The Apostle Paul, by invitation, addressed the synagogue rulers in Acts 13. In this address, he gave a brief sketch of the history of Israel from the exodus to the time of David. In verse 22, he referred to David as being after the heart of God. These words were not spoken of the entire life of David, as there were things in his life that were not after the heart of God (1 Kings 15:5). Rather, these words were in reference to the character of David. Overall, he was not rebellious and disobedient to God. During the reign of David, he showed himself to be a man after God’s own heart in many ways. By careful observance and application of David’s good characteristics, we too may be a people after God’s own heart. In this article, let us look to see what it was that caused David to be such a man.

HE LOVED THE WORD OF GOD – PSALMS 119:97 – Due to his love for the Word, David constantly meditated upon it. When someone loves something, it is hard to let it go. This how David felt about the Word of God, it was always before him. Considering this, we are faced with the question of what do we put before the Word today? It seems for many that about everything is more important. We have time for television, schoolwork, recreation, job, etc., etc., etc., but little or no time for study of the Scriptures. Many so-called Christians can quote more from secular materials than the Bible. Many constantly put non-spiritual matters before the Word. They know historical information, sports statistics, a long list of “useless information,” but they know little to nothing about God’s Word. I hear people who can sing almost every word to every popular song claim to be unable to memorize the Bible. Do they really believe they are fooling God when they say such things?

DAVID HID THE WORD OF GOD IN HIS HEART – PSALMS 119:11 – The mind is like a computer and is capable of storing vast information. As such, let me suggest we “store” the following:

Hebrews 10:25…when tempted to miss, we will remember what it says.
Colossians 4:6…when tempted to gossip, use foul language, etc., we will
remember what it says.
1 John 3:9…and we will not sin.

If we put a fence between a cow and the cornfield, the cow cannot eat the corn. Remove it and the corn will be eaten. The same is true with sin. If we put something (God’s Word) between sin and us we will not do sin.

DAVID CONFESSED HIS SINS – PSALMS 51:3 – David did not speak of other’s sins, or try to shift the blame when confronted by Nathan (2 Samuel 11:2-15, esp. 13). Like David, we need to confess our sins (James 5:16; 1 John 1:9). We need to understand that we only are responsible for our transgressions (Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). By doing this we will see the need to confess these faults to God in order to be forgiven.

DAVID LOVED TO PRAISE GOD – PSALMS 139:14 – David praised God with instrumental music (Psalms 150) so many claim that we have the right to do so. David also offered animal sacrifices and burned incense, but few would claim that we need to do likewise today. We must find New Testament authorization for our actions (Colossians 3:17). If we cannot do so, then we have no right to practice such things under the New Covenant. David praised God because he knew Whom he praised. Today we need to have knowledge of the God we serve to better praise Him.

DAVID WATCHED HIS TONGUE – PSALMS 39:1 – It is easy to lose control of the tongue. We go to the doctor and he says, “Stick out your tongue.” The tongue can detect many illnesses. Suppose Jesus said, “Stick out your tongue.” What would He see? Profanity? Gossip? Slander? Careless Talk? or Praise? (James 3:2, 8, 13).

DAVID HATED EVERY FALSE WAY – PSALMS 119:104 – When we see the word “therefore” we go back and see for what purpose it is there. Notice what is previously said, “Through thy precepts I get understanding, therefore. . .” As Christians we should hate that which God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19; Revelation 2:6). We should be against all the “isms” found in the world today.

DAVID LOVED UNITY – PSALMS 133:1 – Notice what David says of unity. He said it is good and pleasant. Some things, like certain medications, are good but not pleasant. Other things may be pleasant but not good (Hebrews 11:24-26). As David loved unity, we need to do likewise as this is what Jesus prayed for in John 17:21-23. Only by striving, for unity can we walk together as we should (Amos 3:3). Striving for unity is an indication of our love for each other and for God. To do otherwise is an indication of something else.

We have the opportunity to be “after God’s own heart” by obedience and steadfastness to His service. That is not the question, though. The question is will we do that which will result in our being seen by God as one who is after His heart?