A Man after God’s Own Heart
We learn many valuable lessons in studying the Old Testament. One of the most critical is how God evaluates people. Israel had requested a king, like the other nations. (1 Samuel 8) Samuel took the request personally, but God informed him that the real rejection was of God, not the High Priest or judge. The man selected to lead them was Saul, tall and good looking and strong, the perfect specimen for the job in men’s eyes. However, it did not take long before Saul faded as a disobedient servant. After a presumptuous sin in 1 Samuel 13, and a direct act of disobedience in 1 Samuel 15, God sent Samuel to anoint a successor. At the home of Jesse in Bethlehem, Samuel waited as seven sons passed, and God refused them all. Why? God does not look on the outward appearance, but on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7) Samuel inquired about any more sons, and only a young boy keeping the sheep remained. David entered and Samuel anointed him, fulfilling the prophecy in 1 Samuel 13:14, “The Lord has sought for Himself a man after God’s own heart.” What qualified David?
- A man after God’s own heart is spiritually minded. David spent a lot of time in solitude with the sheep. What do you do when you are alone? David used that time to contemplate God and develop a trust in the Lord. Obscurity and monotony were not David’s enemy, but rather caused him to cultivate the reliance on God always. David learned in reality to depend on God no matter what might happen. If a bear or lion attacked a sheep, David was prepared.
- A man after God’s own heart is humble. Someone who sees the value in others will learn, and is teachable. David was taught by God through His word and his circumstances to know God. Read Psalm 119 and see David’s appreciation and devotion to the inspired word of God. “Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end.” (119:33)
3. A man after God’s own heart is a man of integrity. A person of integrity is wholesome and pure. He measured his life against the God he served. Listen to Psalm 78:70-72, “He also chose David his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the ewes that had young He brought him, to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.” What an example! What a heart!