David is the man known as the man after God’s own heart. Do you know David’s story? If not, it’s worth noting. David was a man who was far from perfect. He wasn’t the “cool kid,” but he was chosen as king. He was small and insignificant, but he killed the giant Goliath. He didn’t make the most upright decisions as king of Israel, but his line is the line through which Jesus, our true king, was born. If David was a man after God’s own heart but was insignificant and a failure, this gives hope for everyone.
David started out as a young shepherd. When God sent Samuel to Jesse’s home to anoint the new king, neither Jesse nor Samuel ever dreamed that David might be the one. However, when Samuel had seen all but one of Jesse’s sons and none of them were the one to be chosen as king, David had to be found in the pasture, and low and behold, he was the one God had chosen as the future king of Israel.
David’s most notable failure occurred after he became king. He made the biggest mistake of his lifetime by committing adultery with with Bathsheba and trying to cover his sin by having Uriah killed. However, when David was confronted about his sin, he repented and was forgiven. Not that David didn’t pay for his sin and suffer for it, but he repented and was forgiven by God.
David’s humility and commitment to keeping his life right with God and lead the people in a righteous manner is the reason why he is called the man after God’s own heart. It has nothing to do with David’s own righteousness or his actions. It has to do with the state of his heart and his desire to be right before God.
So no matter where you are or what you’ve done, David probably did the same or worse. Remember that like David, what matters to God is your desire to do right and willingness to repent and turn from your ways. It has nothing to do with your level of perfection but with your level of reliance on the Lord to make you righteous before him.
This is a great example of how the old testament can still be an encouragement for us today. See more examples on our blog here.