I finished the book of 1 Samuel and started 2 Samuel over the long holiday weekend. Saul and his sons (except Ish-bosheth) were killed by the Philistines. Many a battle was recorded in these chapters. Much bloodshed. Turmoil. The kingdom was torn apart for several years, with David ruling as king of Judah, and Ish-bosheth king of the other tribes. More intrigue and bloodshed.
And more wives for David. I have counted seven thus far, and I have not yet reached the story of Bathsheba. Wow. As a wife, I cannot imagine the hurt and turmoil in David’s own home! Indescribable.
Yet as I sat reading about, and passing judgment upon, this king of old, God gently reminded me that He Himself declared that David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).
Now, does that mean that God approves polygamy? NO! Nothing that goes against God’s will, God’s plan, God’s holiness, will ever be found in Him. There are no mistakes, no evil, no wrongdoing in God. We are told that His heart is actually grieved by sin and its effects (Genesis 6:6, Judges 10:16, John 11:33-35).
Hmm. I am no better than David. My sins are simply different, not “lesser”. God takes us sinners, washes us clean in Jesus’ blood, and clothes us in His righteousness so that we may stand before Him. He loves us, works in us and through us, in spite of us.
But what was there about David that caused the LORD to say his heart was after His own?
The Psalms of David give us some idea of the man.
“I will praise [thee], O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.” ~ Psalm 9:1 (KJV) He praised with his whole heart, and testified of God’s works.
“But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.” ~ Psalm 13:5 (KJV) He trusted God’s mercy and rejoiced that He had saved him.
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” ~ Psalm 16:9 (KJV) He was glad! He rejoiced and chose to rest in hope.
“Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited [me] in the night; thou hast tried me, [and] shalt find nothing; I am purposed [that] my mouth shall not transgress.” ~ Psalm 17:3 (KJV) He wanted God to test and prove his heart. He purposed to do his best to not sin.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” ~ Psalm 19:14 (NASB) He prayed that his words and thoughts would be acceptable in his Redeemer’s sight. God was his rock.
“Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” ~ Psalm 26:2 (KJV) He asked God to examine, prove, and try him.
“[When thou saidst], Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.” ~ Psalm 27:8 (KJV) He obediently followed and sought after God.
“The LORD [is] my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” ~ Psalm 28:7 (KJV) He trusted in God for strength, protection, and help. He rejoiced and praised!
“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.” ~ Psalm 40:8 (KJV) He knew God’s commandments and delighted in doing His will.
“For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.” ~ Psalm 40:12 (KJV) He acknowledged and confessed his problems and sought God’s help.
“Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.” ~ Psalm 86:11 (KJV) He recognized his need for God’s instruction and chose to walk in His truth and fear Him.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:” ~ Psalm 139:23 (KJV) Yet again, he asked God to search him and try him and know him.
Okay, it really is encouraging to know that David wasn’t perfect, yet his heart desired and sought after God. I want to seek after God like that.
“[[[A Psalm] of David.]] I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.” ~ Psalm 138:1 (KJV)