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How could God say that David was a man after His own heart even though he murdered and lied?

To listen to Nancy's answer recorded from Moody Radio click here.

The answer to this question is good news for all of us! David was a mix of good, bad and the ugly. He was a broken man who lied, lusted, committed adultery with Bathsheba which led to his murdering her husband, Uriah (2 Samuel 11).  

God’s feelings toward David did not reflect David’s lack of judgment, his sin or his character. The Bible records God’s love of David by choosing David to be their king. God spoke on David’s behalf saying, “I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do’” (Acts 13:22).

How could this be?

David had a repentant heart after he sinned. He did not deny or run away from his sin, He admitted it. “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die’” (2 Samuel 12:13). David repented to God: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!" (Psalm 51:1–2).

In Psalms, David’s writings reflect an open, honest and honoring relationship with God. David desired to do ‘everything’ that God asked him to do. David’s heart trusted God. As a boy, David did not hesitate to go against all the odds to fight against someone more fierce and much bigger than he. He was not afraid. “‘The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’ And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the LORD be with you!’” (1 Samuel 17:37).

David loved God’s law and meditated on it. He wrote many Psalms when he was in dangerous, angry, sad and hard times but, he never lost sight as to who was in control. “For I delight in your commands because I love them. I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.” (Psalm 119:47–48).

David never forgot to thank the Lord for everything. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:4).

It was not the sin that God was seeing, it was David’s heart. Yes, he sinned. What pleased God was that he admitted it and asked forgiveness and repented with a sorrowful heart. David did not fight against God’s word but instead embraced it. He desired to be obedient to God at all costs. We should all follow David’s example!

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