David: A Man after God’s Own Heart

What can we learn from David?

1) When we read the Psalms of David, we learn that his primary objective was to consistently glorify God. It is easy to see him as a young man herding sheep in the open country, playing his harp and singing his songs. We can still enjoy the blessings of these beautiful psalms today. It was clearly his heart’s desire to praise God’s greatness and omnipotence. God created us humans so that we “should be to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:12). Yes, God still wants to be glorified among us today. Not everyone has the talent to sing or play a musical instrument. However, God has given all of us skills and gifts that we can use to His glory. God wants us to live our lives for His glory and to exalt His name. “And whatever you do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17). “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23).

2) In his approximately 73 psalms (the exact amount cannot be determined with certainty), we gain a small insight into the heart of David. We see his deep desire for God over and over again. God was his light, his salvation, his fortress, his rock, his protection, his strength, his shepherd, and much more. The Lord was everything to him! In emergencies and battles, David clung ever closer to God. How often do people turn their backs to God in disappointment after experiencing difficulties or defeats in their spiritual lives? They decide to try mastering their lives on their own while losing their hold in the almighty God. Let us learn from David and hold on to God in all circumstances. If we consistently live in close communion with God, it will be easier for us to trust God in difficult situations.

3) For a certain period of time, David’s life was in great danger. King Saul wanted to kill him. Twice, David barely escaped Saul’s spear. Then, completely unexpectedly, David was presented with the opportunity to kill Saul in the mountains of En Gedi, thereby ending the threat to his own life. It seems that his companions appeared to him as “angels of light,” so to speak, trying to convince him to kill Saul (1 Samuel 24:1-7). It would have allowed David to become king quickly. However, David was absolutely determined not to act against God’s instructions. He resolved not to take his destiny into his own hands but rather to trust and follow God’s schedule.

Our discipleship should demonstrate similar determination. We need it in almost all areas of our lives. Just think about the areas of your life in which you could use more conviction and learn to say with David: “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing” (1 Samuel 24:6).

4) David’s adultery with Bathsheba marks a dark chapter in his life. We may look at David, this heroic figure, and ask ourselves: “How could he?” However, rather than looking back and judging David, let us take this as a warning for ourselves. We, too, are surrounded by a sinful world full of temptations. God already warned Cain in Genesis 4:7: “If you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” If we are not watchful, sin, regardless of which kind, can affect you and me just as easily.

Although David would have liked to hide his sin, he was not able to do so. It was revealed. And yet, David did not give up in this moment and let go of God. Instead, he humbly sought forgiveness and help from God, bearing the consequences of his sin patiently and without resentment. In his penitential psalm (Psalm 51), we can see his desire to clear the slate with God and to regain a pure heart.

Let us learn from David to glorify God through our lives, to have a close relationship with Him, to walk decisively in His path, and to keep our hearts pure. Do you also have the desire to be a man or a woman after God’s own heart?

Dina Grötzinger
Eppingen, Germany

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