“I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” Acts 13:22
In Monday’s devotional I shared with you about how surgery three years ago was necessary to repair damage that caused a heart attack. Since that time, I have been under the care of an excellent cardiologist, taking a regimen of appropriate medication, and intentionally working to make sure I am as healthy as possible.
Caring for my heart is utmost in my mind most of the time. During the past year, the global pandemic has heightened my awareness of how vulnerable I am, and my need for careful precautions and minimizing potential health risks. I want my heart and my life to be as healthy and strong as possible.
The Bible tells us that Israel’s King David was “a man after God’s own heart.” Now that is a strong heart! This declaration about David has been questioned often, especially due to so many incidents in his life that tend to indicate the contrary. Without going into the detailed story, scripture recounts how David was guilty of adultery, and to cover it up, committed murder too. At times he was ruthless and focused on military dominance and power. All of this seems quite the opposite of God’s heart of righteousness, love and grace.
David’s life was a portrait of success and failure, and the biblical record highlights the fact that David was far from perfect. But what made David a cut above the rest was that his heart was pointed toward God. He had a deep desire to follow God’s will and do “everything” God wanted him to do. He was a man after God’s own heart.
So, what is the lesson in this for us? First, we should not follow in David’s footsteps or imitate his actions. David, like so many of the characters in the Bible, are not examples for us to follow. Yet there is a truth behind David’s intent to “do what God wanted him to do.” Although he often failed, David’s desire was to obey God in his life.
Secondly, David sinned but was truly repentant. He admitted his sin and made steps to change his sinful ways. In the end he asked for and was granted forgiveness. In his latter years, David lived in obedience to God. With a willingness to admit our sin and to amend our bent to sinning, this is the way we all can live with a strong heart for God.