A Man After God's Own Heart
In Acts 13:22, the bible tells us that God testified concerning David that he was “A man after His own heart.” There are a variety of characters that we may presume to be given this description including Abraham, Jacob, Moses or maybe even Joshua. But David is the one who is singled out and emphasized in Acts 13:22 but why David? Most people (Christians and non-Christians) alike are well aware of David’s dreadful misdemeanor with Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite and so digesting this passage may be a lot harder when compared to the ease with which Paul said it. Allow me to give you 3 reasons why David is called a man after God’s own heart:
1. Stood up for God– In 1. Sam. 17, when no one else would, when the light at the end of the tunnel seemed to be fading, when all was dim and gloomy David was the one who stood up for God and manifested courage in the face of doubt and fear. It is here we observe a little shepherd boy arriving on the battle scene with no fear, no doubt, no hesitation. The Philistines who are getting ready to wage war against the Israelites seem very much terrifying especially when a nine-and-a-half-foot giant leads their army. But there was one Israelite who wasn’t the least bit afraid of what he heard and what he saw. A young David with boldness and much confidence in effect says to Goliath, “who do you think you are you uncircumcised Philistine? You think you can defy the living God and get away with it?” When everyone else was afraid, when Saul doubted, when David’s brothers doubted, David took the reins and he took the steps to stand up for the Almighty God. David trusted in God because He knew what He could do and He knew that if anyone could defeat this giant it would be Him. And that’s exactly what happened. Some stones and a sling and Goliaths days were done. This story shouts to us the prevalent message that as God’s people we must stand up for the truth, for His cause, regardless of whatever situation we find ourselves in. Is that hard? A lot of times, you bet it is. But if you talk defeat you will be defeated. With God, all things are impossible. There is nothing He cannot do. David had a heart that was full of faith and trust in God first and foremost and he directed his faith towards God’s enemies with boldness and that’s one of the reasons God calls Him a man after His own heart.
2. Walked with God- David’s boldness, his courage, his trust, his great faith wasn’t something that he acquired overnight. It was something that he worked on day in and day out. He put much effort into his relationship with God and it showed. He wasn’t ashamed of God. His delight was in the Law of the Lord and he made that guide his paths. He could stand up for God because he walked with Him! David actively sought God's will for his life. Repeatedly in the bible, we read these words, “David inquired of the LORD” (1 Sam. 23:4; 1 Sam. 30:8; 2 Sam. 2:1; 2 Sam. 5:19, 23; 1 Chron. 14:10). With humility of heart, he brought every decision before the Lord in prayer, waiting for God's leading and direction before acting. You see, David didn’t have all the answers to his problems. He didn’t look to himself or to his friends but he constantly and consistently sought God’s will because he knew where he would fail, God could help him to succeed. David was in trouble a lot. There was a lot of people that wanted him dead. His own friends and family turned against him but he turned to God (Psalm 54, 57, 59). David didn’t allow his riches to control him. He didn’t allow his companions to overcome him. His delight, his focus and his undivided attention was on God. That’s what walking with God means. It means that in everything God is consulted, God is sought for, and He is trusted. (Psalm 23, 62, 63).
3. Acknowledged sin against God and repented- David sinned against God. He chose to do evil in the sight of God and he failed. David was far from perfect.
When everything seemed so bright he took a wrong turn and it had some pretty dark consequences (2 Sam. 11-12). When confronted about his sin, David didn’t run, and he didn’t make excuses. He acknowledged his sin before God and he was sorrowful he committed that great evil in God’s sight. Like David we fail. We commit sin against God.
We aren’t perfect. What God desires is for us to humble ourselves and acknowledge that we have sinned (2 Chron. 7:14). What made David better, what God remembered Him for, was for his heart of repentance. David turned away from his sin and his utmost desire was to repair his relationship with God (Psalm 51). To do so was to be a man after God’s own heart.
The bible tells us in Isa. 66:2, “On this one I will look, Him who is of a humble and contrite spirit and who trembles at my word.” Though David faced the consequences of his sin for many years to come, he humbly bowed his knee under God's sovereignty and continued in praise, worship, and devotion to his God. When sin is involved God is removed so we must remove the sin and turn to Him. God is a discerner of our hearts. He looks not what is on the outside but at what is on the inside. Like David, does God see a person after his own heart in you? God still seeks those whose heart is completely His. What does God see in our hearts? Stand up for God and walk with Him. If there is sin in your life acknowledge it and turn away from it.