and acknowledge God. In response, Samuel says,

12:20-21  And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.
12:24 Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

??What is Samuel’s warning and what is his counsel??
Serve with all your heart
2x Turn not aside (after vain things)
Vain things cannot profit nor deliver you
Those two things mean - Keep your heart right and your perspective right.
??What are we turning aside to? How does that affect our hearts?

Battle with the Philistines (C13).
The Philistines were as numerous as the sands of the sea. Israel was scared and began to scatter and hide. Samuel was going to bless and offer a sacrifice by the priesthood power but on the 7th day, when he was supposed to come, he wasn’t there, so Samuel offered the sacrifice instead (13:8-10).

Read 1 Sam 13:10-12
Elder James E. Talmage wrote, “Saul prepared the burnt offering himself, forgetting that
though he occupied the throne, wore the crown, and bore the scepter, [he had] no right to officiate … in the Priesthood of God; and for this and other instances of his unrighteous presumption he was rejected of God and another was made king in his place” (The Articles of Faith, 12th ed. [1924], 185).
?? What is unrighteous presumption? Have you experienced unrighteous presumption?

Read 1 Sam 13:13-14 A warning for us all. God would have established the kingdom on Saul and Israel forever but he lost it all. We have similar great blessings promised to us. We are required to make the same decisions Saul made. What decisions were/ are those?
            Will we turn aside from the Lord and His ways?
            Will we serve with our hearts?
            He was impatient, failed to trust God and disobeyed.
The Lord seeks men and women after his own heart. Just like Samuel counseled in 12:24 serve with all your heart and turn not aside after vain things.

Jonathan and his armour-bearer (14)
14:6 Jonathan and his friend will take on the Philistines on their own
14:7 armour-bearer believes in Jonathan’s heart
14:14-16 they were victorious, they feared not man and knew that god would be with them

Saul turns aside…
(good example of church discipline)
Going to battle against Amalek, Samuel tells Saul – read 15:2-3.
Read 15:9 Saul spared some things.
Read 15:10-11 Samuel is sad about what is coming…
Read 15:13  ?How can Saul be so confident in what he had done?
Read 15:14-15 rationalizing, presuming, pride, not trusting that God is in charge (I know that this is what God said, but it makes more sense if…. I just thought I could still…. But did the prophet think about this….?) I think often we fall into the trap of not remembering who God really is. He is the supreme creator. It is His power that created everything we see and experience. This is God’s church and He is in charge, not us. If we do not accept that, then we reject Him.
Read 15:15-21 Discussion takes place
Keypoint- 15:22-23 - And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and
sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

?What is the value of obedience?
Listen and obey is the best we can give! Stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
?How is stubbornness like idolatry?
Read 15:24-29 And it wasn’t just Saul. He was the leader, the king. People followed him. And when he wasn’t obedient to the Lord, neither were his followers. His influence and example made his actions and his rejection that much more tragic.
We can be at risk of losing our eternal blessings.
15:30-31 Love and open arms are still available to those who repent.

1 Sam 16:1 – And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul? Tender hearted Samuel….

Samuel finds David
God directs Samuel to the house of Jesse to find the new king. Remember when Samuel found Saul, Saul was head and shoulders above everyone else. Maybe Samuel was still stuck on Saul a little.
Read 1 Sam 16:7 – but the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

After seeing 7 sons, Samuel asks Jesse if there are any more.
1 Sam 16:11-12  And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all they children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.  And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and wthal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.

Two final scriptures:
D&C137:9 – For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.
D&C 64:34 – Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.

The final question for us is found in Alma 5:26 – If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

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