King Saul had disobeyed, and the Lord regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel. 1 Samuel 16:1-14 “Now the Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.’ And Samuel said, ‘How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.’ But the Lord said, ‘Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.’ So Samuel did what the Lord said, and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, ‘Do you come peaceably?’ And he said, ‘Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.’ Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice. So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him! But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen these.’ And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all the young men here?’ Then he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.’ And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.’ So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, ‘Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!’ Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.” God sent Samuel to anoint the next king of Israel. He did not choose based upon physical size, good looks, or ability. He chose based upon the heart. He did not choose Eliab, Abinadab, Shammah, or any of the other older sons of Jesse. God chose the youngest son, David, because he had the heart that God wanted. Acts 13:22b “to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’”
God searches and tests our hearts. When David was an old king and ready to pass the authority on to his son Solomon, this was his exhortation. 1 Chronicles 28:9 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.” He encouraged Solomon to serve God with a loyal heart because the Lord knows the heart. Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” Proverbs 17:3 “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts.” Hebrews 4:12-13 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” God knows your heart.
There are many different kinds of hearts. The scribes and Pharisees had hypocritical hearts that pretended to be good. Matthew 23:27-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” The Israelites in the wilderness had hard hearts that were rebellious. Hebrews 3:8-9 “Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years.” There are those who are double-minded. James 1:8 “He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” To be double-minded is to sometimes believe and sometimes doubt. It is to sometimes want to do what is right and to sometimes want to follow fleshly desires. Then there are those with noble and good hearts. Jesus described these in the parable of the sower in Luke 8:15 “But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”
Since God knows your heart, what kind of heart do you think He has found in you? You can’t fool God. If your heart is not what you want God to find, change your heart. Seek to have a pure heart – a heart that only wants to do God’s will. James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” 2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
David wanted God to know His heart. He asked God to lead him in the right way. He wrote in Psalms 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” I encourage you to make this your prayer to God also. Open yourself up to God and let Him lead you. If your heart is not right before God, let Him change your heart.