From his very beginning, David held a special place in God’s heart. He was the shepherd boy who killed Goliath with only a slingshot and his faith in God. Perhaps his relationship with God was developed while he was taking care of the sheep in the field. Certainly, we know that his experience as a shepherd gave him the background knowledge for the most familiar psalm in the Bible: Psalm 23. He knew the Lord was his shepherd. He had seen His hand in his life as a young boy.
King of Israel
Saul, the first king of Israel, was a great disappointment to God. He did not follow through on his faithfulness. He took matters into his own hands. God told Samuel that He would replace Saul with a man after His own heart.
When Samuel started examining the sons of Jesse for the one God was calling to be Saul’s replacement, God told him not to judge by their appearance. He was looking on the heart. The heart He was looking for was David’s heart.
God sought for a man after His own heart and He found that man in David. He is still searching for someone like David. He is looking for those whose hearts are completely His. Will He find you like He found David – to be a person after His own heart?
The story of David and Jonathan (Saul’s son) is a familiar account of friendship. They were closer than brothers, but because Saul intended to kill David, they were forced to separate. David never forgot his relationship with Jonathan. After Saul and Jonathan had been killed and David gained the throne, David sought out his surviving son, Mephibosheth, so that he could show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake.
Musician and Song Writer
David’s music soothed King Saul’s troubled spirit until Saul’s jealousy drove him away. Perhaps the biggest clues we have about David being a man after God’s own heart are contained in the songs he wrote.
What are those clues? What made David so special? What was so different about this shepherd boy called to be king? How did David earn the distinction of being a man after God’s own heart?
Most important, what can we learn from his life that can help us have a closer relationship with God?
David’s Predetermined Choices
In the many Psalms that David wrote, he declared his trust in God, he prayed to God, he declared God’s glory and he asked God questions. It seems, many times, that we are privy to a private conversation. David seems to be thinking out loud. His prayers are intimate. He is seeking God’s heart. He knows that God is responding to his.
These psalms, written at different stages of David’s life, give clues to where he is and what he is doing at the time. In examining them, you will discover many references to what David plans to do. He declares his predetermined choices. He states the things that he will do. Among these “I will” statements are the following (many of these are repeated throughout the psalms):
- I will praise God
- I will sing praises to your name
- I will pray
- I will worship
- I will bless the Lord
- I will tell of Your marvelous works
- I will give thanks
- I will trust in God
- I will rejoice
- I will wash my hands in innocence
- I will restrain my mouth
- I will teach others the fear of the Lord
- I will wait for God
- I will meditate on God’s wondrous works
- I will lie down in peace
- I will hope continually
- I will go in the strength of the Lord
Like David, we have the ability to start anew each day. Whatever is in the past or whatever is going on today, we can make the same choices David did and be a person after God’s own heart.
© Stephanie B. Blake
(for a Bible study on this subject, see “Will You Be a Person After God’s Own Heart”)