Unification Sermons and Talks

by Reverends Nordquist

A Man After His Own Heart

by Peter Nordquist-Queens, NY

The phrase "a man after his own heart" is found in the Old Testament book of I Samuel, chapter 13. It is part of the message spoken by Samuel, the last judge of Israel, to King Saul only seven days after Samuel had anointed him as the first king of Israel. The message informed Saul that God desired obedience and that since Saul had not been obedient to God, He would seek another man to become king, "a man after His own heart."

From time immemorial this phrase was always thought to be a reference to David, who was to be the second king of Israel. However, in light of Divine Principle analysis of the events following Saul's failure on Mt. Gilgal, it can be unequivocally stated that the first choice for a man after God's own heart was Saul's son Jonathan and not David, and that only after the further failures of Saul and Jonathan was this destiny shifted to David.

Further analysis tells us that Saul represented Adam, Jonathan represented Jesus, and David represented the Lord of the Second Advent. If we then inquire as to God's deeper purpose behind the lengthy period of time in which David, Jonathan and Saul coexisted, we reach the conclusion that Heavenly Father desired to reverse Moses' sin of breaking the first set of tablets of the Ten Commandments and more importantly Moses' sin of striking the rock twice, since both were distant conditions increasing the possibility that Jesus would later be killed without completing his mission, because both the tablets and the rock represented Christ. Moses committed both of these sins in fits of anger which came upon him due to his own inadequate faith. A condition to indemnify these sins could be made if Saul and Jonathan, with the assistance of Samuel, could unite with David. But let's slow down a minute and point out that Saul, who was in Abraham's position (but on the national rather than the family level), also represented God's third attempt to form the nation of God's elect (Adam and Noah were the first two attempts). Consequently if Saul failed in his first offering as did Abraham, then he would be given a second chance to make an offering centering on his son Jonathan, just as Abraham was given a second chance to make an offering centering on his son Isaac.

This took place in the following manner, as recorded in I Samuel 14,15. The Bible states that the Israelites were under the thumb of the Philistines to such an extent that the Philistines prevented them from having blacksmiths and thus from making weapons or sharpening farm tools. In fact there were only two spears in all of Israel. Saul had one and Jonathan had the other.

Immediately after Saul's first failure, Jonathan with his armor carrier declared: "God judges by many or by few," and proceeded to wipe out twenty Philistines with his spear. An earthquake shook the ground, the Philistines became confused and started fighting each other, and Israel won a great victory that day, but.... But it so happened that Jonathan tasted some honey with his staff and was immediately informed by a fellow soldier that his father, Saul, had declared a fast that day. At the end of the day Saul prayed and God did not answer his prayer. Saul knew by this that someone had broken the fast. By drawing lots Jonathan was revealed as the fast-breaker. Saul questioned Jonathan who then frankly admitted, "I tasted some honey with my staff. I'm ready to die," to which Saul replied, "Okay, I'm going to kill you right now." This is the cooperation of Abraham and his son, which was absolutely necessary for the offering to be acceptable to God, and for the mission to be passed on from father to son through three generations. Saul's army then informed him that they were not going to allow Saul to kill Jonathan, since the victory of the day before had been initiated by Jonathan's heroic action, which was very similar in spirit and result to David's later heroic action of killing Goliath. In this respect Jonathan was certainly a man after God's own heart, as was also David. Here then the army played the role of the angel who held back the hand of Abraham when it became evident that he intended to kill his son.

The ram caught in the thicket which became Isaac's symbolic offering is paralleled in Saul's time by God's direction given through Samuel for Saul to go and kill the wicked Amalekites and all of their cattle. However, again Saul failed to obey. This was also Jonathan's failure since all the soldiers knew that they were to kill every one of the Amalekites and all of their livestock. Jonathan also must have known. Jonathan was in a position to speak strongly to his father and warn him to obey the command of God spoken through Samuel, especially since this represented Jonathan's symbolic offering. SO the failure of Saul to obey can equally be considered Jonathan's failure.

After Saul's failure to kill the Amalekites and all of their cattle, Samuel informed him that he had failed again, at which Saul became angry and tore Samuel's robe. Only then did Samuel say, "Today God has torn the Kingdom away from you and given it to your neighbor who is better than you!" Samuel then went and anointed David, who became the second king of Israel. But until that point, it is clear from the Biblical events that God was working with Saul and Jonathan in a similar manner as when He worked after Abraham's failure in the first offering to pass the mission to his son Isaac through Abraham's second offering.

But why in Saul's time was so much war involved in the national level symbolic offering? As explained in Divine Principle, the first 21 days of Saul's kingship were an attempt to indemnify the first nationwide course of restoration into Canaan in the time of Moses which failed without ever having begun, simply because the Israelites feared war. It is fortunate that neither Saul, Jonathan nor David feared war. That course was also to have been only 21 days. Therefore as stated in Divine Principle, 210 years of Babylonian Captivity and Return specifically resulted from Saul's first failure, which came only seven days after he was anointed the first king of Israel, not to mention that all of the further prolongation until the coming of Jesus (1130) was precipitated by this first failure of Saul. This leads us to wonder when the Messiah might have been sent had Saul not failed. In Christian history the Pope and Charlemagne parallel Samuel and Saul. However, the mission is passed on to Charlemagne's lineal descendants, perhaps because Charlemagne succeeded in his second offering, as did Abraham. But the Pope-Charlemagne failure remains as the greatest failure in Christian history after the death of Jesus and prior to present times, and also prolonged God's providence to send the Messiah again until the present.

In conclusion, shouldn't we all become men and women after God's own heart who can initiate Godly action as did Jonathan, before being asked to do so. And unlike Jonathan, we must not be afraid to strongly remind our leaders-political, religious or economic-of the words of God, when they are in danger of failing their public responsibility: to uphold and create what is normal in a Godly culture-the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

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