Summary: God is looking for a man after his own heart.
We just returned from the Turner Family Vacation in Blur Ridge, Ga. Tragically our first day there my daughter slipped and broke both her leg and ankle. The second day was spent in the hospital while she had surgery. The third day was a waiting period for her release complete with a walking boot and walker. We missed out on waterfall viewing and trail walking. The cabin we were in had no internet service so we missed out on social networking. At my insistence we took no board games so we missed out on the possibility of a family game night. We missed out on a lot of the things we had planned for the three families that went.
Well there is a story of something more important than my tragedy and that is the story of the missing men. According to the Tearfund report the ratio of women to men in church is 65% to 35%. So while men still dominate the priesthood or pastorship, statistics show that 2/3 of the church membership are women and if you look at programs run within the church a much higher percentage of them are led by women than men. The research also showed that if the mother is the first to become a Christian, the probability of the family following is 17%. But if the father is the first, there is a 93% probability that everyone else in the household will follow.
Last month we taught about the woman’s role in the church. And even though we agreed that God called them into public service all indications in the bible point to men taking the leadership role. It began in the Garden of Eden when God commanded Adam, not Eve, to tend to it. Jesus has also called us men, not our wives, to tend to his church. Women will evangelize and invite others to church much more than we guys will. That is why the growth of women in the church is so much higher. We have gotten lazy and lackadaisical, being content on allowing the women to take that leadership role. What if we approached our secular jobs with the same attitude as we do our service to God? We fear a man that we have labeled “the boss” more than we do our creator.
Today I want to introduce you to a man that God thought of very highly. Saul was the King of Israel, appointed by God at the demand of his people. But Saul was disobedient by offering a sacrifice that could only be offered by a priest, thus he was rebuked by the prophet Samuel on behalf of God.
“How foolish!” Samuel exclaimed. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” 1 Samuel 13:13-14
It’s this man after God’s own heart that I want to introduce this morning. His name is David. He was a shepherd. He was a mighty warrior. He was an accomplished musician. He was a ladies man, with many wives.
He committed adultery with a married woman, possibly raping her. After getting her pregnant, he had her husband murdered to cover things up. But the truth became known to the kingdom. (2 Sam 11) But he was a man after God’s own heart.
He was not a good example for his children. David had a daughter named Tamar who was raped by her half-brother, Amnon, and then rejected by him. She became a recluse in her brother, Absalom’s house. Eventually, Absalom had Amnon murdered to avenge the rape and this led to David’s kingdom almost being destroyed. (2 Sam13) But he was a man after God’s own heart.
Although David had faith in God and trusted him, there were times when that faith failed. Once when confronted with King Achish of Gath, he pretended to be insane rather trusting God for his deliverance. (1Sam 21: 12-13) But he was a man after God’s own heart.
We can probably relate to David a lot. Like David, we are not sinless. Like David, we have not been good examples. Like David, we have not always put our trust in God. But like David, we can become men after God’s own heart. For all his faults, David understood the importance of his relationship with God.
1) He understood the importance of the Word
“Oh, how I love your instructions!
I think about them all day long.” Psalm 119:97
David knew of his failures but he also knew that following God’s instructions would protect him from these failures.