Acts 13:22 (ESV)
22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’
If you are like me in any way, you have wondered about this verse as God is describing David as “a man after my heart.” If my memory is correct, King David is the only man that God described with such an accolade. Let’s think about David’s life for a minute:
- He was a shepherd for his father. He was very faithful to that responsibility, even to the point of killing predator animals to save his father’s sheep.
- He was the youngest of eight brothers. Can you imagine the abuse he took? The Bible even calls David a “pretty boy.” I can hear the older brothers really giving him fits concerning that.
- He was loyal to God without thinking about his own well being. It does not seem that he thought twice about accepting Goliath’s challenge for God. His confidence was in God, not himself.
- He was submissive to Saul, even when he knew that he had been anointed by God to be the next king in Saul’s place. His faithfulness to his position endangered his life on several occasions.
- He battled depression. At least, people claim that by the tone of some of the psalms that are attributed to David. The claims that he was all alone and that no one cared about him. He talked about the darkness in his life. He faced rejection on several fronts of his life.
- He had more wives than God intended. In Deuteronomy 17:17, God said through Moses that the king was not to acquire many wives. David had more than 6 wives as six are named, but 2 Sam. 5:13 says that he took “more concubines and wives.”
- He committed adultery with Bathsheba. He was in his bedroom in the middle of the afternoon, just getting up. Maybe this is another sign of depression in his life. Maybe he was overly confident in his ability as a king or in his army. I do not know exactly why he chose to stay in bed till 3:00 or so in the afternoon, but it got him into trouble. That trouble led to him killing one of his own 30 mighty men and lying to his nation for a year.
- He wanted to build a temple for God.
- He wrote many of the psalms.
- He is considered the greatest king in Israel’s history.
What a history! I could spend a great deal of time discussing many of these events and the application of each. What I want us to see today is that David was not perfect. He did not lead a perfect life. He had many difficulties and problems along the way. The important characteristic of David that we need to attempt to immolate is his faithfulness to God. Even though he sinned on many occasions, he always returned to God. He sought God forgiveness and he would then live in the steps of repentance that were appropriate for the situation.
A man after God’s heart is not sinless. Yes, God is sinless and does not have the capabilities to sin. Man is sinful and does not have the capabilities to be sinless. God moves on our hearts and lives to draw us to Him. Do we place Him as the priority of our lives? Do we think of Him first and foremost? I believe David did ultimately because of the intimacy of the relationship he had with God.