Did you know that when God replaced Saul as king of Israel with David that He referred to David as “a man after His own heart” ()? Did you also know that later David would also be known as liar, adulterer and murderer? Stick around and we’ll talk about it here on 5 minutes of truth.
Most Believers and indeed some non-believers are at least a little familiar with the life and times of Israel’s second King…King David. We are familiar with his being the youngest son Jesse and as such would have been the least likely of his children to be selected to follow Saul to the throne of Israel.
We are familiar with David’s exploits in the Israelite’s war with the Philistines and his unlikely victory over Goliath who stood over nine feet tall…though David himself was merely a boy in his mid-teens.
We are familiar with his undying loyalty to King Saul despite the fact that Saul sought numerous times to kill David. In fact, in one instance as Saul was alone and in the most vulnerable position imaginable, David had means and opportunity to kill Saul himself.
When David’s warriors pointed out this fact and alluded to the idea that God had delivered “your enemy into your hand”, David did not act on the opportunity. Instead, David responded by saying, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing…seeing he is the anointed of the Lord” ().
His allegiance to God and His sovereignty were so strong that David was not even willing to take the life of the man who was trying to unjustly kill him. David’s honor, faith, strength and courage are clearly seen throughout God’s Word. It is then no wonder why God referred to David as a man after His own heart.
But as Paul Harvey used to say…here is the rest of the story.
Once David succeeded Saul as king, Israel experienced an extended time of hope and prosperity. David won battles; reclaimed Jerusalem; and even showed kindness to Saul’s remaining family. Unfortunately it was not to last.
While his soldiers were at battle, David, while taking a walk on his balcony spied a young woman named Bathsheba bathing. After inquiring about her, David discovered that she was the wife of one of his own soldiers, a man named Uriah, who at that moment was out in the field defending his homeland.
Not willing to simply walk away, David had Bathsheba escorted to his home where they embarked in an adulterous relationship. Soon after, it was to become obvious that it was going to be difficult to hide the relationship when Bathsheba announced that she was pregnant.
In a panic, David decided on a course of action that, if successful, would hide his sin. He sent for Uriah to come home from the battle. The idea would be that Uriah would consequently sleep with his wife and the pregnancy could be easily explained. Problem solved.
The one thing that David did not count on was that Uriah would act more honorably than the man after God’s own heart. Upon arrival, Uriah refused to sleep at his home because he didn’t think it right…when his fellow soldiers could not do the same.
Even more panicked, David sought a more conclusive solution. He sent a letter with Uriah back to the front alerting David’s commander that in the battle to follow, Uriah should be placed at the front. Just in case the location would not ensure Uriah’s death, David ordered his commander to “retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die” (b). David had gone from a man after God’s own heart…to adulterer; liar; and murderer.
Here’s the thing though. God knows everything. Everything that has happened; that is happening; and more importantly…everything that will happen. So let’s take a moment and let this reality sink in. God chose David, used David, blessed David, and called David a man after His own heart…all while knowing David would lie, cheat and kill.
That is what grace is all about. God doesn’t bestow grace on us because of what we do…He does it in spite of what we do. He doesn’t bestow grace on us because we love Him…He does so despite the fact that we don’t love Him. He doesn’t bestow grace on us because we deserve it…but because we don’t deserve it. If we deserved it…it wouldn’t be grace.
If there is one reality in all of life it is that we will fall short…we will fail…we will sin. Even as Believers, we will sin. Paul himself said: The good that I want to do…I don’t do. The bad things I don’t want to do…that’s what I end up doing ().
Yet despite all of that, God loves us…and even more…we are useful to Him. Our sin will not stop Him from using us. When Jesus confronted Peter with his impending sin of denial, Jesus focused on Peter’s restoration…not his sin. He said: “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail, and when you have returned to ME…strengthen your brothers” ().
God does not need our ability…He has all of the ability in the universe. He wants our availability. He does not need us at all…He wants us. Warts and all.
We could be a liar, adulterer and yes even a murderer…and still be a person after God’s own heart. Why? “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (). How cool is that?
On behalf of myself, Robert Houghton and all of us here at Growth Project…keep reading God’s Word.
Dr. Purvis started Growth Project with Robert Houghton after spending 20 years on active duty as a Chaplain in the United States Navy. After many moves and multiple deployments, he settled in Winter Haven, Florida to do God’s will. A glutton for educational punishment Danny has a BA in English from Carson-Newman College, an MDiv from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; a ThM from Princeton Theological Seminary; and a PhD in Organizational Leadership from Regent University. He has been married to his wife Kimberly (whom he met when they were 6 years old) for nearly 30 years and they have four wonderful children.