by Nancy Taylor Tate
I have often been challenged in my own life by the life of David—a man after God’s own heart! In other words, there was something within the very fiber of David that pleased the Lord.
“…I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” Acts 13:22
Reading through the Psalms, it becomes evident that as David sought the Lord in his own life circumstances, the words that flowed from his heart moved beyond his own situations and emotions, into an identification with the Lord, as he gave prophetic expression to the very life of Christ. (see Acts 2:25) From that place of identification with the heart of God, the Lord was able to further reveal Himself through David, as He moved to accomplish His will not only in David’s life, but in a people.
Though the favor of the Lord rested on David, David’s life was not always easy. He knew what it meant to be disregarded, rejected and alone, to have others turn against him. He was a man of war, yet he had a heart of worship. There was a faith in David, with tenacity to stand. Songs flowed from his harp as he played before the Lord…songs of love, songs of trust, songs of repentance, songs of commitment. David’s poise of spirit pleased the Lord.
When Saul was rejected by the Lord as king because of his disobedience, the Lord told Samuel to tell Saul:
“But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.” 1 Samuel 13:14
Later, the Lord sent Samuel to the house of Jesse, to anoint a new king. The youngest son, David, was not even invited in when his father brought the older brothers to meet the prophet Samuel. Nevertheless, this did not hinder the Lord or keep David from receiving that which the Lord had appointed for him to receive.
Fortunately the prophet Samuel was one who knew the Lord and was led by His Spirit. As a child, Samuel had been brought to the temple and dedicated to the Lord. The first time the Lord spoke to him, it was a difficult word to share, yet when Eli asked him what the Lord said, Samuel spoke all that the Lord told him. (see 1 Sam. 3:18) From that point in his childhood, he grew to become one of the greatest prophets in all of Israel. The Word tells us that none of Samuel’s words fell to the ground. (see 1 Sam. 3:19)
The Lord had told Samuel to stop mourning over Saul, who had been disobedient to the Lord, and to go to the house of Jesse, where he was to pour the horn of oil over that new thing God would yet do.
“And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.” 1 Samuel 16:1
Samuel, knowing the voice of the Lord and being sure he was at the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time, thought he knew who God was picking as he looked at Jesse’s sons. Surely, he thought to himself, it is Eliab, standing here tall and handsome.
“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Thankfully, Samuel did not stop at his own opinion, but heard the Lord say no, it is not Eliab; it is none of these. Knowing God had sent him to anoint someone, but realizing it was none of these, puzzled, he asked Jesse, do you have another son?
Jesse sent for his youngest son, David, who was out in the fields caring for the sheep. Hurriedly he was brought before Samuel. The Lord said, this is the one! So Samuel took the horn of oil and poured it over David’s head. (Regarding God’s choice, notice in 1 Samuel 17:26-28 Eliab mocked, but David had faith when Goliath was challenging Israel!)
Later, an evil spirit was troubling Saul, so David was brought to the palace, where he ministered to the Lord on his harp. As he did, Saul was comforted. Yet jealousy rose up in Saul’s heart against David, causing him to throw his javelin at David. That jealousy made him want to kill David, so David ended up hiding in order to stay alive.
Yet because of David’s high regard for the anointing, and the fact that Saul had been anointed as king, David refused to take action against Saul or retaliate in any way. He simply hid, as he waited in trust for the intervention of God.
“And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.” 1 Samuel 24:6
This deep trust in God is seen also when his son Absalom was attempting to usurp his throne. His love for Absalom never wavered!
“And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 18:33
When Shimei, one of Absalom’s rebel friends was throwing stones at David, David refused to try to stop him. David so saw God over his life that he preferred to trust the Lord rather than defend himself.
“It may be that the Lord will look on mine affliction, and that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day.” 2 Samuel 16:12
David was far from perfect. Yet when he sinned, he repented, and allowed the Lord to deal with him, again trusting himself into the hands of God.
“O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly…I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.” 2 Samuel 24:10, 14
David is referred to twice in Scripture as a man after God’s own heart. Later, when David’s descendents prayed into promises God made to David, it is interesting to note they never mentioned his failures. They spoke of him only as God saw him, as they prayed into what God promised him, believing to be recipients of those blessings.
“Now therefore, O Lord God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him.” 2 Chronicles 6:16
We may never have a javelin thrown at us. Yet life gives each one opportunity to make choices. When we are tested, the Lord will build in us a deep inner trust in Him, if we are willing to look to Him in our circumstances, as David did, keeping our hearts right before Him. The Lord would even bring us into an identification with His heart, in situations and for people, also for the time we live in, as we are seeking His heart and desiring His heart to find expression in us.
During times of testing, may we continue to love others and above all, value the anointing in our own lives and in the lives of others. May that love and high regard for the anointing govern our words and the choices we make, as it keeps our hearts open to be recipients of all of God’s blessings that have been promised to those who have gone before us, as well as promises God would give us today.
Though circumstances may vary, this is the working that the Lord would do, not just in David, but in a people today, as the Lord prepares a people who He can use for His End Time Glory. A people whose trust is in the Lord. A people who are keeping their hearts right before God. A people who carry the very heart of God. A people He can trust with authority, for they are under His authority. A people who are not moved by circumstances; circumstances are moved by them, because their trust is in the Lord. They simply walk day by day, endeavoring to keep their hearts right before Him. And from that position, God is able to move in and through them.
David’s one desire was to keep his heart right before the Lord and to live in fellowship with Him. May this become the burning desire and prayer of our lives:
“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4