David: A Man After God's Own Heart
David: A Man After God’s Own Heart
I. David was many good things: prophet, psalmist, first king of the Judaic royal line, temple planner, ancestor of Jesus Christ, example of mercy, champion of faith, etc.
II. Scripture notes twice that David was a man after God’s own heart. 1SAM 13:14; ACT 13:22.
A. ACT 13:22 appears to be a hybrid of 1SAM 13:14, PSA 89:20-21 et. al.
B. 1SAM 13:14 was uttered when Saul “...had reigned two years over Israel” (1SAM 13:1).
1. Saul appears to have reigned forty years. ACT 13:21.
2. David was thirty years old when he began to reign after Saul’s death. 2SAM 5:4.
3. Therefore, David was not likely even born until eight years after 1SAM 13:14.
4. David’s current performance as an adult was obviously not in consideration here,
but God can call things which be not as though they were. ROM 4:17.
III. Some Jews and some Christians have used 1SAM 13:14 to justify conclusions which are contrary to sound doctrine and morals (and unbelievers have used it to mock God).
A. Some affirm that because David was a man after God’s own heart that God somehow
approves of or overlooks error in special persons.
1. This makes God a respecter of persons. ct/w ROM 2:11.
2. God will by no means clear/acquit the guilty. NUM 14:18; NAH 1:3.
3. God’s grace and mercy does not justify present sin. ROM 3:8; 6:1-2, 15.
B. God’s heart is clearly against sin. GEN 6:6; JER 7:31.
C. One may actually pursue God’s heart unto his own condemnation. EZE 28:2, 6.
1. God’s making His Son to suffer the death that we deserved is not a model for men to punish someone for crime committed by someone else. EXO 23:7; DEU 24:16.
2. God’s forsaking of His obedient Son (MAR 15:34) is not a model for fathers to forsake their own obedient children. 1TI 5:8.
3. God’s inevitable destruction of the earth (2PE 3:10) is not a model for men to destroy the earth. REV 11:18.
D. One should be cautious as to how he interprets and applies 1SAM 13:14.
1. David being after God’s own heart does not justify introducing musical instruments
to church worship as David did. 1CH 16:4-6.
a. The N.T. order of church worship authorizes only singing. EPH 5:19.
b. Importing O.T. orders of worship like musical instruments would also justify
importing incense, burnt offerings, sabbaths, holy days, etc., all of which were institutions peculiar to the O.T. Jewish church’s service.
2. David being after God’s own heart does not justify a N.T. minister’s retention of his pastoral office after being judicially censured (blamed) for sin because David retained his office as king after he sinned. 1TIM 3:2.
3. David being after God’s own heart does not justify us to engage in the polygamy which God tolerated in David. MAT 19:4-6 c/w MAT 5:27-28.
IV. David committed a number of errors which cannot be justified by him being a man after God’s own heart.
A. David multiplied wives to himself in opposition to God’s law.
DEU 17:17 c/w 1SAM 19:11; 2SAM 3:2-5; 5:13; 11:27.
B. David was slack in child-training. 1KI 1:6.
C. David overlooked Amnon’s wickedness. 2SAM 13:21.
David, A Man After God’s Own Heart
D. David soft-pedaled Absalom’s killing of Amnon. 2SAM 13:37.
E. David illicitly numbered Israel. 2SAM 24:1-10.
F. David transported the ark in an illicit manner. 2SAM 6:1-11.
G. David committed adultery with Bathsheba, then sought to cover it up with sin after sin.
H. How could he commit these errors and be a man after God’s own heart? Are unbelievers justified in mocking God and the Bible because of the above?
V. There were other notables whose errors should not be assumed to be acceptable to God.
A. Noah was uniquely righteous in his day (GEN 7:1) but his drunkenness doesn’t excuse
drunkenness in believers. GEN 9:21.
B. Abraham was exemplary in faith (ROM 4:3) and the “friend of God” (JAM 2:23) but his
adultery/bigamy will not justify ours. GEN 16:1-4.
C. Moses was a great man of God but his perturbed unbelief will not justify our unbelief any
more than it was excused in him. It cost him Canaan. NUM 20:12 c/w HEB 3:19-4:1.
D. Rahab the harlot was noted for faith and works while she still lived in Jericho (HEB 11:31;
JAM 2:25) but it would be unwise to build a case for Christian prostitution from her
E. Solomon was renowned as a wise king, preacher, and prophet (MAT 12:42) and a type of
Christ but his polygamy and idolatry (1KI 11:1-6) are not models for our Christianity.
VI. 1SAM 13:13-14 was a rebuke of King Saul’s failings as king. It particularly reproved his public character rather than his private character.
A. Saul rejected the commandments of God. c/w 1SAM 15:22-23.
B. Saul illicitly played the role of priest. 1SAM 13:9-10.
C. Saul ruled as a headstrong autocrat without consideration of the word of God, was rejected and slain for it. 1SAM 16:1-3; 1CH 10:13-14.
D. By contrast, David’s public character was notable in that he:
1. was bold in the Lord for His people. 1SAM 17:26.
2. routinely enquired of the LORD. 1SAM 23:2, 4; 30:8; 2SAM 2:1; 5:19, 23; 21:1.
3. stood for rule in the fear of God, judgment and justice (2SAM 23:3; 8:15). He
ruled the people for God, not as God.
4. led and fed God’s people with integrity. PSA 78:70-72.
5. made one grievous, deliberate error to injure a fellow Israelite in his public power.
6. was humble to divine correction. 2SAM 24:14; PSA 51.
7. saw not the people but his own evil as the problem (2SAM 24:17) whereas Saul
saw everyone that was good as the problem (Samuel, David, Jonathan, priests at
8. because of His fidelity to Israel’s God, Law, oracle, constitution and true worship,
became the standard by which kings were measured.
1KI 3:14; 15:3-5; 2CH 17:3; 29:2; 34:2.
VII. David was a man after God’s own heart: magnified God’s word, was careful for the people, executed judgment and justice for all, and justified God rather than himself in failings (PSA 51:4). That makes for a good ruler, not an excuse for others to violate the law of God or presume upon His mercy.
A. Jesus Christ is the only pure model of obedience to God.
B. Our rule is “What has God commanded?,” not, “What did a faithful sinner do?” 1JO 5:3.
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