Monday, January 3, 2022

A Man After God's Own Heart (1 Samuel 13:1-15)

The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be a commander over His people …” (1 Samuel 13:14).

One of the most admirable characters from the Bible who has enjoyed renown throughout history is King David. His dashing personality, military exploits, and artistic abilities as well as his historical and theological significance have captured the hearts and imaginations of people of all ages and cultures. This shepherd boy who became king was the quintessential Renaissance man more than 2,000 years before the Renaissance.

David lived around 1000 B.C. and began his leadership career as a bandit chief fleeing for his life from a jealous king. He was a renegade warrior, surrounded by outcasts. His military exploits became famous as he secured victory after victory against insurmountable odds. But David’s fame was not confined to his military abilities. He became known as the most gifted musician and poet in Israel. When David had been in good standing with the king, Saul would have David sing to soothe his troubled spirit.

This young warrior from the tribe of Judah became most famous in his early years not for his music but his courage. David gained the reputation of a national champion when he killed Israel’s nemesis, Goliath. Later, his bravery and skill were exercised in military conquests as he secured peace for Israel and established Jerusalem as the center of political activity and worship.

David ushered in the golden age of Israel. His monarchy established Israel as a world power as he defeated threats from without and united the sparring north and south within the Jewish nation. His success cannot be attributed solely to his natural talents but to his anointing by God. David was more than a great musician, warrior, and king. He was a man after God’s own heart.

Nowhere in Scripture do we observe David’s love for God more than in the Psalms. There we experience his fears, doubts, conflicts, and sins. We also rejoice with him in his love, trust, adoration, and submission to His Sovereign King. David knew his kingship was established and sustained by God. And he ruled with the integrity and justice that flows from an intimate relationship with Yahweh. Even though David had his bouts with sin, he worshiped and adored God all the days of his life.

Read 2 Samuel 7. Note God’s promises to David. What do these promises mean for you? How should your response to God in sending Christ be the same as David’s response to God’s promise in verses 18–29. List some characteristics of David’s prayer (humility, for example), and try to reflect the same qualities as you pray.