David – a man after God’s own heart
The Bible says a lot about the shepherd boy who became a king.
If you go into biblegateway.com and search for verses containing the word David, you will see what I mean – his name appears 895 times, including 54 times in the New Testament. Do an Internet search, including YouTube, and all sorts of useful stuff can be found on David, including specifically concerning today’s thoughts on “David a man after God’s own heart”. Better still – read for yourself: 1 Samuel 16 through to 1 Kings 2. Along with Moses, David is probably the most significant human character in the Bible.
Before I get to my main thought, let me take you on a rapid tour of David’s life using pictures:
David – Harpist
Besides the historical record, we are reminded that David was a musician (one of his early jobs with King Saul was to play the harp) and he wrote half the Psalms, which continue to bless God’s people.
David – Anointed
We are first introduced to David when God told Samuel the prophet to anoint a king to replace Saul, who had been disobedient. While an unlikely choice from a human perspective, God saw something in David, not seen in other more likely contenders, and it was David who God told Samuel he was to anoint.
David – Goliath
The story of the fight between David and Goliath is perhaps the one event many know about, with David ending up the unlikely victor. This is the first of many examples of why David was a man after God’s own heart, who took his formidable enemy on, when all else refused – because he had mocked God.
David – Hero
Following his triumph over Goliath, which changed the course of Israel’s fortunes, David became a celebrated hero.
David – Jonathan
One of the beautiful stories of the Bible is the friendship between David and Jonathan, one of the sons of Saul, who had a kindred warrior spirit to that of David.
David – Saul
Tragically, following losing God’s favour, Saul went on a downhill trajectory, and was jealous over David’s success. This led to David becoming an outlaw and gathering around him a band of fellow outlaws who became mercenaries. Saul sought to kill David, but when the opportunity arose, David refused to kill the one who he still regarded as the Lord’s anointed.
David – Amonites
The Ammonites were an example of one of several nearby nations Israel, under David’s leadership, was able to defeat. During the course of his reign, David subdued Israel’s enemies and secured a peaceful kingdom, such he could hand on to his successors.
David – Ark
The one thing David wanted to do more than anything was to build a temple for God, but God would not allow it. When an opportunity arose to bring back the Ark of the Covenant that normally resided in the Holy of holies, David took it and led in the celebrations.
David – Bathsheba
In lusting over another man’s wife (Bathsheba), committing adultery with her, murdering her husband (Uriah) and covering up his crimes, David sinned big time, but he later repented. While God forgave him, the seeds that were sown because of his sin helped lead to Israel’s tragic demise. The child from his illicit relation with Bathsheba died – but later there was another child – Solomon.
David – Absolam
David was not a successful father. One son raped his step sister and two others tried to steal the kingdom and almost succeeded. One son, Absolam, ambitious for power, came to a tragic end.
David – Mephibosheth
One of David’s many kindly acts was to do so to Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s crippled son.
David – Solomon
David’s last act as an old man was to ensure the kingdom was handed to his son, Solomon.
David set the standard for the kings that followed, who were often compared with him when it came to their devotion to God, and when they died mention was often made of their remains being laid in the City of David (Jerusalem). While there were serious blips along the way (but never idolatry), arguably David finished well, just as he had begun well. Arguably, Israel was at its height of influence, expanse and prosperity under David’s kingship, and thereafter it was downhill, ending in exile. When it comes to “a man after God’s heart”, David stands head and shoulders above most of the rest of the Bible characters. It is a reason why, despite his obvious faults and failings, God made an eternal covenant with David that there will be always descendants from His line to sit on the Throne of Israel and notably the Messiah, who the New Testament was referred sometimes as Son of David, Jesus of Nazareth, who most Jewish people rejected but who is coming again as their king, and among other things will restore the Kingdom of Israel to how God intended, all in accordance with what the prophets had foretold.
There is also the obvious application and a question we all could / should ask ourselves: are we people after God’s own heart, and if not why not? As an observation, it is those who have a heart for God who experience his anointing and blessing. Further to David’s words toward the end of his life, we can do no better than end with three Bible extracts (there are many more we could cite) showing something of David’s true mettle and why God persisted with him despite his flaws. One relates to how he trusted God even in his darkest days and the other is his prayer of penitence after he was rumbled by Nathan prophet who had confronted David with his sin.