A Man After God’s Heart
It is said of David, the great king of Israel, that he was a man after God’s heart. “..The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart…” (I Sam. 13:14) Later, when the prophet went to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be king, the Lord reminded Samuel of the difference between man’s evaluation and God’s. “…For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Sam. 16:7) That being said, those familiar with David’s life know that it was marked by a moral failure of epic proportion. As a result, much tragedy and family brokenness followed David all the days of his life. Ironically, he was assured, as he wrote in the twenty-third Psalm, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life….” (Psalm 23:6)
So the question is this. What made him a man after God’s own heart? The phrase could be rendered as a man of God’s own choosing, placing the accent on God’s sovereignty. But the fuller meaning is better expressed by saying the Lord’s chosen one, David, was “after God’s heart” in the sense of being committed to His will and purpose.
The lesson is clear. Like David, we will sin and fail at times. Those sins will have lasting consequences. Our assurance of God’s goodness and mercy following us all the days of our lives comes from keeping our hearts tender toward God, and desiring to do His will.