Summary: Part V of a six week series demonstrating how God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

Song: (Shepherd boy song)

++1Sam 16:10 (NIV) "Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, "The LORD has not chosen these." 11 So he asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" "There is still the youngest," Jesse answered, "but he is tending the sheep."

+Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives." 12 So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one." +13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power."

+Characteristics of David:

• +David was a shepherd boy, that God made into a King."

• +David was a fearless warrior - That slew Goliath.

• +David was a skilled musician – Who calmed the king of Israel.

• +David was God’s man. - Because David’s heart was like God’s heart.

+1Sam 13:14 (NIV) But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command."

What was important to God, was important to David.

What was on God’s heart for Israel, was on David’s heart for Israel.

David had a heart for God. Is it any wonder that Jesus would cherish the title "Son of David" and that God would choose David to be the ancestor for the coming Messiah.

+What made David "a man after God’s own heart"? +I believe it was David’s unique understanding of forgiveness.

+Old Testament history tells us that David worked under King Saul for over 10 years, yet much of the time Saul sought David’s life. Saul knew that David was chosen by God as the next king, and Saul was jealous.

David spent many years just running from Saul, yet David showed forgiveness, over and over again. David had so many opportunities to take Saul’s life, yet He didn’t. He showed mercy and forgiveness.

+David’s eldest son Absalom was so angry with his father, that He sought David’s life. David fled the city while Absalom took the crown. Through all of this David chose to forgive. Because, David was a man who understood the importance of forgiveness.

+At another point in the life of David, His position as king went to his head and he committed sin after sin in a short period of time. David slept with another man’s wife, she became pregnant, to cover it up, he had her husband killed. +David wasn’t perfect, but this would put David’s ability to forgive to the ultimate test…could David forgive himself? Psalm 51 captures the heart of David as he is confronted by the prophet Nathan.

Psalms 51:1-4 +"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,"

+Here, David points out what He knows about God.

+God shows mercy; +God’s love never fails; +God’s compassion is capable of removing all evidence of our mistakes, our mess-ups, our errors, our sins. Like a crime scene swept clean!

David could have refused to forgive himself. He could have held tightly to the feelings of guilt and shame… but if he had, he would have never become the man after God’s own heart.

Let me tell you a Story to illustrate my point:

+On a cruise you fall overboard, and you’re not a good swimmer. Two things are tossed your direction. One is a life preserver attached by a sturdy rope to the ship. The other is a lead anchor on a heavy chain that will drag you to the bottom of the sea in a matter of seconds. Which do you grab? It’s a simple choice. But make the situation a bit more symbolic, the life preserver symbolizes forgiveness and the anchor represents guilt. Would you give the same answer? Thousands of people are drowning in guilt because they simply will not forgive themselves. C.S. Lewis once said...

+"I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher authority than Him."

David’s psalms express his understanding of God’s forgiveness. But there is one Psalm in particular that is a masterpiece on the subject of Forgiveness. That is Psalm 130.

+Psalm 130:1 (NIV) Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;

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