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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

The Tender Heart

Today’s Verse:

And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. ~1 Samuel 24:5


The heart is the symbol of our inner man and conscience. It is the seat of our emotions. We make the decisions of life within our heart. When we are not careful to guard our heart, it can become calloused and hard. On the other hand, it is vitally important that we maintain a heart that is soft and tender to the Lord. This morning, we are considering a verse that tells us that David’s heart smote him.

We see the purpose of a smitten heart.

The Hebrew word for “smite” means to strike, smite, hit, chastise, wound, and conquer. Within the context of a man’s heart, it speaks of a heart that is very deeply moved and hurting. It has the idea of heart conviction. Heart conviction is when we sense the Holy Spirit has struck a major chord in our heart and soul. A smitten heart is a bothered conscience. A smitten heart is a soul under duress from suffering our struggle. A smitten heart is when we are spiritually overwhelmed by our sin or circumstances and we have no rest until the issue at hand is dealt with. God smites us in our heart to give us awareness to action.

We see the process for a smitten heart.

Several factors will contribute to a smitten heart. The presence of unconfessed sin can smite our heart. The preaching of God’s Word can be like a hammer pounding away in us, or like a sword that pierces and divides asunder the soul and spirit. An action that is taken that we know did not have the sanction of God upon it will result in a smitten heart. In David’s case, he listened to the counsel of his men of war about seizing the opportunity of killing King Saul while they were in the shadows of the cave they were hiding in. As David came near to Saul, he cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe privily instead of killing him. He was so stealthy in his approach he cut the bottom portion of Saul’s garment without Saul knowing it. As soon as he did this, he was smitten or hard hit in his heart about what he did. He knew this was not God’s means for dealing with Saul.

We see the practices of a smitten heart.

A smitten heart is a convicted heart. David was convicted that if he killed Saul, this would be on his conscience for the remainder of his life. A smitten heart is a courageous heart. It took courage for David to stop from killing Saul, and then to tell his men they were not to touch Saul as well. A smitten heart is a corrected heart. David’s reason for not touching Saul was because Saul was God’s anointed. God had set Saul apart as king. He knew that God’s anointed have God’s hand on them for favor or for judgment. God also used David to correct his men of war about the anointing of the Lord and their responsibility to not hurt him in any manner.

We see the priority for a smitten heart.

A smitten heart makes wrong things right. David arose out of the cave and called out to Saul to let him know that he could have killed him, but he had respect for Saul and the office God placed him in. A smitten heart seeks forgiveness for sins unconfessed. The spirit of a smitten heart cannot rest until sin is confessed and forgiven. A smitten heart is moved to action as soon as awareness of a problem is presented. When the Holy Spirit speaks to us, we must obey every impulse he gives us. This includes obeying his call to service, speaking to a lost person about his soul, or a spiritual deficiency in us that needs to be addressed.

A tender heart is vital to our spiritual welfare if we are going to be used of God. Guard your heart with all diligence: for out of it proceed the issues of life. Today if you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Have a tenderized God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Timothy 1-6

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