“A man after my own heart” has become an English idiom. It refers to one with whom we have an affinity. A bond. A kindred spirit. It is an endearing expression that speaks to someone who shares similar tastes.
Bible students quickly relate to the statement regarding King David. When Saul disobeyed God, the prophet Samuel told him that God was removing him from the throne and replacing him with another King. He said, “The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart.” Paul also referenced it in Acts 13:22.
This week at the Florida College Lectures the theme is Lessons from the Kings of Israel and Judah. In the first three days King David has been referenced several times.
On Monday evening Rickie Jenkins presented a powerful message showing how that Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the Davidic prophecy from Ezekiel 37:24. On Tuesday Gary Wilemon spoke on this very topic: “David: A Man After God’s Own Heart.” I noticed the teen session had a lesson on David as an example of a man who trusted in God. Other speakers have also mentioned David.
Why so much emphasis on David?
He was indeed the greatest of all of Israel’s Kings. He courageously killed Goliath. He demonstrated courage. Strength. But also humility. He was the Shepherd boy who became King. He was “sweet singer of Israel.” He was the mighty warrior. He was the one person who became the metaphor for the coming Messiah!
But what made him “a man after God’s own heart?” And what can we learn from him? Let me suggest four things. David……
(1) Loved The Word of God
“O how I love your law! It is my mediation all the day” (Ps. 119:97)
The Psalms are a testament for his feeling for the Word. Psalm 119 is one of the great chapters in the Bible extolling the benefits and beauty of God’s Word.
To be a person with a heart for God, we must get into the Word. Read it. Meditate on it. Exalt it.
(2) Hid the Word of God in His Heart
“Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Ps. 119:11)
David’s love for the Word was not external. He internalized it. Hid it. Stored it up in his heart.
Too often it’s easy to give “lip service” to the Bible without allowing it to sink deeply into our hearts. Without applying it. And making it a part of our lives. God’s man or woman allows the Word to take residence in the heart.
(3) Confessed His Sins
“For I acknowledge my transgression and my sin is ever before me” (Ps. 51:3)
As great as David was, he was not a perfect man. His adulterous sin with Bathsheba and its subsequent cover up was the greatest failure of David’s life. He wonders “How?” “Why?” “What happened?” The obvious answer is that he was an imperfect man subject to the same temptations and lust we all are.
But he admitted, “I have sinned.” He genuinely repented in bitter tears and heaviness of heart. Psalm 51 is a great example for us to apply when we fall short of God’s standard. A person after God’s own heart admits his sins. Repents. And seeks restoration.
(4) Loved to Praise God
“I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Your works” (Ps. 139:14)
The Psalms are filled with God-directed praise. The heart of God’s man or woman exalts, honors and glorifies God. He is our Creator. Our Father. And our Provider and Sustainer. Praise God!
But even deeper than all of these discernible qualities, David possessed an intimate relationship with God. David said, As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” (Ps 42:1-2)
To really be a person “after God’s own heart,” we must possess what Mike Cope called ‘a holy hunger.” A passion. A reliance. A craving. Like David, may God satisfy our spiritual hunger. May our souls thirst in HIM. And may we seek to be a person “after God’s own heart.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman