A Man After God's Own Heart

In 1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22 King David is referred to as a "man after God's own heart." How can a selfish, lying, murderous adulterer be considered a man after God's own heart?

David exhibited industry and maturity in his innocent youth. His strict obedience to God's laws and the prophets' pronouncements seemingly led to his great conquests and ultimate success. Periodically in his career, David showed outstanding character traits like loyalty, humility, mercy, leadership, empathy, reverence, or wisdom that marked him out as reflecting godliness.

Is God's heart slightly blemished? Is God's heart almost perfect? Are we to posit that more good than bad makes us godly, or nearly perfect reflects the heart of God? So, does God want me to do good things to make up for all the bad things I've done? Are we saying that if I only sin a little bit once in a while I'm close enough to revealing the heart of God?

All of David's attributes and accomplishments didn't overcome, counterbalance, or atone for his sin. But one thing did.

When Adam sinned, he hid, made excuses, and cast blame. When Cain was confronted with his crime, he disavowed responsibility. When Abraham got caught up in deception he lied and cheated until God miraculously intervened. 

David's case was different from the saints of the Bible who preceded him. David revealed the heart of God when at the pinnacle of his sinfulness he reverently laid himself bare, stared at truth and took full responsibility, then asked not for favor or mercy, but justice in God's sight, knowing it meant his own end.

When your conscience rises to irritate or condemn you, do you hide? avoid? play the victim? blame God for allowing your trial? God will show his heart when you show yours. If you hide from or avoid God, he'll leave you so alone you'll  feel abandoned. Though you're not. If you shift the blame or play the victim, he'll leave you in your circumstance to work it out.

But if you will bow before your father, own up to your transgression without hesitation or excuse, disregard what you perceive as your personal rights or interests, and genuinely accept what befalls you for your folly, you WILL be spared.

If you have thought of being revived with conditions attached, like restoration or reinstatement, you'll be disappointed with God. But if you can let God be God and submit yourself to him unconditionally you will be saved.

David remained king despite his sin, but he was found unworthy to build the sacred Temple he so desired to build throughout his life. Moses was allowed to lead the nation of Israel back to the Promised Land after he sinned, but he never stepped across the river to enter it. Both inherited a greater kingdom, and so can you. God will show you his heart after you show yours.

Eric ScottComment