In our flesh it is so easy to want to trust our own “wisdom” and “knowledge.” We continually fail to acknowledge the Lord in all our ways and allow Him to direct our paths. Great rewards and victories come from simply inquiring of the Lord.
The Old Testament frequently refers to people seeking or inquiring of God. Psalm 53:2 says: “God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.”
Isaiah 55:6 states: “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.”
1 Chronicles 16:11 commands: “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!”
Jeremiah 29:13 states: “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
2 Samuel 21:1 refers to David inquiring of the Lord for supernatural guidance.
Frequently, the Old Testament records that godly King David inquired of the Lord for guidance (1 Samuel 22:10, 22:15, 23:2, 23:4, 23:9-12, 30:7-8, 2 Samuel 2:1, 5:19, 5:23, 21:1, 1Chronicles 13:1-3, 14:10 and 14:14). David regarded inquiring of God as being one aspect of the most important thing in his life. In fact, He said in Psalm 27:4: “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that I will seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.”
We have a great object lesson in David. King David was known as a man after God’s own heart. He always wanted to know what the Lord wanted, and once he discovered that, He sought to do it with God’s help. David acknowledged his futility and inquired of the Lord before he took action. Not only did he inquire, he waited for God’s response and carefully followed God’s instructions. King David asked whether or not to fight. We must ask if what we want to do is or isn’t God’s will. Sometimes His will is that we simply stand still. We also should follow God’s instructions carefully and give God the glory for the outcome.
Sometimes God’s instructions and our behavior will not make sense to us or even to those around us. However, we must trust God and recognize that His ways and thoughts are higher than our own. We must realize that there will be distractions and consequences for disobedience. Take the man of God in 1 Kings 13 for example. He was deceived and it cost him his life because, he did not follow all of God’s instructions.
King Saul also suffered greatly for his disobedience. King Saul was different from David. 1 Chronicles 10:13-14 records that one of the reasons God had Saul put to death and handed his kingdom to David was because Saul did not inquire of Him: “So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. But he did not inquire of the Lord; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.”
David was not perfect. He, like we, fell into sin. However, He was still interested in what pleased God. When Shimei, the Benjamite, threw stones at David, David did not retaliate but understood it was part of the punishment for his sin concerning Uriah the Hittite and Bathsheba his wife.
Saul, did not show sincere repentance when he said to Samuel the priest in his next breath, “I have sinned, but honoureth me before the people.” When David sinned and then repented, the Bible says that in his remorse he did not even allow servants to attend him. He had a changed heart.
How can we apply this to our lives? What can we do to avoid being a “Saul” and be more like David, a “man after God’s own heart”?
- We should acknowledge the Lord as well as inquire of him in all situations.
- We should fear, honor and reverence God and not treat Him or His grace as something common or unholy.
- We should trust the Lord and not give in to fear.
- We should obey the Lord with our whole heart, not just partial obedience or an outward showing.
When we do fail, we need to be truly repentant, not just before men, but before God. Honoring and obeying the Lord should be the first thing we do, not the last thing we think of.