David, the shepherd boy who became king is talked a lot about in the Bible. Fact is many people don’t realize he’s actually mentioned more than Jesus. I mean hey, there were lots of followers of God in the Bible and he loved them all… but King David? Well, he just seem to make God smile!
I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
It’s not just that God wanted something done and David did it. No, it was the special feeling a father gets when he sees his son acting with the same heart he has. It’s like God is saying, “David understands me. He ‘gets’ it”!
And David must have really “got it” because God gave David all kinds of honors. Think of it, the seat from which Jesus will reign from is not referred to as The Throne of Jesus but David’s throne! (Luke 1:32). Then years after David had passed away, his descendant King Hezekiah asked God to heal him when he was dying. God said he would give Hezekiah 15 more years of life both for his sake as well as because of David!
David so blessed God’s heart, he so made God smile, that when God couldn’t bless David any further on Earth, he blesses his descendants just because of him!
Of course David was not perfect, in fact he could do some pretty nasty things. But he had a song on his lips, a spring in his step, and an outlook on life that made the Creator of the Universe smile!
I guess anyone who has that kind of affect on God, well, I’d like to get to know that guy a bit more more. Here are 4 areas I think helped make David a man after God’s heart…a man who made God smile!
1) David was humble
David lived in a time where Kings didn’t have to be humble. There were no Constitutional Monarchies. Everything and everyone around him would be kissing up to David and telling him how wonderful he was all the time. His word was law!
He wouldn’t need God!
Yet David as King never lost the humble heart of that shepherd boy spending many hours singing to his Lord as he watched over his flock.
Later as King when David danced before the presence of God as the Ark of the Covenant made its way into Jerusalem, his wife Michal ridiculed his “undignified” manner. David responded:
“It was before the Lord, …I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes…
2 Samuel 6
David knew he was a King …but a “king” who served a King. That kept him humble and life in a proper perspective!
2) David wasn’t Religious
David never put religious observance before intimate relationship with his father. At one point the religious folk are upset with Jesus for ignoring religious law and ceremony. Jesus answers about people being of more value than those religious observances and then uses David’s example as a defense:
But Jesus said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone?
Servants don’t generally take liberties with rules. They feel their place in God’s household is dependent on keeping the rules of the house so they tend to enforce them strictly. Children don’t view rules quite the same way. They understand their place in the household comes from the love of their parents, not by the rules they keep. The priest was telling David he was not allowed to eat the consecrated bread.
He was a good servant.
David knew his papa would want eaten bread… not starving men!
He was a good son…and God smiled on him!
3) David “owned” his faults
David did some horrid things. In some cases he arguably committed worse sins than his predecessor Saul who God removed from being king. People may question why that is but I feel it came down to David “owning” his offenses. When Saul was confronted about his sins, he was quick to make excuses, begin listing the things he had done right, and try to deflect by pointing to others.
In fact he would have fit in well with a 21st century work place culture in that respect.
David was the opposite. When confronted by the prophet Nathen regarding the murder of his loyal servant Uriah so that he could have his wife David broke down:
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says:
… You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites….
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
2 Samuel 12
When David screwed up he didn’t try to pass the buck, it stopped with him; which ultimately created a heart that could be healed by God.
4) David “Got” God
David may have been king but he had a successful second career as a singer – songwriter. Singer – songwriters tend to feel things deeply and then write those insights into songs that can shape us. David’s songs reveal a deep intimacy with God so much so that bands like U2 still sing his songs 3000 years later!
Look at what David was writing songs about:
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened—
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.
I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”
Writing songs suggesting that offering and sacrifice was NOT what God has as a priority!
The religious person of that day (and of today for that matter) could justly argue from scripture that offering and sacrifice is what God is ALL about. And to suggest that God ultimately wanted to write his law on our hearts?
That’s 1500 years before Jesus really brought that idea front and center…much to the chagrin of the Pharisees.
But David “got” it. Thousands of years before humanity was ready, David was beginning to signal to his listeners that God was more interested in the condition of their hearts than their performance of the law.
And when he wrote these words, he made God smile.
I know God loves me as his child without condition. Because of that I want to be the kind of son who can make God smile. I think these 4 qualities of David can help me…and you!