25 Then Samuel explained to the people the behavior of royalty, and wrote it in a book and laid it up before the Lord. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house. 26 And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and valiant men went with him, whose hearts God had touched. -1 Samuel 10:25-26
1 Samuel 10:26 speaks of “valiant men…whose hearts God had touched.” Intrigued by this idea, I’ve long reflected on what God intended to communicate in this statement.
Two aspects are involved. First, there are the valiant men. Who were these men? Men committed to their nation’s leader, willing to stand with him and fight to protect him. Today we would call them patriots or loyalists. Whether advisers, analysts, or military warriors, these men were committed to the king’s success.
The second aspect is that their hearts had been touched by God. Many have historically argued that Christians should have nothing to do with government, but this assertion does not stand up well when compared with this verse. “God touched” or somehow led or inspired a group of men to work with the nation’s top leader toward the nation’s success. You could argue that this situation was different since the discussion is about Israel, God’s chosen people, but the principle can apply to any nation.
Joseph served second in command to godless Pharaoh. Daniel advised a pluralist and self-worshiping king. Esther married a pagan king and served as queen of Persia as part of her role in serving God. In each case, the nation was led by someone who did not honor or worship the God of Israel, yet these individuals were used to serve entire kingdoms and nations.
Does God still today touch the hearts of certain people to serve national leaders? I hope so. We could all use more valiant men committed to living out their faith to influence the world.
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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.