20b “After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. 21 Then the people asked for a king, and He gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. 00 After removing Saul, He made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after My own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
This is Paul speaking in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch on the Sabbath.
(Short note: Pisidian Antioch was located in the Pisidia area of Galatia. There were a number of cities named Antioch, named by Seleucis I, ruler from 305 to 281BC of the Seleucid Empire from Turkey to Iran where he named cities after his father Antiochus.)
Paul was in the process of giving those in the synagogue a very brief history of the Jewish people transitioning to the time of judges and kings. He speaks of the first two kings, Saul (his namesake) and David. Of David he reminds them of what God said about David.
I have found David son of Jesse, a man after My own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.
Part of this is known and quoted by vast numbers of Christians, usually stated as David was a man after God’s own heart. What is left out is why David was a man after God’s own heart. Nor is it stated when we first read of God’s choice of David when the judge, prophet, and chief priest Samuel rebuking King Saul.
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 13:14
The reason Saul was being rebuked by Samuel, were his actions in offering up burnt offerings – something not permitted for anyone other than a priest. Thus as Samuel said he had kept the Lord’s command. Nor do we read anything about Saul repenting. I mention this as David eventually broke God’s commands, but was able to acknowledge his sins and repent.
However, it is Paul who reveals why David was a man after God’s own heart. God, through Samuel, said of David, he will do everything I want him to do. If you read through the Psalms, most were written by David, you will find a man who loved God, took great joy in knowing what he could know about God, and he wanted to do His will. When David failed to follow God or failed to do His will, his Psalms reveal real sorrow and remorse leading to repentance.
I wonder how strong my desire is to do God’s will or to bring my life in line with His will. Certainly when I fail, there is repentance, but the depth of the sorrow and remorse David expresses is missing. It is a question for all of us to ask of ourselves, “Where is my sorrow and remorse when I fail to do as I know the Lord would have me do?”
Something to seriously consider if we wish to be people after God’s own heart. Especially on a day when we give Thanksgiving for all that He has given us.