The Pursuit

The lion’s pounce pilfered. The bear’s charge bereaved. The giant’s mockery muted (1 Samuel 17:34-36). Though another king and a son’s hatred kindled the flight into the wilderness, and enemies exploited a nation’s weakness. Though it took many military successes to restore the kingdom, and such wars demanded the temple’s delay. The kingdom’s prosperity rose and left an inheritance of peace on the borders. History has proved his reign famous, and his mastery of strength is honored still, but… none of these were the reason David was marked a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).

When 10 commandments measure a man, David excelled in his failures:

  1. No other God’s before me
  2. Make no graven image
  3. Not take the name of God in vain
  4. Remember the Sabbath
  5. Honor thy father and mother
  6. Not kill
  7. Not commit adultery
  8. Not steal
  9. Not bear false witness
  10. Not covet.

King David was the epitome of courage, and the colossal example of humanity’s struggle with sin. The humble start, the prophetic appointment, the survivor of power struggles, the calamity of administrative rule, the betrayals of sons, the abuse of positional privileges, all point to the fact King David was human.

God showed mercy on David, not because he lettered the law and isolated himself in an ivory tower removed from temptations. Like each of us, David was subjected to the struggle of his weakness and times.

King David was a “man after God’s own heart” because he recognized his dependence on God. At the center of his being, his mind contemplated the nature of life, he laid to heart the affections of God’s desire to deliver the soul, and he determined to exalt no other false diety. While his erring heart drifted, and pure naughtiness had its uprising, while pride pulled up a seat, and appetites of temptation seized his passions from time to time, David recognized God for who He is, and never turned his heart against the reality of: 

A God who is holy and says,
“I will not give My glory to another.”  (Isaiah 42:8)

A God who is jealous and
does not degrade the dignity of life. (Ezekiel 18)

A God who “shows mercy”
to those who carefully attend to the covenants. (Psalms 119)

A God who created the universe and
commissioned its order. (Genesis 1; Psalm 19)

A God who speaks. (Exodus 20:19-21; 3:6)
A God who hears. (Proverbs 15:29)
A God who sees. (1 Samuel 16:7)

A God who delights for humans to draw near
to Him un-masqueraded. (Genesis 3:8; Psalms 73:28)

“Salvation belongs to the Lord.”  (Psalms 37:39; Jonah 2:9)
Salvation is our greatest need. Everyone needs to be rescued.

From the lips that moved with songs such as,

Psalm 65:2-3 (CSB)
All humanity will come to you
The One who hears prayer.
Iniquities overwhelm me;
only You can atone for our rebellion.
 

David understood firsthand the physical toll of sin (Psalm 32:3-4; 38:3-8). David groaned the emotional sorrows of a spirit separated from God (Psalms 38:8, 21-22; 51:10-12,17).

King David was a restless sinner.
King David was a dependent worshiper.
King David trusted that God’s holiness must hide from sin.
King David believed that the mercy of the Lord cannot despise confession and repentance.

God delights in converting a sinner and transforming a person into an upright heart.

See David was a man of prayer. The psalms tell us when David’s prayers ended (Psalm 72:20), his life ended and went to the dwelling place of God.

His prayers brought everything before God.  The good, the bad, the ugly. Holding nothing back, David laid all the naked reality at God’s feet, so to speak. There was no performance, no act, no masqueraded show, as if, God didn’t already know, nor, as if, God couldn’t see. Such things, David believed that God existed, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Deuteronomy 4:29-31
But from there, you will search for the Lord your God, and you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart and all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, in the future you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 He will not leave you, destroy you, or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them by oath, because the Lord your God is a compassionate God.

In the spread of life: David’s anger, his happiness, his fears, his victories, his wickedness, his good works, his complaints, his boastings, his accomplishments, and his failures… his humanity. David never elevated himself to a god of his own making. For this reason God calls David “a man after My own heart.”

Do not fear coming to God with all of yourself.
Do fear not coming to Him at all.
He knows. He sees. He will hear.
His Word entrusts His love is faithful.
He will “hold you fast.”

The Lord is the Yahweh, the God who saves, the God who became salvation for you (Philippians 2:5-11). He did for David what He longs for every heart, “not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

Be a man. Be a woman. Be after the heart of God.

Matthew 22:37-40 (CSB)
He (Jesus) said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”

Psalm 63 (CSB)
God, you are my God; I eagerly seek you.
I thirst for you;
my body faints for you
in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.

My lips will glorify you
because your faithful love is better than life.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
at your name, I will lift up my hands.
You satisfy me as with rich food;
my mouth will praise you with joyful lips.

When I think of you as I lie on my bed,
I meditate on you during the night watches
because you are my helper;
I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings.
I follow close to you;
your right hand holds on to me.

But those who intend to destroy my life
will go into the depths of the earth.
10 They will be given over to the power of the sword;
they will become a meal for jackals.
11 But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by him will boast,
for the mouths of liars will be shut.

Isaiah 45:18-25 (CSB)
For this is what the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens,
the God who formed the earth and made it,
the one who established it
(he did not create it to be a wasteland,
but formed it to be inhabited)—
he says, “I am the Lord,
and there is no other.
19 I have not spoken in secret,
somewhere in a land of darkness.
I did not say to the descendants of Jacob:
Seek me in a wasteland.
I am the Lord, who speaks righteously,
who declares what is right.

20 “Come, gather together,
and approach, you fugitives of the nations.
Those who carry their wooden idols
and pray to a god who cannot save
have no knowledge.
21 Speak up and present your case—
yes, let them consult each other.
Who predicted this long ago?
Who announced it from ancient times?
Was it not I, the Lord?
There is no other God but me,
a righteous God and Savior;
there is no one except me.
22 Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth.
For I am God,
and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn;
truth has gone from my mouth,
a word that will not be revoked:
Every knee will bow to me,
every tongue will swear allegiance.
24 It will be said about me, ‘Righteousness and strength
are found only in the Lord.’”
All who are enraged against him
will come to him and be put to shame.
25 All the descendants of Israel
will be justified and find glory through the Lord.

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