March 7, 2004 / Volume 8, Issue 10
A Man After God's Own Heart
"...The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you." (1 Sam 13:14). So was the beginning of the end for the reign of Saul as king in Israel. In addition to his unlawful offering of the burnt offering (13:9-13), Saul later disobeyed the direction of God by sparing king Agag of the Amalekites (15:8), and the best of their sheep, oxen and lambs (15:9).
Summarizing the history of Israel in a sermon delivered at Antioch of Pisidia, Paul said of the Lord, "...when He had removed him (Saul, wjs), He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.'" (Ac 13:22). What a wonderful commendation of a man, from the LORD Himself!
What does it mean, when the LORD speaks of David as "a man after My own heart"? It certainly does not mean that David was always sinless before the LORD, as we are introduced to a number of his sins and their consequences through 2 Samuel. However, it is an affirmation of David's desire to do the things of God. Though he faultered at times, the disposition of his heart was to give faithful service to the LORD, as Paul said from the LORD, to "...do all My will."
The record of 1 & 2 Samuel sufficiently reveal the desire of David to serve the Lord, but as though that were not enough, the Psalms time and again express his faith and love unto the Lord. We have in David perhaps the most complete picture the Bible gives of any character's faith and service before God. The Scriptures continually witness to his love for the Scriptures, desire to communicate with God, wisdom in serving the LORD, predisposition to do what is honourable (even under severe trial), and perpetual longing to praise the LORD.
David wrote, "When You said, ‘Seek My face,' my heart said to You, ‘Your face, LORD, I will seek.'" (Ps 27:8). Of God's choosing David, another psalmist penned, "He also chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the ewes that had young He brought him, to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands." (Ps 78:70-72).
Friend, we need to be people who are after God's own heart. We need to imitate the fervent desire for what is right in the sight of God that is evident in king David's life, which focus was also found in our Lord Jesus (Mt 26:42; Heb 10:5-10), and is in every faithful child of God.
Click here for this week's Answering The Atheist
God prophesied that Israel would have a king (Deuteronomy 17:14-20), and that their Messiah would come from the lineage of the king (Genesis 49:8-10). Why then was God opposed to Israel's desire to have a king (1 Samuel 8:7; 12:17-19)? Is there a contradiction?