“God gave him another heart”

In I Samuel 10 of this week’s lectionary readings we see Samuel preparing Saul for kingship. Samuel gives Saul a whole string of seemingly random instructions: Go to the oak of tabor. Meet three men. One will be carrying kids, another bread, another wine… etc. It seems significant and meaningful. At this point (I hope to learn more) I’m not sure what all the instructions from Samuel mean, but the end result appears to be preparing him for kingship, to be “turned into a different person.” Then we are told “God gave him another heart; and all these signs were fulfilled that day.”

God gave him another heart.

Later, when he went home, people asked: “What did Samuel tell you,” but Saul would not say. It’s almost as though to tell them would be pointless, unless they too had another heart.

And is it a coincidence that another man named Saul presided over the martyrdom of  Steven in today’s reading from Acts. And that later God gave this Saul a new heart on the road to Damascus?

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