A Man After Mine own Heart

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
James 4:17

David is one of the most famous men in the Bible. God chose him when he was young to be the future king of His people. Although King Saul chased David wanting to kill him, David followed God, and God took care of him.

When David became king, he was a great king. “And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them: as whatsoever the king did pleased all the people” (2 Samuel 3:36). We can read many places where David “enquired of God.” When David wasn’t sure what God would have him to do in a situation, he would enquire of God – and God would answer him. “And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him” (2 Samuel 5:10). The second book of Samuel is all about David’s kingdom.

Everyone remembers David’s great sin. If you remember, he wasn’t where he was supposed to be. “And it came to pass …  at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem” (2 Samuel 11:1). It was at this time that he took Bathsheba, who wasn’t his wife, and had her husband killed in battle. Although David knew this was completely wrong in every way, he did it anyway. “And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD” (2 Samuel 11:27). What made things worse was that after he made Bathsheba his wife, he continued in life as if nothing was wrong.

God sent Nathan to speak to David. He told King David a story of man who took a beloved lamb from someone else that did not belong to him and killed it. After hearing the story, “And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die” (2 Samuel 12:5). David recognized that this man had sinned and deserved death. “And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man …” (2 Samuel 12:7a). Nathan proceeded to remind King David just what God had done for him, and his punishment for his great sin. “And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die” (2 Samuel 12:13). Although there were many consequences for this sin, because David immediately repented of that sin, God forgave him. David truly had a heart of repentance, and we can read his prayer to the Lord in Psalm 51.

What more does the Bible tell us about King David? “And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will” (Acts 13:22). Have you ever considered that it might have been this moment in David’s life that caused God to call him “a man after mine own heart” knowing that when David was confronted with his sin, he would immediately repent? We know, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). However, read what David understood, long before it was written, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

We can understand that God forgave David. However, see how great of a forgiveness it was. David wrote Psalm 103, which tells of God’s great forgiveness. “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12)

Remember what else God tells us of King David, “Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus” (Acts 13:23). God sent, through the lineage of David, His only Son who came to die for man’s sin – if only they would come to him in repentance and receive His forgiveness. “6. Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7). 

Are you one who is after God’s own heart?

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