1 Samuel 13: 13-14
‘You have done a foolish thing,’ Samuel said. ‘You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.’
1 Samuel 16: 7
...the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’
God saw something in David that nobody else saw. He saw David’s heart. And He saw that David had a heart after His own heart.
What does that mean – He was a man after God’s own heart?
It means more than simply that David obeyed God. That’s part of it – but it wasn’t just about obedience. After all, he did commit adultery and have an innocent man murdered. In fact, if it was just about morality, Saul was maybe more moral than David was. So when it says that David was a man after God’s own heart it’s about more than just obedience and morality.
Any of us can study the Bible every day and learn information about God – we can learn about God’s character and God’s commandments and what God expects from us. We can do all of that for a lifetime and yet never really get to know God. I had lecturers in Theological College who could dazzle us with all they knew about the Bible – but they didn’t know God.
It was all head and no heart.
It was just information – but not intimacy.
David wanted to do more than just know or obey God’s Word – He wanted to know God’s heart. He wanted to understand God’s affections. He wanted to know what God was passionate about, what broke God’s heart, what made God smile – to understand God’s emotions.
He didn’t just want to know about God as someone distant and remote who had to be obeyed. He wanted to actually know God, to experience God, to make God’s heart glad, to delight God and to know that God was delighted with him.
David understood something that most Christians don’t: our God is a passionate God. He feels emotion. He is moved by us. He has desires and intentions, He has a personality and we can make Him happy.
We make God so grey, so two dimensional. So passive emotionally, like a robot. So unmoved and bland. That is not our God. Read the Bible and underline everywhere that it talks about how God felt about people and things.
God feels passionately, He is moved deeply, at times He seems like a lovesick teenager longing for His people, He gets jealous, He is grieved and saddened, He sings with delight, He feels deep emotion for His people.
How desperately we need a revelation of God’s heart.
I think a lot of us find it so difficult to get passionate about God is because we don’t really believe that God is passionate about us.
We talk about God loving us, but it’s like we feel He only does it because He has to. It’s like He technically loves us because Jesus’ death makes Him love us. But deep down we don’t really believe that God really like us, that we make Him smile, that we can make Him sad, that God laughs at some of the things we say and do, He sings over us when we make him happy.
When you have to go and meet someone who you don’t think really likes you – you don’t really want to spend time with them. You just want to get it over and done with.
That’s why I think so many of us struggle to spend time with God. We don’t really think He likes us.
But David had learned something God wants to show all of us. As a young teenager David spent days alone on that lonely hillside, there was just him, God and some sheep. And in that solitude as David played his harp and sang songs to God, God revealed something of His heart to David. Maybe as David sang: 'I love you Lord', he heard God sing back: 'I love you David.'
When he sang: 'I delight in you O Lord.' Maybe he heard God whisper back: 'And I delight in you O David.'
When we read the Psalms that David wrote to God some of it is almost so personal it’s uncomfortable. When you meet two people who are in love it’s almost uncomfortable to be around them at times because they are whispering and saying all these sweet nothings to each other and expressing their affection for one another. At times it almost feels like that with David and God – when you read some of the Psalms and watch David’s relationship with God you almost feel like you’re intruding on something intensely personal and intimate. They delight in each other. They find pleasure in each other’s company. It’s like God smiles when David walks into the room. Such a concept is almost foreign to us and the view we have of God
Look at how he talks to God:
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Ps 42:1-2)
“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. “ (Psalm 67)
“How lovely is your dwelling-place, O LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” (Ps 84:1-2)
It’s almost embarrassing to read this. I mean I love my wife so much, but I’m never going to say this stuff.
Look at what he says in Psalm 18:19:
“He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
Notice he’s not saying that he delights in God – He’s saying that God delights in him. David knows that he can make God’s face light up with joy.
How we need a revelation deep within each of us of the Father’s heart towards us, of our Father’s passion for us, of His desire for us, of His deep affection for us.
Not because we are good. But because we are His.
We are His. And He is ours.
You are His. And He is yours.