My prayer in this life has always been to be a man after God's own heart . Of course this is what God said about His servant David in the Book of Acts. I have studied David both from the historical point of view found in Samuel and Chronicles as well as the personal point of view as found in Psalms. David was a man, and as such he fell prey to the passions that drown men as well as the pride that destroys men. David was a complex blend of macho man and tender servant . He manifested more boldness and confidence than any man who lived, but he also manifested a deep and genuine care for others and their needs.
We all know how God told Samuel to find a new king from the sons of Jesse because King Saul was incorrigible. Saul could not and would not do what God wanted done but rather what Saul wanted to do. After utterly blowing off God's commands as recorded in 1 Samuel 15, the chapter ends with one of the more sobering and sad verses in all the Bible found in 1 Samuel 15:35:
And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.
King James Version (KJV)
Earlier, after Saul had once again done exactly opposite of what the Lord wanted, Samuel told Saul this in 1 Samuel 13:13, 14:
13And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly; thou hast not kept the commandment of Jehovah thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would Jehovah have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.
14But now thy kingdom shall not continue: Jehovah hath sought him a man after his own heart, and Jehovah hath appointed him to be prince over his people, because thou hast not kept that which Jehovah commanded thee.
American Standard Version (ASV)
We see in Acts 13:22 the finished version of what God has to say in reference to Saul and David:
And when he had removed him [Saul], he raised up David to be their king; to whom also he bare witness and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who shall do all My will.
American Standard Version (ASV)
Saul rarely did God's will due to his stubbornness and pride. David (as a rule) did as He was told by God to do and had the humility to accept God's authority and desires. That which makes a man or woman to be after (according to) God's heart is their ability and willingness to DO all God's will. Not to belabor the point, but if one were to read the books of 1 and 2 Samuel looking exclusively for the contrast between King Saul and King David; the differences would explain why God repented that He made Saul king and affectionately called David a man after His own heart .
Did God get mad at David? You bet your life He did. David was an exceeding strong and confident man. This confidence allowed his to defeat Goliath and do many of the other things that endeared him to the people. But, this same confidence at times became pride and arrogance and when it did, very bad things took place. When reading about David, it is painfully obvious that at times God was intensely angry at the man He loved dearly. As great as David was, at times he flat out rejected God's Word and did what he wanted to do, whether it was God's will or not.
We all know how David succumbed to the lust of his flesh and eyes and illegally took Bathsheba for his own. David then arranged for Bathsheba's husband, Uriah, to be killed in battle so David could live happily ever after with the love of his life . When the prophet Nathan confronted David, instead of him killing the messenger or blowing off what he said; David allowed the Word of God to convict his heart and he immediately went into intense mourning for his sin.
Psalm 51 was written by David after being confronted by Nathan. Nowhere is the heart of David revealed more fully than in this Psalm. King Saul certainly never wrote anything like this and neither did the vast majority of men recorded in the Bible who committed great sin and were confronted by God or a prophet about. Most men simply got mad at the person delivering the message and had them killed. Others rejected the message outright as being wrong or designed to damage their reputation. Denying guilt, rationalizing the sin and shifting the blame to others are the things most men would have done when confronted by Nathan: But not David.
I leave you with a few verses from Psalm 51 which display the heart of David:
2Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
3For I know my transgressions; And my sin is ever before me.
10Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me.
11Cast me not away from thy presence; And take not thy holy Spirit from me.
16For thou delightest not in sacrifice; else would I give it: Thou hast no pleasure in burnt-offering.
17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Psalms 51:2,3,,10,11,16,17 American Standard Version (ASV)
After the Lord, the one I look forward to meeting the most, is David. A man after God's own heart, yet so very. ..VERY human. I am so glad that God saw fit to show us, in His Word, the good, the bad, and the ugly of David's life.
Thus, we can pray and hope to become a man or woman after God's own heart.
Great blog, my MOG, your blest
One of the passages that I read today for a Bible study I am attending tomorrow was Psalm 51. How I love that Psalm! David takes an honest look at himself as we all must if we are to have a broken and contrite heart that is an acceptable sacrifice to God. When we do that, like David, we do not like what we see one single bit. Oh how loving and merciful God is!