~But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee. 1 Samuel 13:14
Those are the words of the prophet Samuel spoken to Saul concerning David, who is to succeed him to the throne.
~And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. Act 13:22
This raises the question of what is a man after God’s own heart. To better answer that question, we need to take a look into David’s life.
David was not a perfect man by any description of the term. However, even as but a young boy, he was a man of deep faith and understanding. He didn’t fear the enemy because he knew His God was bigger.
~Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. 1 Samuel 17:45
Unfortunately, we tend to remember the worst and failures of people. As much as we are familiar with the David and Goliath story, we are also quick to associate David with his sin with Bathsheba, and instead of recalling David as a courageous and God-fearing man, we remember him as an adulterer and murderer. However, the significance with David was his ability to realize and to repent of his sin. I believe David was a man after God’s own heart, because he regretted sin and when he realized that there was sin in his life he asked God to forgive him and turned from his sinful activity.
~And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 2 Samuel 12:13
Repentance is an important concept; it’s more than just confession of sin, but the turning away of sin. It requires a change of heart. We must identify and understand sin and put it out of our lives. I could be wrong, but I believe that one of the main reasons why David is called by the Lord a man after His own heart is because David was sin-conscious and had the capacity to turn away from it. He had the courage to effect change in his life. It’s also important to note that David not only turned away from his sin, but also accepted the consequences thereof.
~Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshiped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. 2 Samuel 2:20
We know we serve a Holy God, that is, without sin. He cannot even so look at sin. As the children of God, we should strive to be men and women after God’s own heart, that is, to acknowledge the sins in our lives, turn away from them, and to aslo accept that we reap what we sow. God’s own heart is a heart that despises sin. That should be our heart also. Thankfully, we have the assurance that if we ask Jesus Christ, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9) and will create in us a new heart, like unto His.
~Create in me a clean heart, O God. Psalm 51:10