I don’t know about you, but I am never perfect. Ouch. That’s hard for this perfectionist to admit, but it’s true. Try as hard as I might, I am just not perfect, and I never will be. Perhaps that’s why David is one of my favorite characters in the Bible.
In 1 Samuel 13, God rejects Saul as king after he impatiently offered a burnt offering instead of waiting for Samuel. In verse 14, God tells Saul, “…the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart; and the LORD has appointed him to be ruler over his people.” He is speaking of David.
David, the raiding pirate. David, the adulterer. David, the murderer. This certainly does not sound like a man who follows God wholeheartedly. Or does it?
David commits many sins. However, he repents completely and humbles himself before God repeatedly. We see this most clearly in 2 Samuel 11 & 12, the story of David’s adultery with Bathsheba and its consequences. After the prophet Nathan’s parable and rebuke, David admits his sin. He then humbles himself before God praying and fasting on behalf of his and Bathsheba’s child who has been struck ill. Through the picture painted by the author of 1 & 2 Samuel, we see David communing with God, talking with God, relying on God for protection, writing psalms of praise to God, dancing before God as the ark is brought into Jerusalem, and seeking God’s direction. I think God calls David a man after his own heart because God knew David’s heart, and his heart was devoted to God. Sure he messed up. But he never wavered in his devotion to God. In comparison to Saul, Solomon, and the myriad of kings of the divided kingdom, David stands out because of his wholehearted devotion to God. He is remembered as a wholehearted follower of God despite his imperfections and missteps. What better way to be remembered?