Tuesday, 5 May 2015

David - A Man after God's own Heart

We read in Acts chapter 13 v 22 ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.’  It is incredible when we think of David and his moral failings that his Biblical legacy is that he was a man after God’s own heart.  

David lived a remarkable life; he was born into a rural farming family the youngest of 8 sons, he was athletic and brave as a shepherd boy, he was divinely chosen to be King and anointed by Samuel, he was a great harpist and played for King Saul, he defeats Goliath and becomes a national hero,  he is hated by Saul who pursues him on a murderous campaign, the tribe of Judah anoints him as King eventually followed by the tribe of Israel, David captures Jerusalem, he sleeps with another man’s wife and then murders him, his son Absolom rebels against him and David once again becomes a fugitive.  Finally he anoints his son Solomon his successor who goes on to build the temple.  He also writes some of the most famous songs in history.  What a life!  What can we learn from it?

1.  David is an example that the life of faith is full of ups and downs.  David was possibly the world’s greatest poet and song writer.  The Psalms are read and sung by millions of people around the world.  God used David’s incredible life to forge these amazing ‘songs of experience’ that are still being blessed to millions centuries later.  Psalm 51 is a gut wrenching poem written after he grasped the extent of his moral failings.  It gives us hope that even after we sin we can find grace and mercy.  David gives us hope that God can use us even in our mistakes and failings to bring glory to him. 

2.  David helps us to see that a nobody can become a somebody.  Samuel was sent to the house of Jesse to find the future King of Israel.  He took one look at David’s brother Eliab and thought he must be the chosen one.  But God has a very different set of assessment criteria from us – God looks at the heart (I Sam 16 v 7).  We may sometimes feel insignificant and undervalued.  David was a simple shepherd boy working in an isolated part of Bethlehem.  But God had great plans for him because his heart was right.  Sometimes we are called to work in obscurity and in challenging situations, but God knows the ultimate plan.

3.  Whenever God calls he equips.  We read that after David was anointed the spirit rushed on him (1 Sam 16 v 13).  God calls us to some big challenges but he gives us the Holy Spirit to empower us, guide us and comfort us.  The spirit empowered David to be the most incredible leader of Israel and gave him boldness and wisdom.  The same spirit is available to us today.

David, the wee shepherd boy from Bethlehem, pointed to the great shepherd who was to come in the Lord Jesus Christ. David wrote about him in Psalm 2, 45, 68, 110, 118 and 132.  The New Testament opens with three names; Abraham, David and Jesus.  David, with all his faults and failings, was used in a remarkable way to usher in a new and radical kingdom.  While Saul was consumed with hatred and died a tragic death, David stands as a giant in Biblical history because he was a man after God’s own heart.  Let’s follow his example.

If you want to read more of David's incredible life buy Walter Chantry's fantastic book 'David: Man of Prayer Man of War published by the Banner of Truth.

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