Through the Bible we learn about David’s qualities and character, and understand why God called him a “man after My own heart”. This study gives us inspiration for our life of faith. His main character that led him to be such, is – his strong desire to be changed and overcome his fleshly deeds, (through repentance) and this we read in his psalms:
“Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way” (Psalm 25:7-8).
“I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah” (Psalm 32:5).
“Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me” (Psalm 51:1-3).
We all want to be people after God’s own heart. David knew himself well, he was sincere and revealed his weaknesses, failures and disappointments to all of us without shame and out of humility. He did not try to impress people, he just wanted to please God. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
David was God-fearing. He wanted to walk only in God’s way and in His truth: “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name” (Psalm 86:11).
David knew God. He knew that God watches him all the time and knows each step in his life. (the same way God watches us…). He knew that he could not hide from Him: “If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139: 8-10). David wanted God to search his heart, so he also did not mind exposing himself before so many people in the world…
David trusted in God, who sees, hears and knows everything about him (and us…) and his life’s time in His hand…: “But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand…” (Psalm 31:14-15).
The qualities of: humility, fear of God and confidence in God that were in him – are a study and inspiration for us today. David also applied in his life two important qualities, which the word of God speaks of, in the New Testament. He learned to love his enemies, and also to forgive those who hurt him, especially those who were close to him. (Saul who tried to kill him out of jealousy, and Absalom his son who tried to take his place in the leadership of the people). He did not want to take revenge on them, but gave the sentence to God: “For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people” (Heb. 10:30).
In addition to these precious qualities, David was a man of openness, transparency, directness and truthfulness and these we learn from him:
Openness: When we talk to brothers openly about our weaknesses and failures, we bring them to identify with us and they feel comfortable in our company, because we all face the same weaknesses of the flesh. We all know that only God will help us. “My eyes are ever toward the Lord, For He shall pluck my feet out of the net” (Psalm 25:15).
When we are reproofed according to the Scriptures, for sin or for error, we are opened immediately to accept the reproof, confess and want to be changed. “Who can understand his errors? Cle*anse me from secret faults” (Psalm 19:12). We are willing to give up the will of our “ego” in order to do the will of God. “Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness“. (Psalm 143:10).
Openness brings us to remove the walls and defenses we have built throughout our lives, so as not to be harmed by others. These walls we built, came to protect us, but, God says in His word, that only He is our protector, when we walk with innocence and integrity with Him: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 86:11). “But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head” (Psalm 3:3). Openness brings us into a healthy relationship with people and of course with God.
Transparency: God wants us to be exposed to every person, with all our weaknesses, because He knows what is inside us anyway. When we wear a mask and play a double role, we are hypocrites! God hates hypocrisy! We must be who we really are, with all the price we will pay, if we will be rejected when we will speak the truth. “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You” (Psalm 25:21).
We should not impress people, because what really matters is what God thinks of us and not people. The Lord is the one who will judge us and not people. We must say like David: “…For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart (Psalm 26:1-2). We must ask God to examine and purify us today, to prepare us for the day of Yeshua’s return, to stand before Him as a clean bride without wrinkles and blemishes…
Directness: When we sin against our people, we sin against God. Therefore we must turn first to Him directly, confess before Him (and after to confess before others): “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight — That You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge (Psalm 51:4).
When we reproof brethren with love and truth of the word of God and directly, it is for their goodness, even if the truth is painful and uncomfortable to the flesh. And so do we – when we want to be changed in a particular issue in our lives, we turn to God directly and ask Him to search our hearts as we learn from David the king: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139: 23-24).
Truthfulness: Openness, transparency and directness bring us to be true. God loves it! By His grace we can be who we really are and that requires courage and self-sacrifice. Only in this way can we be effective tools in our service for His kingdom. When we walk in truth, we act in freedom, with confidence in the Lord, without fear of being exposed, and without fear of admitting a mistake, knowing that we may all be wrong and need the Lord’s help every day.
David always wanted to learn the ways of God, and to be guided by God’s truth: “Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day (Psalm 25:4-5 ) Therefore God used him for His kingdom in a tremendous way.
And finally – David’s life is revealed before us in the Bible, both through his sins and through his might. All these, as a result of his humility and his strong desire to please God. David was not a perfect man and yet God called him “a man after My own heart”. As God used him tremendously, He also wants to use those of us who want to be changed and live with a pure heart and the right spirit: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
David longed to walk in the light and truth of God, on the way that leads to the kingdom of heaven. We also need today to walk in the light and truth of God on the way to His Kingdom: “Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle. Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God (Psalm 43:3-4).
Thanks be to God!