The life of David makes for a fascinating character study. His is one of those great “rags to riches” stories. David started out a shepherd boy and ended up as a king. He became a great warrior and consolidated the tiny nation of Israel into a powerful kingdom that ruled a large part of the Middle East during the tenth century B.C.
But with all his accomplishments, David’s greatest claim to fame, so to speak, is God’s epitaph, “I have found David...a man after my own heart.”
The Many Sins of David
I find this statement perplexing! God is declaring His approval of David’s heart and life. That is puzzling in light of the fact that David’s actions weren’t always godly. In case you’re unfamiliar with David’s life, let me give you a brief overview of his checkered history.
- David was a warrior who shed much blood (1 Chronicles 22:8)
- David committed adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:4)
- David later found out that he had gotten Bathsheba pregnant. To solve his problem, David ordered Bathsheba’s husband put into a forward battle position, where he was killed (2 Samuel 11:5-17)
- David had multiple wives (2 Samuel 3:1-5)
- David was a negligent father, and his family was plagued with strife and tragedy (2 Samuel 13:15-18, 28-29; 18:33)
And yet God states, “I have found David...a man after my own heart.” How can that be? How could God possibly commend a man with this kind of background?
Yes, David was a man with feet of clay, a man who at times committed sins that most of us could not imagine, let alone commit. Yet, over the long haul, David sought to be righteous and his heart’s desire was to do God’s will.
This is the kind of person God looks for, as indicated by Jeremiah 5:1-9. God doesn’t expect perfection, as we can clearly see from David. With all that David had done wrong in his life, God could still look at David’s heart and say he was a man after His own heart—a man who did all God’s will.
The Enabling Grace of God
This, my friend, is the grace of God. There can be no other explanation! By his actions, David didn’t deserve God’s blessings. But in his heart he had the right desire—a longing to follow and please God.
That brings me to an important question—one that can lead to a lot of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment in your life: Do you want to be a person after God’s own heart? Or, put another way, is your heart’s desire to follow after God?
You may think that’s unrealistic because you have a tendency to take three steps forward then two steps back in your spiritual walk with God. You may imagine that being a person after God’s own heart is too lofty a goal. You may conclude that it’s not possible because of some of your past actions.
But you and I must never forget one thing: God looked at David’s heart. And that’s where God is going to look in our lives, too. When it comes to becoming a person after God’s own heart, we can count on the grace of God—a grace that enables us and strengthens us at all times.
Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I want to repent of my sins and turn and follow You. I believe that You died for my sins and rose again victorious over the power of sin and death, and I want to accept You as my personal Savior. Come into my life, Lord Jesus, and help me follow and obey You from this day forward. Amen.
Have you discounted yourself from following after God because of past actions? Ask God for His forgiveness and begin to follow Him today!
We can count on the grace of God—a grace that enables us and strengthens us at all times.