David, A Man after God’s Heart

Understanding the “Heart” from God’s ‘Perspective

A right understanding of “heart” from God’s perspective can be gained from the following verse:

“you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

God seeks for those who love Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). This means that God wants to be the center of our lives.  When we give Him that place, we are declaring to Him and the world that He is worthy of our worship devotion and love. Essentially, this declaration says that we desire to make God first in our lives.  We totally submit to His will and his ways.  We begin to place our faith and trust in Him to work out the circumstances in our lives-for our good. Overall, we rest in God and His promises. The following scriptures sum up that type of relationship:

“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:2-9

The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.” Psalm 37: 39, 40 

So was the life of David.  While he was a man - and lived as a man with faults and shortcomings- he always turned to God for forgiveness and guidance. He was not a perfect man, but he lived his life attuned to the Word (will) of God and was always ready to take responsibility for his actions. Then he was repentant and obedient to do what God asked him to do.

How did David Have God’s Heart?

God knew that David loved Him and proclaimed that David was a man after His heart:

“And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.” 1 Samuel 13:13-14

“After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” Acts 13:22 (NIV)

We see David’s faults but God knew his heart.He was a man who loved the Word (law) of God and found comfort in the Word in times of affliction.  He understood the importance of men and women being united together in peace and unity and exhorted men to live together in harmony and agreement.  He also loved to pray and spent much time fellowshipping with God..  Let’s review some scriptures in each of those categories.

David loved God’s Word

“Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.” Psalm 119:97

“For I delight in your commands because I love them. I reach out for your commands, which I love, that I may meditate on your decrees.” Psalm 119:47 ,48

David found comfort in the Word of God in times of affliction.

“My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” Psalm 119:50

“Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

David understood the importance of unity.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1

“After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.” 1 Samuel 18:1

David was a man of prayer.

“I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications, Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live” Psalm 116:1,2

What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.” Psalm 116:12, 13

“The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him  in truth.” Psalm 145:18

David loved to worship and praise God

“Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws.” Psalm 119:164

“Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today if you would hear His voice” Psalm 95:1-8.

“I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.” Psalm 104:33

How Did David Advance the Kingdom of God?

Acts 13:36 says David served the purpose of God in his generation:

 “For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay;”

David was obedient to the will of God in his life and served the Lord with purpose.  His life, and the scripture and example that he left for us still serve us today. We turn to the story of David and Goliath when we want to understand how God does battle on our behalf.  We look at David and Saul’s relationship to understand the importance of God’s timing and authority in our lives (1 Samuel chapters 18 – 41).  We look to David’s writings in the Psalm to understand how to worship and praise God and to have true fellowship with Him. David lived the purpose that God had for him.

How is this useful to us today?

David had to depend upon God. 

His life was not easy. He had many struggles in his life and succumbed to much temptation.  However, he always trusted and depended upon God to be his source of wisdom, strength, and stability. His life teaches us that if we focus on God as the source of our life, we will find wisdom strength, protection, forgiveness and love.

“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’ -- and you forgave the guilt of my sin. “Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:3-7).