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Summary: What made David a man after God's own heart - despite the "Bathsheba affair"

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Why did God choose David as king?

Last Monday, Jackie speaking at our Prayer and Praise chose to speak on the passage in which God commissions Samuel to anoint David King in place of Saul.

And I went away thinking:

So why did God choose David?

In St Paul's sermon at Pisidan Antioch, in which he briefly recounts the history of Israel, he refers to the statement made by God concerning King David:

"I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will." - Act 13:22 (cf. 1Sa 13:13-14)

Yet it is the same David

i) who commits adultery with Bathsheba (breaking Commandments 7, 8 and 10),

ii) who then lies about it (breaking Commandment 9),

iii) who then compounds with it murder of Bathsheba’s husband Uriah (breaking Commandment 6)

He breaks at least five of the Ten Commandments at one sitting as you might say – and yet he is “a man after God’s own heart.”

David is also included in the “Hall of Fame of faith” in Hebrews 11 and of course is key in Jesus’ own genealogy.

So what is it about David that makes him a man after God’s own heart?

We can find some characteristics of David from the Scriptures

1. David reverenced God utterly

David had such a high regard for God that he put God before his own self interest

Let me explain

At least twice David had an opportunity to kill his enemy, King Saul and so make his life easier as Saul was chasing him all across Israel

Yet David refused to kill him.

Speaking to Saul, David said:

10 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the LORD’s anointed.’ (1 Sam 24:10)

On another occasion, Abishai urges David to kill Saul and David replied

11 But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.” (1 Sam 26:11)

In Psalm 3, we can see how David thinks and we read of David’s utter trust in God in Psalm 3

1 LORD, how many are my foes!

How many rise up against me!

2 Many are saying of me,

“God will not deliver him. ”

3 But you, LORD, are a shield around me,

my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

4 I call out to the LORD,

and he answers me from his holy mountain.

5 I lie down and sleep;

I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.

6 I will not fear though tens of thousands

assail me on every side.

Does that sum the way I think? I don’t think so.

Wow - what a faith!

2. God was at the centre of David’s life

We see the centrality of God in David’s life in some of the Psalms – psalms obviously bathed in prayer and thanksgiving.

We read in Psalm 5:1-3

Listen to my words, LORD, consider my lament.

2 Hear my cry for help, my King and my God,

for to you I pray.

3 In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice;

in the morning I lay my requests before you

and wait expectantly.

3. David put his life on the line for God’s reputation

The motivation for David slaying Goliath wasn’t to make a name for himself.

Rather it was because David could not stand by and see God’s name despised among the heathen

We read in 1 Sam 17, when Goliath shames Israel by challenging any Israelite to a one- on-one fight to see whose God is greater,

26 David asked the men standing near him,

“………….. Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

And of course we know that David takes up the challenge and kills Goliath.

4. David’s famous sin

Yet you might ask, despite all that, how can David be a man after God’s own heart when he commits adultery with a friend’s wife.

After all Uriah was one of David’s inner circle of commanders and not only does he commit adultery with Uriah’s wife but compounds this by murdering him

I think you will find the key in the 12th Chapter of 2 Samuel where Nathan the prophet confronts David over his sin in committing adultery with Bathsheba

Let me read it to you: 2 Samuel 12

The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor.

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