So in our last episode, David has beheaded Goliath and the Israelites have routed the Philistines…
After that day, Saul refused to let David return to his father’s house. Saul’s son, Jonathan, and David start a friendship that lasts for their lives. Even after Jonathan is killed in battle, David remembers him, and takes care of his son.
David becomes a mighty warrior and King Saul sets him over all of his men of war. At some point, David is returning from battle and the women are singing and dancing with tambourines; when Saul hears their song, he begins to resent him. From that moment on, Saul watched David because he was afraid of him.
The next day, an evil spirit comes over Saul and David begins to play anointed music for the troubled king. This time, however, Saul has a spear in his hand and decides to “nail David to the wall.” (1 Sam 18:11) Fortunately, David avoids him twice that same day. On another day, Saul again tries to kill him, and this time, he threw the spear so hard, it stuck in the wall! (1 Samuel 19:9-10)
I’m not sure how Saul got a third chance there – after the first day, I would have been out of there!
David escapes from Saul, and after being warned by Jonathan that Saul intended to kill him, runs away. David is then persecuted by Saul for years.
On at least two occasions during this time, Saul is within reach of David killing him and ending the madness, but David refuses to touch him; and forbids his men to do any harm, saying he would not touch God’s anointed.
David was an honorable man, respecting the anointing of God, even on a man who didn’t respect it himself. David’s relationship with God caused him to have a heart that would not touch someone whom God had anointed.
Eventually, Saul and his sons (including David’s friend, Jonathan) are killed in battle with the Philistines and David begins to reign as king in Hebron.
For about half of his life, from the time he was anointed by Samuel, until he begins to reign at age 30, David was waiting on God’s timing. He never tried to force His hand, or try to make something happen that God did not ordain. David kept his heart as a man of God, and was patient.
After a few years in Hebron, David is brought back to Jerusalem to reign, and his heart is toward the Lord. David wants to build a “house” for God because up until that time, the presence of God was found in the tabernacle, and Nathan the prophet tells him to do whatever is in his heart. However, the next day, Nathan reveals that the Lord visited him in the night with a fresh word for David.
To paraphrase, God tells David, “You want to build a house for Me, but I will build you a house.” He then makes a promise to him that through his seed, the Messiah, David’s throne would be established forever.
David’s heart was open to the Lord, and he such had a relationship with the Lord that even in the New Covenant, he is called a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22)
Even though he sinned with Bathsheba, and had her husband killed in battle, God gave David mercy and grace. According to the Law, adultery and murder were both capital offenses, punishable by death – stoning to be exact. Either one of those crimes were enough for a sentence of death!
When Nathan confronted David with his sin, in 2 Samuel 12:7 saying, “You are the man!” immediately David repents and acknowledges his sin. He does not try to hide it, or blame someone else, he owns it.
Nathan tells him, “The Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die.” David not only does not get the punishment required by the Law, but he finds mercy and grace.
But what does that grace do to David’s heart? Does he immediately say, “Yeah – Got away with that one!”? Does suddenly get a “license to sin,” and go out and do it all over again with another married woman? No, in fact, God’s grace and mercy impacted David so much, he never committed murder or adultery again!
What was it that caused the Lord to show mercy to David? Why did David find forgiveness and Saul couldn’t?
I believe it was because of a love relationship that the Lord had with David.
God chose David because he was a man after God’s own heart. The Spirit of God never departed from David.
This incredible picture of David in the Old Covenant is a type and shadow of the incredible mercy and amazing grace that comes to us in the New Covenant through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
David was a man after God’s own heart because of a relationship. We are a people after God’s own heart because of a relationship as well.
Because of our relationship with God through the blood of the Anointed One, the Seed of David, the Lord Jesus Christ, we have received the “sure mercies of David.” These mercies (or blessings) are found in the fact that God does not impute sin, but imputes righteousness to believers in Jesus. (Romans 4:6-8) That is what makes the New Covenant better than the Old (see Hebrews 8:12)
As believers in Jesus, you have the same mercies of David and more.
The mercy and grace that we receive do not lead us to go out an sin because we can “get away with it.” No, the mercy and grace draw us to God even more and more. We are not trying to get away with anything, we just want to know the Lord even more.
God loves you just as much as He loved David, or any of the patriarchs. In fact, God loves you as He loves Jesus (John 17:23).
You are a man or a woman after God’s own heart. Not because of something you do or don’t do, but because of what Jesus already did.
Have a blessed day!