Have you ever wanted a shiny new heart, like a copper penny polished from the Mint? Can you picture a heart with no blot of wickedness? HaShem gave a man a new heart in one day, and he still did not do right.
Samuel said to Saul, “Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.” and it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day.” 1 Samuel 10:8-9 NIV.
Gilgal, Gilgal, Gilgal! This is a place we must go if we need a new heart. I don’t know about you, but I need a new heart at times. There are times when I am aware that there may be some black tar slinking around in my arteries. Does anyone need open heart surgery? Oh, not the kind with medical professionals, but the kind where you allow the Holy Ruach Set Apart Spirit to saw your chest in half and open up the cavity so you can take a look inside and see what all’s really going on in there. Ouch!
David said, “Search me, o God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:24 KJV.
Now, if you have ever studied the story of Saul’s life, you know he did not wait and tarry for his further instructions. He was told to wait seven days, but he became leery in the battle, weary, tired, and anxious. His heart was not circumcised yet. He had the anointing, the crown, the power and the authority, but his heart was not right. He was the tallest, most handsome man in the town, and his father had great wealth, but HIS HEART WAS NOT RIGHT. His name meant, “Asked for.” The people asked for a King– they always do.
What does the Bible say about the heart?
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9 NLT.
Another passage talks about how out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Many times words have came forth out of my mouth that shocked me. I thought, “Wow, that’s in there?”
Samuel told Saul to wait for the burnt offerings. Saul waited and it was the 7th day, but the people were in a fix and the philistines were getting all geared up for battle, and so Saul became nervous. He kept looking at his watch and instead of waiting like he was commanded to do, he acted because of the people and their pressure. He thought he needed the people to win the battle and he wanted to PLEASE the people more than the Father.
Saul probably wasn’t even aware of this because most of the time we are not aware of our own hearts. So, Saul begins to blame the prophet for the situation because after all he was late. Or was he? Let’s read that and make sure we get the full picture.
“Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were QUAKING WITH FEAR. He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him. “What have you done?” asked Samuel.” 1 Samuel 13:7-11 NIV. We often are given test and we often fail.
Samuel was late in Saul’s eyes because the people were in fear and asking him to do something. Didn’t he just do what any king would do? No. . . It was not his job to offer the sacrifices. It was the prophet’s job. And I guarantee you, Samuel was right on time.
Later on, Saul was given instructions to completely and utterly destroy the Amalekites and their animals. But Saul liked the best of the fat of the land and he kept the best sheep, oxen, and fatlings and worse, he kept the king alive–the one HaShem ordered to be killed. Listen to how he talks to Samuel and makes excuses for his actions.
“It’s true that the army spared the best of the sheep, goats, and cattle,” Saul admitted. “But they are going to sacrifice them to the LORD your God. We have destroyed everything else.” He even said, “your G-d.”
Samuel looks at him and says, “Enough!” Yes, enough of the blame game, it’s time to examine our hearts.
“Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Listen to what the Lord told me last night!”
“What did he tell you?” Saul asked.
And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel. And the Lord sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’ Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?”
“But I did obey the Lord,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” 1 Samuel 15:16-21 NLT.
I want to show you how bad this king missed it! He actually thought he heard the voice of the Father. We must be careful out there.
“But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? TO OBEY is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22 NIV.
Now, Gilgal is a matter of the heart!
We think we are ready for the kingdom, the promotion, the title, the ministry, the child, the degree, the business and so forth, but our hearts still are not right. He needs to cut away the pride, the shame, the sin, the idolatry, the reproach and the guilt. Some of us need a sharper scalpel than others. Yes, we need to be laid upon that operating table.
If you are at a place called Gilgal, lay open your heart on the altar and cry out for him to heal you. Pray to obey him. Even if He said go on a fast and don’t eat 7 days. Just get it over with and do it. Take it from a person who hasn’t always obeyed immediately. Forget the offerings and the sacrifices and how much you gave to the church in tithes last year. Forget that you have a plaque with your name engraved on it for helping to build the building. I’m telling you to forget this earthly kingdom building business and accolades of man. Forget about laying up treasures here. Forget about all the things you destroyed in the battle, all the enemies you fought and killed, whether it was drugs, lust, sex, alcohol, or pride and remember there may be something you held onto. Oh how I have held on to things– Abba Forgive me.
Kill the king AGAG! Kill the biggest demon and the others will fall. That’s why Jesus- Yeshua went to cast demons out of a man and they didn’t budge, so he said, “What is your name? They answered Legion, for we are many. Get the king and the rest fall!
The prophet Samuel, had to do the kings job that day because the king was afraid of the men and he gave in to them and disobeyed The Lord Adonai. King Saul had offered the special sacrifices that were meant for the prophet to do, now the tables have turned. Samuel tells Saul to go get the wicked king.
“Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites.”
Agag came to him in chains. And he thought, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”
But Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so will your mother be childless among women.”
And Samuel put Agag to death before the Lord at Gilgal.” 1 Samuel 15:32-33 NIV.
Let us put our sins to death at Gilgal and get our hearts right.
Also if kings don’t step up and do their jobs right, God will begin to turn it over to the prophets. Actually, He already has.
Photography by Ândrēw Yīsrâ’Ęl