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Summary: Discover what it takes to be a man after God’s own heart.

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Subject: A Man After God’s Own Heart

Acts 13:22 “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He 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.”

Today I want to compare the lives of two men, Saul and David. Saul was a man rejected by God, David was a man who would reign with God’s anointing upon his life, and become a predecessor to Jesus. Why did God reject Saul and yet anoint David. What sins did Saul commit that caused him to fall from grace, while David ruled with God’s blessing? What does it take to be a man after God’s own heart?

There is one thing we can be sure of and that is neither Saul nor David were perfect men. The Bible makes it clear and exposes the sin of both men. Yet Saul was rejected as king, and David was not.

The difference, I believe was in their heart. Saul sinned, because he had a heart that sought after his own benefit and to please himself. David, despite struggling with personal sin, had a heart to please God and not himself. David is described again and again as a man whose heart was after God’s own. David’s desperate desire to serve God, despite struggling with sin, is probably the reason that more space in the Bible is dedicated to him than any other character, including Jesus. There are many other characters that could be described as after God’s own heart such as Joseph, Joshua, Daniel, Paul, and of course Jesus. I believe David is designated “As a man after God’s own heart, because in spite of so many sinful failures, he still managed to seek after God. Most of us find examples like David easier to relate to than other Biblical heroes.

One theologian, Dr. Benson’s observes on this point that "When it is said that David was a man after God’s own heart, it should be understood, not of his private, but of his public, character. He was a man after God’s own heart, because he ruled the people according to the Divine will. He did not allow of idolatry; he did not set up for absolute power. He was guided in the government of the nation by the Law of Moses, as the standing rule of government, and by the prophet, or the Divine oracle, whereby God gave directions upon particular emergencies.

Whatever Saul’s private character was, he was not a good king in Israel. He did not follow the law, the oracle, and the prophet; but attempted to be absolute, and thereby to subvert the constitution of the kingdom. Another difference between Saul’s reign and David’s reign can also be seen in the way they dealt with their personal enemies. Saul spent much resources and times chasing after his perceived enemy David for personal satisfaction. Saul was willing to put national security in jeopardy for his personal pursuit. He was not a good king. David always sought the nation’s highest good. That’s probably the meaning of David’s being a man after God’s own heart.

Acts 13:22 “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He 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.”


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