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Posts Tagged ‘1 Samuel 16:7’

When we hear of the name of King David our minds think of Goliath, death threats from King Saul, naked dancing in the streets, bad children, and, of course, Bathsheba. His is not a life to emulate! And yet, Samuel says of David, “the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people” (1 Samuel 13:14).

A man after God’s own heart …

That is the verse that has had me wondering for years. When I see my Creator face to face, I will ask for further explanation. It makes me wonder, if David’s had God’s heart, maybe I have hope too.

When I was young, and idealistic, I have to say I thought the whole thing of David having a heart like God’s was a typo. Really how could a man who messed up so often, with so many people (his family, and an entire nation) and with such dire consequences, have a heart after God’s own heart? That just makes no sense. That just does not seem to be logical.

Maybe the clue to how David had the heart of God comes from when the prophet Samuel came to anoint one of the sons of Jesse as the next king of Israel. The first son he meets is the eldest, Eliab and he would seem to have looked like the right man to sit on the throne, because “Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord” (1 Samuel 16:6).

But God interrupted the thoughts of Samuel on his first impressions of Eliab, and He said to Samuel, “do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Maybe David was only about ten when God had Samuel anoint David as king, but God saw his heart. He saw:
the gentle shepherd boy,
he saw the brave giant killer,
he saw the man who would lose all kingly demeanor and dance, un-robed, as the Ark entered the city,
he saw the great leader,
he saw the very human man who blew it royally (pun intended) by staying home while his soldiers fought on, who allowed his hands to take what his eyes desired (in another man’s wife), and who killed her husband,
who focused on his kingly duties to the point of forgetting his fatherly responsibilities,
who chose Solomon, not his eldest, as successor,
he saw a man from whose genealogy the Messiah would come, and through whom there would “never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel” (1 Kings 2:4).

In short, God knew how very human was David’s heart, but He loved it anyway! Just as God does with the hearts of all humankind. It is by His grace, that we too can hearts after God’s own heart.

And, like David, I want to reach the end of my days and have people say that my heart looks like the heart of God.

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I so vividly remember Thanksgiving Sunday, sixteen years ago …

I had spent the night in a hospital, in a city I didn’t live in, not knowing why I had been having the most dreadful, take you breath away (literally) pains for over a day. I was wheeled to Sonography for an ultrasound, which revealed the ‘problem’ … I was pregnant, and the pregnancy had attached to my fallopian tube. It’s growth was causing my life to be threatened.

Once that knowledge had been attained, I was immediately prepped for surgery, and wheeled into the OR to have the tube and the pregnancy (the baby) removed. It was a day that made thanks-giving a struggle. On the one hand, I was thankful for my life, and on the other I was mourning the loss of our fifth pregnancy, our fifth child.

And life moves on …

About twelve and a half years ago I was visiting my doctor to confirm what I had already guessed … I was pregnant.

Now for most that declaration might bring a smile to your face, but, with our history of incomplete pregnancies it was just step one of a very long, very anxiety-ridden time.

When my doctor told me the due date would be October 17, I asked him to look to see when Thanksgiving Sunday would be. His reply, “October 10.” To which I replied, “I’m having this baby on that day.”

On October 9, 1999, as I bent over to tie my shoes, the first discernible beginnings of labor began. And the following day … Thanksgiving Sunday … on the tenth month of the tenth day, at ten past ten in the morning our son breathed his first breath, and cried. And so did we, with more thanksgiving than we had ever hoped.

And, today he turns twelve. He is on the cusp of all that adolescence holds and brings to a boys body, mind and soul. He is eager to physically look down on me. He is not too eager to have signs of affection shown to him in public, and has not yet reached the point of maturity that can handle hearing me tell stories of when he was younger (but if I could, there would be rafts of great and humorous tales of adventure and mayhem). He is eager for his voice to change, but has not yet started to empty the hot water tank when in the shower. He’s on the cusp.

Who is this boy to soon become man? He is the one who wants to give hugs (even to his sisters). He is a creative soul, who would prefer to build than to tear down. He is the football player who is struggling to put all his weight into it when coming up against the other team players, because he really doesn’t want to hurt them. He is the only child we have ever gotten a call from school about … apparently on top of another boy hitting (if only he could divert this to football). He is a philosopher who, while the rest of us are talking nonsense, will awaken from his silence and share his deep thoughts about something he has been turning around in his mind for a time. He is not a ‘school’ academic, but he is a most natural student of life, who will probably study far more than his report cards ever indicate. He is our only son, and in him we are well pleased.

But what do I want for him? I want him to be a man after God’s own heart.

Samuel referred to David this way. He told King Saul that because he had not done what the Lord had commanded, his kingdom, his rule that was supposed to have lasted a long time, would end. He also told the King that because David was a man after God’s own heart, he would inherit (though not by birth, so much as God’s appointing) Saul’s kingdom.

A man after God’s own heart … what a grandiose hope for an adolescent boy. But, it was as a boy, the youngest in the family (probably called the Hebrew equivalent of ‘little puke’ by his older brothers), that David was first anointed as the next king of Israel. God’s plan for David’s life was not hampered by his last of bloodline, his youth, his size or lack of formal education. God had a plan that was born out of the condition of David’s heart, and it was that one quality that made David God’s man for the job.

I pray that my son’s heart will, like David’s, be one that seeks to be in unison with the heart of God. There is no other dream or desire that I pray more earnestly for his life. It is in being one with God that, even in sin (and boy, did David know sin, and failure), redemption can be received.

“But the LORD said to Samuel,

“…The LORD does not look at the things people look at.

People look at the outward appearance,

but the LORD looks at the heart.” “

1 Samuel 16:7

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