Proverbs 4:23 – The heart is very important. It is the seat of our thoughts and attentions and attitudes.
Deuteronomy 4:9 – Above all things, guard your heart. The heart of a man (or a woman) is very important. Our heart makes us who we really are.
Acts – God knows our hearts. He knows our hearts completely. What God sees in our hearts should matter to us.
1 Samuel 13:14 – What kind of heart pleases God? David was described as a “man after God’s own heart.”
What are some characteristics that we would expect to see in a person who has a heart who is “after God’s heart?” How about someone who is “not a man after God’s own heart.”
1 Samuel 11, 2 Samuel 5 – Both Saul and David were chosen by God to be kings of Israel. Both were anointed by Samuel. They were both outstanding men in their younger years. God was with both of them at the beginning of their reigns.
Characteristics of a Man After God’s Heart
Obedience – most of the time a person isn’t necessarily a terrible person, but they often refuse to do anything besides “the things they want to.” They aren’t willing to follow the instructions of those over him, especially not God. Saul failed to follow God’s requirements, he rebelled and didn’t do what he was asked to do. Rebellion and disobedience are things that are part of Satan’s kingdom. A man after God’s own heart is obedient from the heart. It brings him joy to do the will of God.
Humility – Saul went to Mount Carmel to set up a monument to himself. When Samuel caught up to Saul he talked about “when Saul was still small in his own eyes.” Saul heard the women singing, “Saul has slain his thousands, but David his tens of thousands.” Saul let this line go to his head and bothered him, he tried to kill David for most of his remaining life. David on the other hand, when he was trying to convince Saul to let him go into battle with Goliath said, “The God who helped me kill a lion and a bear while keeping my Father’s sheep… he will help me faith Goliath.” Later he told Goliath that, “the Lord God will deliver you into my hand.” James tells us that God resists the proud.
Repentance – Saul told Samuel that he had done what God had asked him to do. Indeed Samuel had not followed God’s instruction. David’s life was a contrast to Saul’s, David wasn’t perfect. In 1 Kings 15 – David did that which was right in the eye of the Lord… except for the matter with Bathsheba’s husband. David, when he realized his sin said, “I have sinned,” and he meant it. Saul was sorry because of the consequences of his sin, David was sorry because he knew he was wrong.
Holiness – A man after God’s own heart is forgiven. Saul was uncleanness and unforgiven, he was moving farther and farther from God. Psalm 51 – David is asking God to “purge me, restore me, deliver me.” David was forgiven. We aren’t just holy because we are cleansed but also because we are continually choosing holiness – 1 Peter 1:2, closing to be “Holy as He is Holy.”
Beginning well is a really good thing. An equally important thing is to end well. Saul and David both began well, Saul was a foolish man and he didn’t end well. David on the other hand was obedient, humble, repentant and holy, David ended well.
The heart of man determine matters of tremendous importance. It defines our character and our choices… it determines our destiny.
May God help us to keep our hearts with all diligence.