We move from the times of the Judges of Israel (where every man did what was right in his own sight) to the period of the united Kingdom. Samuel (the final Judge) will be the interface between the two time periods.
There will be three kings before Israel splinters into north and south: Saul (who had no heart for God), David (who had a whole heart toward God), and Solomon (who had a divided heart regarding God).
Saul was the people’s choice for a king. He was handsome. He was tall. He was strong. He was spiritually weak. David was anointed by the last judge (Samuel) per God’s direction. David was young in stature but quite strong in heart and personal God-courage. Solomon did not finish well, even though he may have been the wisest person to ever live on the earth. Weird.
“The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.
Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts.
To do righteousness and justice is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice.” – Proverbs 21:1-3
This is a great chance to examine the nature and actions of three different hearts, and these chapters are filled with insight into which choices result in true freedom. It is not about perfection in behavior, but rather resilience of soul. God delivers those who recognize their weakness and call upon His strength. This is huge for an authentic spiritual life, my friend. Enjoy!