David’s development into a Man After God’s Own Heart
Have you ever met someone who is really smart or really good at something? Our tendency is to shrug it off and just think, “well, they’re just smart.” We rarely think of the long journey they may have traveled to get to that point. There is always a story behind someone who is accomplished. Like they say, “behind ever successful man is a surprised woman.” Just checking if you are reading carefully😊.
When scripture refers to David as “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) we tend to look at David in the same way we look at super smart people - we think: that’s just the way he is, he’s just a godly man. But what about the long, hard path that preceded David’s spiritual maturity?
I’ve been preaching through the life of David on Sunday mornings and one thing that I noticed was that even though David displayed a heart for God early in life, he didn’t always do things right – he became a man after God’s own heart through the pressures and trials we read about in 1 Samuel.
Here’s a brief review of key chapters in 1 Samuel:
Ch. 16 David was anointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel, when was like 13 years old.
Ch. 17 David killed Goliath and demonstrated his ability to trust God and lead like a king when he said; “Let no man’s heart fail because of this Philistine, I will go fight” (17:32) [That’s something that Saul should have said….but that’s another story].
Ch. 18-19 Jonathan, Saul’s son and heir, willingly submitted to David’s kingship – he was no longer interested in being king. Contrast that with Saul, who tried to kill David 7 times was no longer fit to be king.
Ch. 20 David had to leave his home, his job, and his best friend (Jonathan), all because Saul was still trying to kill him.
David struggled with change. Samuel anointed him as the next king, but he was disoriented by Saul’s attempts to kill him. Surely if God had a plan for blessing David, the path to that blessing would be smooth, right? Not so much.
Here’s the issue: David was unable to rectify God’s choosing him and Samuel’s anointing him with Saul’s attempts to kill him.
So, what did David do? He ran to his homies for help. In chapter 19 he ran to Samuel to try to figure out why Saul was trying to kill him. In chapter 20 he ran to Jonathan to try to figure it out. In chapter 21 he ran to a priest (Ahimelech) to try to figure it out. It appears that at this young age David had not yet developed the deep trust in God that he later demonstrated in 1 Samuel 30:6 when in response to his own men speaking of killing him, he did not run to Samuel or to anyone else, he had learned to rely on God:
"And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God" (1 Sam. 30:6)
Like David, we can become men and women of God through our responses to the trials and stresses God allows in our path.
May we be a people that also grows into becoming people after God’s own heart, and may we also learn to rely on God and not run to Facebook when we are in distress. (Trust me, Facebook is the last place we should go when we are distressed!)
Enjoy walking with the Savior today,