Tag: David

Examples of Biblical Love

I Corinthians 13:1-3 shows the futility of trying to live the Christian life or do Christian service without love. Without love, we are “empty gongs”, “nothing” and our work “profits nothing”. There is no reward given for any work done without love. All labor done without love is done in vain.

Three times in the Sermon on the Mount (when you do a good deed and sound a trumpet, when you pray so that you can be seen, when you advertise the fact that you are fasting), Jesus said that those who do something for show have their reward. Any recognition on earth is all they get.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 tells of love that never fails – the love that does count with God.

Love suffers long – is patient – endures long – ABRAHAM

And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise (Hebrews 6:15).

Abraham left his homeland and followed God. It was 25 years after God promised a son from Sarah that Isaac was born. Patience is understanding God is in charge and His timing is perfect.

Love is kind: DAVID

Now David said, “Is there anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”(2 Samuel 9:1)

What David did for Mephibosheth was done purely for the love of Jonathan. David was king. He did not need to bless Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth’s grandfather tried to kill David. David’s friendship with Jonathan was so strong that he could not rest until he had discovered if there was anyone in Saul’s household that he might bless – simply because he loved Jonathan.

Love does not envy: CAIN, JOSEPH’S BROTHERS, ANDREW AND PETER

CAIN: And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry and his countenance fell… and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him (Genesis 4:4-8).

JOSEPH’s brothers were an example of jealousy and envy. They sold him into slavery, broke their father’s heart, lived with their sin for years until Joseph called them to Egypt and forgave them. That’s what we have done to God. We break His heart with sin, but His love forgives.

These examples of envy and jealousy were of brothers. How easy it must be for a brother to be jealous of another – even in the family of God. Thankfully, we have the example of Andrew and Peter.

ANDREW AND SIMON PETER. Once Andrew met Jesus, he immediately went to get Peter to introduce him to the Lord. We hear little of Andrew after that. Peter is the brother we hear the most about. There was no hint of jealousy in Andrew’s heart. He loved the Lord and he loved his brother.

Love does not parade itself – does not boast – is not puffed up – is not proud: THE TAX COLLECTOR

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men – extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:10-14). 

… He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). 

Love does not behave rudely – does not dishonor others: JOSEPH, HUSBAND OF MARY

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly (Matthew 1:19). An humble and obedient man, Joseph believed God.

Love does not seek its own – is not self-seeking – does not insist on its own rights: JONATHAN

Jonathan was an example of someone who truly loved David. It was evident because he was not jealous of David nor did he envy his talents, his prestige, or his relationship with his father. His love for David was truly unselfish. Jonathan was the king’s son but did not insist on his own rights.

Love is not provoked – easily angered – is not touchy, fretful or resentful: NEHEMIAH

When Nehemiah was told that the survivors … left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The walls of Jerusalem [were] also broken down, and its gates… burned with fire (1:3), he wept, mourned, fasted and prayed. Nehemiah had a place of privilege with King Artaxerxes. For his own convenience, he could have stayed right where he was, but for the love of his God and his countrymen, he was compelled to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Not only would this be a tangible assignment; it would also give encouragement to those who had survived the captivity.

During the rebuilding of the wall, many tried to ridicule him, stop him, and told lies about him so that he would not accomplish this task. Nehemiah never gave in to those attempts. He remained focused, knowing that God would deal with those who were attempting to stop him.

Instead of being provoked, Nehemiah prayed, set guards around the work that was being done, and continued doing the work. Four times Nehemiah asked God to remember what he was doing and why. Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for its services! (Nehemiah 13:14).

Love thinks no evil – keeps no record of wrongs – takes no account of the evil done to it: JOB

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil (Job 1:1) Job’s “friends” angered God by the advice they gave to Job. Job did not hold that against them. And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before (Job 42:11).

As believers, Satan has lost the battle for our souls, but not for our influence. Satan wants believers to quit doing God’s work God’s way. Over time, as Satan tempts us to be discouraged, live a worldly life, or just take credit for what the Spirit is doing through us, he has succeeded in our good deeds being done in vain and even having a negative influence on others. Jesus’ condemnation of the church in Ephesus was “You have left your first love”. As we call on others to repent and trust Jesus, we must also repent if Christ is not our first love and our only reason for what we do.

© Stephanie B. Blake

March 2016

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Jesus, David and the Psalms

Many men of God knew and loved God long before He appeared in flesh. Perhaps one of the best known was David. It is possible that his psalms are the most familiar passages of the Bible – memorized for their beauty and comfort. It is easy for us to look back among the psalms of David and see Jesus in them. What special revelations of the Savior God gave to this man after His own heart.

Jesus, God’s Only Begotten Son

… The Lord has said to Me, You are My Son, Today I have begotten You (Psalm 2:7).

And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22).

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Jesus, the Judge

But the Lord shall endure forever. He has prepared His throne for judgment (Psalm 9:7).

For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son (John 5:22).

Jesus, the Crucified One

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”…They gape at Me with their mouths…I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint…They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones, they look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots (Psalm 22:1, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18).

Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”…. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:35, 46).

Jesus, the Resurrection

… Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay (Psalm 16:10 NASB).

…”The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”…And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:34, 38-39).

Jesus, the Light of the World

The Lord is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1).

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light that all through him might believe… Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 1:6-7, 12).

Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My Brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me” (Matthew 28:10).

Jesus, the only Savior

Many times David refers to God as his salvation. After he was confronted by Nathan with his sin, David pleads with the Lord, Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit (Psalm 51:12).

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

Jesus. the Ruler

Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him (Psalm 72:11).

The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool…. The Lord has sworn and will not relent, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” The Lord is at Your right hand; He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the nations…. (Psalm 110:1, 4-6).

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True…He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God…And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:11,13,16).

Jesus, the Creator and Descendant of David.

“I am the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16).

God’s Voice in the Psalms

Many a backslidden believer has found restoration in the psalms. Many a confused believer has found guidance in the psalms. Many a frightened believer has found strength in the psalms. Many a troubled soul has found comfort in the psalms. Many have discovered the love of God in the psalms. Many a weakened Christian soldier has found victory in the psalms. Many a lost person has found salvation in Jesus in the psalms.

We have all benefited from God’s special relationship with David.

© Stephanie B. Blake

January 2015

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Will You Be A Person After God’s Own Heart?

 “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22).

Many Biblical heroes served God, did His will and bore a great testimony of their faith.  There was one person that God said was a man after [His] own heart. What was different about David?

David captures our attention for the first time in Scripture as he kills the giant Goliath with only his faith in God and a slingshot.  From then on, his name continues to be mentioned throughout the word of God – even to the last chapter.

His skill as a harp player soothes the troubled spirit of King Saul. Even after God choses David to replace Saul as king of Israel, and Saul’s jealousy and hatred of David leads him to pursue him with murder on his mind, David refuses to touch God’s anointed even when the opportunity to kill Saul presented itself more than once. His relationship with Saul’s son Jonathan is known as one of the most beautiful accounts of friendship ever known.

David’s simple beginnings as a shepherd boy enabled him to write the most quoted Psalm of all time, Psalm 23.  The Lord, who was David’s Shepherd, is known as the Root and Offspring of David, born in Bethlehem, the City of David. When Gabriel appeared to Mary, he informed her that her Son would be given the throne of His father David.

The kingdom was divided after the reign of Solomon, David’s son.  The majority of the kings in Judah and Israel were evil.  The few that followed God were said to have done what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done. During the turbulent years of the kings, God often stayed His hand of judgment for His sake and the sake of [His] servant David.

Certainly, David was not without sin.  God does not sugarcoat the lives of His people.  David sinned greatly, but when confronted with his sin, his repentance was complete and his relationship to God was restored.  He bore the consequences of his sin.  God, nevertheless, said that David did what was right in His eyes except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite (1 Kings 15:5). Although we know that David was not without sin, God also said he was a man after His own heart.

How many of us can say, or want to say, that we are a man or woman after God’s own heart?  How did David earn that distinction?  What can we learn from his life that will lead to a closer relationship to God?

David was not the oldest or even the strongest of his brothers, yet because God looks on the heart, he knew that David would be one who would be faithful to His calling.  When Saul disobeyed God (1 Samuel 13:8-13 – “kindled his own fire” – Richard’s sermon on Isaiah 50: 10-11 – The Dark Night of the Soul), Samuel told Saul,

“But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord has commanded you” (1 Samuel 13:14).

It is not until chapter 16 that David is first mentioned as having been the one chosen by God. When Samuel started to examine the other sons of Jesus for the one God was calling to be king, the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Addressing the synagogue in Antioch, Paul reminded them that God said, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22).  Paul continued, “From this man’s seed, according to the promise God raised up for Israel a Savior- Jesus (Acts 13:23).

After David died, the eyes of the Lord move[d] to and fro throughout the earth that he may strongly support those whose heart is completely his (2 Chronicles 16:9 NASB).  God is still looking for those whose heart leads them to be a person after His own heart.

David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 17:16-27 reveals his seeking after God’s heart and confessing that he is praying because it is in his own heart to do so.

Those who recognized Jesus as the Messiah would often say, Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me (Luke 18:38).

We find some clues to David’s heart by reading his psalms.  From these psalms, written at different times throughout his lifetime, we discover that he made predetermined choices about his relationship to God. In other words, he decided ahead of time that he would be loyal to God.

Study Guide

If you are in a study group, take turns reading these psalms.  If you are doing the study alone, read them aloud to yourself.  Emphasize “I will” as you read.

I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around (3:6).

I will both lie down in peace and sleep for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety (4:8).

For to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up . . . I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; in fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. (5:2,3, 7).

I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High (7:17).

I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You. I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High (9:1, 2).

I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me (13:6).

I will bless the Lord who ahs given me counsel (16:7).

As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness, I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness (17:15).

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Your name (18:2, 3, 49).

I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. . . Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (23: 4, 6).

I will wash my hands in innocence; so I will go about Your altar, O Lord . . . But as for me, I will walk in my integrity . . . In the congregations I will bless the Lord (26: 6, 11, 12).

Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord (27:6).

To You I will cry, O Lord my Rock, do not be silent to me (28:1).

I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my foes rejoice over me . . . O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever (30:1, 12).

I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth . . . Come, you children, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord (34:1,11).

I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people (35:18).

I said, “I will guard my ways lest I sin with my tongue. I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me”(39:1).

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You (51:12-13).

I will praise You forever, because You have done it; and in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good (52:9).

I will freely sacrifice to You, I will praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good (54:6).

As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice  . . . But You, O God shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You (55:16-17, 23). 

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear, what can flesh do to me?. . . In God (I will praise His word), In the Lord (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid, what can man do to me? Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You (56: 3-4,10,11, 12).

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by. I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me . . . My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise. Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples. I will sing to You among the nations (57:1-2, 7-9).

I will wait for You, O You his Strength, for God is my defense . . . But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises, for God is my defense, My God of mercy (59:9, 16-17).

Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. . . I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings . . . So I will sing praise to Your name forever, that I may daily perform my vows (61:1, 2, 4, 8).

O God, You are my God; early will I seek You. . . because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name . . . Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice (63:1, 3-4, 7).

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving (69: 30).

But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more . . . I will go in the strength of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only . . . also with the lute I will praise You – and Your faithfulness, O my God! To You I will sing with the harp, O Holy One of Israel (72:14, 16, 22).

I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O Lord, I will sing praises. I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set nothing wicked before my eyes . . . I will not know wickedness (101:1-4).

I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You O Lord, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to You among the nations (108:1-3).

I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; Yes, I will praise Him among the multitude (109:30).

For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, “Peace be with you.” Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good (122:8-9).

I will praise You with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name (138:1-2).

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well (139:14).

I will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever (145:1-2).

I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness ( 145:5-6).

Study Guide

Pay attention to the frequency with which David made some predetermined choices. Use these as a springboard for discussion.

David said, “I will:”

Praise God 

Praise the Lord according to His righteousness – praise You with my whole heart – praise You among many people – praise You forever – praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good – praise His word – praise His word – praise His word – render praises to You – sing and give praise – awaken the dawn, praise You, sing to You among the nations – sing praise to Your name forever, that I may daily perform my vows – my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live: I will lift up my hands in Your name – praise You yet more and more – lift up my hands in Your name

Sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High – sing praise to Your name, O Most High – sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me – sing praises to the Lord – sing and give praise – sing of Your power – sing aloud of Your mercy – sing praises for God is my defense – praise the name of God with a song and will magnify Him with thanksgiving – also with the lute I will praise You – sing with the harp – sing of mercy and justice – sing praises – sing and give praise – awaken to the dawn – praise You, O Lord among the peoples – sing praises to You among the nations – greatly praise the Lord with my mouth – praise Him among the multitude – praise You with my whole heart – worship toward You holy temple – praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made – praise Your name forever and ever

Pray

Pray – will cry – call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice – cry out to God Most High – from the end of the earth I will cry to You

Worship 

Come into Your house – dwell in the house of the Lord forever – abide in Your tabernacle forever – Worship toward Your holy temple

Bless the Lord – in the congregations I will bless the Lord

Bless the Lord – bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you

Extol You – extol You, my God O King (extol-praise enthusiastically)

Go about Your altar

Witness

Tell of all Your marvelous works – make mention of Your righteousness – declare Your greatness

Give Thanks

Give thanks – give thanks to You forever –give You thanks in the great assembly

Not Be Afraid 

Not be afraid – fear no evil – not be afraid, what can man do to me? – whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You – in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge

Trust 

Trust – trust in You. – my soul trusts in You – trust in the shelter of Your wings

Rejoice

Be glad and rejoice in You – in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice

Offer sacrifices of joy – freely sacrifice to You

Live Righteously 

See Your face in righteousness

Wash my hands in innocence

Walk in my integrity

Behave wisely

Walk within my house with a perfect heart

Set nothing wicked before my eyes – not know wickedness

Guard my ways lest I sin with my tongue – restrain my mouth

Teach Others

Teach (children) the fear of the Lord – teach transgressors Your ways

Wait and Meditate on the Lord 

Wait on Your name, Wait for You

Meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wondrous works

Live in Peace, Hope, and Strength of the Lord

Lie down in peace

Look up

Hope continually

Go in the strength of the Lord God

Just as David did, we have the choice to determine whether or not we will follow God.  Those choices can make us people after God’s own heart.

© Stephanie B. Blake

Scripture quotations are from the NKJV

 

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Heroic Shepherds

Usually, when one thinks of a hero, someone who has been through the battlefields of war or has achieved widespread acclaim because of their accomplishments for mankind comes to mind. It is unlikely that anyone would initially think of shepherds as heroes. Yet shepherds are some of the notable heroes of scripture.

Abel, the First Shepherd

Abel, son of Adam and Eve, was a keeper of sheep. He gave the proper sacrifice to God when he brought the firstborn of his flock. God gave His only begotten Son – the firstborn among many brothers – so that whoever believed in Him would be saved.

Abraham, a Wealthy Shepherd

When Abraham proved to God that he trusted Him above all else, God substituted the lamb (ram) for the sacrifice of Isaac. John the Baptist announced that the living Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The writer of Hebrews tells us that the Good Shepherd offered Himself as the sacrificial lamb, one sacrifice for the sins of all time.

Jacob, a Shepherd in Love

For the love of Rachel, Jacob served Laban fourteen years – seven for Leah and seven for Rachel. Before he died, he gave a blessing to his beloved son Joseph who was Rachel’s child. Israel (Jacob) acknowledged that the God of his fathers had been his shepherd all through his life and that his son Joseph was strong because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.

Moses, a Shepherd in Training

Before leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses spent forty years as a shepherd in Midian. This period of obscurity, guiding and protecting defenseless sheep, was preparation for forty years spent in the wilderness with fearful and stubborn people.

David, the Giant Killer

Although a youth, David’s experience as a shepherd enabled him to fight the giant Goliath. Even as king, David never forgot lessons learned tending sheep. His Psalm 23 is the most often quoted Psalm of the Bible.

Shepherds in the Field

Humble God-fearing shepherds were honored by a visit from an angel announcing the birth of the Christ child. Finding Him in a manger made them feel quite at home.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd

Shepherds, under-shepherds and sheep are an important part of God’s story. He warns against false shepherds. He calls His people His flock.

The Old Testament characters above (and others) pointed to the coming of the Chief Shepherd, the Son of God. Although heroic in their actions of protecting the sheep under their care, the true hero of the Book is the Good Shepherd, the Lamb that was slain.

The_Shepherd_and_his_Flock

Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rules for Him; behold His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young (Isaiah 40:10-11).

What Was So Special About David?

Shepherd Boy

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?

Faithful Friend

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

July 2011

(for a Bible study on this subject, see “Will You Be a Person After God’s Own Heart”)