“the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart” 1 Samuel 13:14
God made this statement to Saul. It was in the context of Saul losing the battle within. And it was in reference to David being that man who wanted to please God more than anything else.
The similarities between these men in their circumstances were profound.
- Picked by God
- Anointed by the prophet
- Instructed by the prophet
- Given tremendous favor
- Hated by some
- Victorious in battle
- Miserably failed
So what was different about them?
David had an extraordinary respect for authority. When he could have vindicated himself he refused. He entrusted himself to God when being attacked and waiting.
On the other hand, Saul rejected counsel and he couldn’t trust or wait.
When David sinned he responded by crying out for mercy and accepting God’s discipline. Saul instead rationalized and covered his sin.
When David sinned we got Psalm 51:10-12
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
When Saul sinned we got 1 Samuel 15:12
“Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor.”
It seems the battle within is won by a humble heart that seeks to please God. That heart is formed by yielding to God’s training over a long period of time.
David was trained in the fields watching sheep, by being the least of his brothers. His inclination to turn everything into worship was was formed in those same fields.
He learned to fight in those fields, killing the lion and the bear. Little did he know the lions and bears he would face in the future (and neither do we).
And David wasn’t perfect, which shows you can come back from huge mistakes. God didn’t give David what he deserved but instead showed him mercy.
We can take courage in the battle by reflecting on David’s example and asking for the same heart. And we realize the school of hard knocks is God’s training program.