Tag Archives: Integrity

A Man After God’s Own Heart (3)

1 Sam 16:11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.

This is installment #3 of A Man After God’s Own Heart.  It’s funny how we want to do one thing then God steps in and does what He wants.  I’d recently been looking at David’s Psalms and could not help seeing his heart being that of a praise and worship leader bringing everyone into the presence of God.  I thought it funny that it was as if he was created solely for that, but he did so much more.  Then I was struck with what Lucifer’s original position as “the anointed cherub,” could that anointing Satan forfeited be what was bestowed on David, who wrote most of the Bible’s Psalms? 

Then God stepped in.  Last week Bishop Jakes preached a messaged called “Know Your Role.”  Then it all clicked for me along with David’s WHIP; and his actions completely contradictory of the fall of Adam; David knew his role in whatever capacity and he served in each as unto God.  Each role was vital to him becoming the King and Servant of God who was so affectionately known as “A Man After God’s Own Heart.”

Let’s look at the many roles of David:

Shepherd: (1 Sam 16:11) Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.  This was the role in which we were first introduced to David.  Serving in his father’s fields tending to his sheep, goats and other animals that allowed his father Jesse to prosper.  However, what we know is that this job was not the most flattering or exciting job.  Jesse had 8 sons, yet David was the only one that didn’t even get into the room when Jesse and Samuel were looking to anoint a King.  We got a little since of what kind of shepherd David was, when hearing of his protecting the flock against a lion and a bear.  He was willing to put his life on the line to protect the sheep.  That trait would come in very handy latter in his life as leader of Israel.

Armor Bearer: (1 Sam 16:21) So David came to Saul and stood before him. And he loved him greatly, and he became his armorbearer.  This role in the bible, was a young valet that carried the armor and weapons of a warrior and in David’s case he directly served the King.  Many may be familiar with the armor bearer role in the church, a person that travels with and serves the man or woman of God who serves the church.  The are very close to them, they hear the conversations happening behind the scenes, they spend time with the person’s family, they see them at their highest and lowest because of the proximity.  One of the key roles of the armor bearer is the ability to be both invisible and unheard.  The text shows us that Saul the King loved David.  I believe this speaks volumes about just how well he served Saul and his ability to be trusted.   

Musician: (1 Sam 16:16) Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. And it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well.  David played the harp and he was well known for that skills; so much so that the Kings servants recommended him (1 Sam 16:18 Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.”).  The lesson we learn from this role of David is that the gift of harp playing was his key to the palace.  In other words, Proverbs 18:16 A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men.  When we have a God given skill, we should work to develop it and use it to the glory of God.  The bible is clear, that your gift will make room for you.

Delivery Guy: I’m taking a little literary liberty regarding this role.  Jesse told his son David to take some food and supplies to his brothers that were out at war; (1 Sam 17:20) So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the things and went as Jesse had commanded him.  I sarcastically called this role the delivery guy; I was originally going to use “uber eats,” but you get the jest.  Here it was, the anointed one was tasked with taking lunch to his brothers.  However, all things work together because as he was arriving to the stronghold of the troops, the Philistine giant was making his demands against the army of Israel.  This would spark two new roles that David had not signed up for when he left home on a simple task.  Sometimes our most tedious of assignments are the exact ones which lead us into our destiny.   

Salesman: (1 Sam 17:33-37) But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock.  David was disgusted by the arrogance of this Uncircumcised Philistine and would not stand by and not let it be addressed.  While everyone else may have been afraid (including his brothers), he would step up to represent the Lord’s Army.  But not everyone thought it would be possible so it would take a new skill.  David had to sale himself to the king; 1 Sam 17:33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. David immediately pleaded his case to the point of success, as Saul would agree to allow David to battle Goliath.  This newfound skill of selling his accomplishments to the decision makers led him to maybe his greatest victory.   

Warrior: (1 Sam 17:40) Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.  After his sales pitch was accepted, David then got himself ready for battle.  The King and others wanted to help him by loaning David their gear and weapons.  However, David understood something that is valuable for us all.  He could not walk in the shoes of others but need to use the gear God had given him (1 Sam 17:38 So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So, David took them off).  David would now become the ultimate warrior, as he aggressively attacked the menacing Philistine with his weapons of choice “So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him.”   

Prince: (1 Sam 18:20) Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. So Saul said, “I will give her to him, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore, Saul said to David a second time, “You shall be my son-in-law today.”  David’s amazing victory over Goliath changed everything from him.  He went from caring for sheep to living in palace as the King’s son.  He became a hero to the people of Israel, so much so that is made King Saul jealous.  One of the “spoils” for defeating Goliath, was forever living tax free, but also the promise to marry the King’s daughter.  Of course, David’s attitude for such a gift was maybe predictable “1 Sam 18:18 So David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my life or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?That was the posture in which David served as Prince in the Kingdom. There is one thing I believe to be the most significant thing about David’s attitude and humility in all these roles.  He acted in each of these roles after being anointed the next King.  This was a span of over 20 years between being anointed by Samuel to becoming King.  David displayed tremendous humility by serving in multiple roles and in a few of them he personally served the one he would eventually replace.  David always knew his role; he did not attempt to take on the role of others nor did he arrogantly approach even the most humiliating of roles.  Because David knew his role, God could trust to put him in any position, because He would give God glory.  We can learn a great deal from David attitude towards serving.  It was in the many roles in which he humbly served; that he was certified and  qualified to serve in his final role as King (2 Sam 2:4) Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.

A Man After God’s Own Heart (2)

Psalm 51:1-4 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.

Last time we did a deep dive into David’s WHIP (Worship, Humility, Integrity and Prayer), and how these powerful character traits made him known as a Man After God’s Own Heart. Today we will dig a little deeper into what causes David to stand out, by comparing the Man made in God’s own image to the one chasing His heart. In a unique way, it becomes the perfect way to practically understand the difference in what God is looking for from us.

Adam was God’s first man, created in perfection, by perfection, honestly for perfection. He was given everything we need to succeed; relationship with God, provisions from the Father, living in an environment of blessings. However, temptation shaded Adam’s heart with doubt about God’s best for him. This caused Adam to eat of the tree that God explicitly told him not to. Disobedience was the same sin that caused Saul to lose his Kingdom prior to David taking over. Let’s see how this played out.


1. Sinned & Exposed His Wife: Eve ate and gave to Adam Gen 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Here Adam ate the fruit, knowing it was wrong. Maybe he saw that after Eve ate the fruit, she did not immediately drop dead and it caused more doubt since the serpent had already planted the seed. But here he failed his wife by not obeying God despite his own thoughts. It was clear what God said, and regardless of how we feel, think or even doubt, God’s Word is always true. This failure would cause them unnecessary exposure; Gen 3:7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.  They were naked and free before eating the fruit, but now that they know they are naked, they are experiencing shame, embarrassment and fear.  They’d never been exposed to any of this before.

2. Adam Hid From Confrontation: Gen 3:8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. God knew they had sinned and when He came to speak with them, Adam hid from the confrontation, because Truth always confronts a lie; therefor God’s mere presence was confrontation to the sin they’d just committed. Like many of us, rather than deal with our failure or mistakes we (like Adam) look to hide.

3. He blamed Eve: Gen 3:12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”  Adam provided an example that I have (and many men have) used at times when failing as a husband/father/man. His actions failed God, his family and himself. Ultimately, his blame removed his ability to demonstrate leadership.  When given the chance to step up, he blamed his wife; the very one God gave him to complete him. 

4. Adam Attempted to Cover His Exposure (Nakedness): Adam’s sin exposed he and Eve to their nakedness, which led them to cover themselves with fig leaves (and insufficient covering). Gen 3:7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.  We know what this is like, we cover our exposure, embarrassment, shame and hurt with insufficient coverings all the time. We don’t use fig leaves, but we do use alcohol, drugs, food, clothes or other material things. All can distract from the real issue, but they have never truly been able to cover any of the pain or embarrassment.  We know today that we are covered by the Blood of Jesus, and His blood is the only thing that is a sufficient covering.

5. His Actions Negatively Impacted His Lineage: It was from this point on that every man would be born into sin. His actions sentenced his offspring into eternal condemnation, any father would have to consider that failure (Gen 3:22-24).

To the contrary; David’s life and decisions provided substance that gives us an insight to God’s heart.  David was far from perfect, but the way he responded to God was with honor and worship are as close to perfect as we might get. 


1. Sinned & Exposed Uriah’s Wife: 2nd Sam 11:3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. David’s sin did not just impact his family, but it also exposed Uriah’s family and caused significant consequences.  David’s lust and subjection to what many consider to be the first pornographic viewing (watching Bathsheba bathing atop the house).  Pornography has exposed many men, their families as well as other families to the world of lust and more.  The damage that has been done to so many families has impacted generations.  When your sin impacts other’s you become a parasite to be around and harmful to others. In the case of David, it would cost Uriah his life.

2. When Confronted by God He Took Accountability: God sent Nathan to David with the assignment of confronting his sin and bloodshed. It was interesting, God had different relationships with Adam and David. Adam only knew God’s voice; David had many others, but Nathan’s voice was the authority that David heeded. When Nathan confronted David, his response differed from Adam’s response to God; he acknowledged (2nd Sam 12:13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”) and then he repented (Ps 51: 1-4 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge).  Contrary to Adam’s confrontation, David stood up and took accountability; he did not point to others for blame but acknowledge that it was his failure and his responsibility alone.   

3. David Comforted the Wife He Failed:  (2nd Sam 12:24 Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife…).  David’s sin impacted not just Bathsheba the wife of Uriah but also their newborn son.  The loss of a child is every parents nightmare and here as a result of David’s sin, their son died.  But after this failure, David did not do what Adam did, blame his wife; but he comforted Bathsheba.  That word comforted is powerful; David consoled his wife, he empathized and sympathized with her.  A husband comforting his wife is not as simple as it might seem.  Comforting a wife must be learned for many men, it takes something that many men don’t strengthen.  Now imagine consoling your wife while feeling guilty and being in pain yourself.  This is a valuable lesson David is teaching.  Why?  Practically speaking, 80% of marriages end in divorce following the loss of a child.  David’s heart was to comfort his wife, the remained together during this devastating time and eventually had another son (one that would eventually follow David as King).   

4. David Exposed Himself and Worshiped: Like Adam, David’s sin left him exposed before God, Nathan, Bathsheba and even his servants.  2nd Sam 12:16 David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them.  David exposed himself to everyone around as he laid before the Lord in prayer and fasting on behalf of his sick child.  Historically, when David and others fasted, they tore their garments; the tearing of clothes occurs in sorrowful occasions but typically a King would not conduct himself in that manner.  However, it was the cloth David was cut from, as demonstrated when bringing the arc of the covenant back to Jerusalem where he praised the Lord right out of his clothes.  Here David was at his most desperate, yet when he knew his son had died; he got up; he cleaned up and he Worshiped (2 Sam 12:20 So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped..).  David did not hide during this time of exposure; and sometimes when a King is willing to go through his failure and pain openly many are able to learn from it. 

5. His Actions Produce Kings From His Lineage: 2nd Sam 12:24 Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now the Lord loved him.  Although David failed God, his family and potentially his kingdom; his response was endearing to God.  While his sin resulted in the death of his son; God eventually blessed him with an heir to his throne.  Solomon would become a king and God would give him honor and riches so that there would not be anyone like him among all kings.  God would also make the promise to David that there would always be a king from his lineage on the throne (2nd Sam 7).  That lineage would also include Jesus; enough said. 

David was truly a Man after God’s own heart and this was displayed in the great times like killing the giant Goliath as well as in the darkest times like this death of, he and Bathsheba’s son.  So, we looked at a comparison of the responses of Adam and David, when they failed.  We see that it lines up perfectly with David’s WHIP (Worship, Humility, Integrity and Prayer), that we discussed last time.  David demonstrated more character than the man that was created in the very image of God; and demonstrating yet another reason why he was known as A Man After God’s Own Heart.

A Man After God’s Own Heart

Acts 13:20 After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ 23 From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior–Jesus

I truly believe every man wants to be great, and while being great means so many different things to different people, I believe it would be wise to hear the statement “A Man After God’s Own Heart,” and want to model your life after such a man.  David, the son of Jesse was the FIRST man which God selected to be king of Israel.  You are saying, that is not true; Saul was the first King.   I would agree with you that Saul was the first King, but he was not God’s choice.  You see God, himself wanted to be our one and only King (we’ll dig into that more later), however the children of Israel where not satisfied with His Kingship.  In 1 Samuel 8 we learn that the children of Israel desired to be “like all other nations,” when they requested that Samuel (who was the current Judge of Israel, a position given to the one God selected to be High Priest) give them a King to reign over them as his replacement.  This was displeasing to Samuel and God, so He let them have what they wanted in Saul.  It was literally only 5 chapters later that Samuel would inform Saul of his firing and soon replacement.  1 Samuel 13:14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”

Let’s dig into this a little bit more.  There are two Truths we should know about God’s leadership: 

  1. God Will Never Force His Leadership on Man:  God provided leadership for the children of Israel for nearly 500 years, which included His desired leadership structure (Judges) and method of selection (God).  However, Israel determined that they wanted new leadership and they wanted to be like other countries.  This was because their current leader, Samuel, whom God placed in charge, was getting old and he was allowing his sons to lead the people.  Samuel’s sons were dishonest, they did not follow their father’s example, taking bribes and perverting justice.  Now my intentions today were not to find any correlation between our current administration (2020) and Samuel’s corrupted sons, so I will not (even if it certainly seems like there are definite similarities).  Anyway, God knew that His leadership was the best for Israel, but since they did not want it, He allowed them to choose something different.  The same thing is true for us today, we need God’s leadership and following Him is the best thing for us.  However, when we desire to do something different or when our way seems better than His; God is willing to allow us to make that decision. 
    As a parent, there have been many of times when my kids did not agree with my leadership and desired something else, but I was not willing to oblige them, yet God is so gracious that He does not hold our ignorance against us.  God is Omnipotent (all powerful) and Omniscient (all knowing), so unlike me as a parent, He knows the future and has the power to change it.  Because of that His ways will always be better than ours, even if He will not force us to follow Him. 
  2. God’s Criteria is Vastly Different Than Man’s:  There was a vast difference between Man’s selection for King and God’s.  The Lord sought for Himself a man after His own heart.  God allowed Saul to be King, but God sought for Himself, a man to hold this important office.  The word sought, in Hebrew the meaning of this term is to search out (by any method, specifically in worship or prayer).  We look at resumes, credentials and letters of recommendations when filling a position, God searches the heart; and what he found in David was a man after His own heart.  So, what did God see in David’s heart that so moved Him to make David King?  Here is the amazing thing about God; we’ve talked about is Omniscience and it was prevalent in this story.  Samuel is informing Saul about God’s decision, even though his replacement was not anointed for some time after this declaration.  Saul did not meet God’s criteria, but he satisfied man’s desires, he looked the part.  Yet, the entire time God had already selected who His first King would ultimately be. 
    We would later learn that it was David’s WHIP that made such an awesome impact of God.  Of course, it would seem that I’m trying to be “Cool Dad” a little bit, using an old term to seem cool (my kids would call me out for it). A WHIP is a term that in politics refers to an official of a political party whose task is to ensure party discipline in a legislature.  So, this is a leader who is tagged with the responsibility of ensuring that everyone is following the same rules/laws.  But it has also simply come to represent a car. It has been said that it was used a long time ago when a whip would be used to steer the horse-drawn carriages.  Yet even more than a car, more of a status symbol, the coolness or expense of your car speaks of how one sees themselves or others.  Well what would I use that here, because it was the status of David’s heart that attracted God to him.  What then is David’s WHIP, and is it something that we should all desire?
    • Worship: David truly understood worship; the act of attributing reverent honor and homage to God.  He acknowledged all of God’s wonderful attributes, he received God’s love and told God how special he was.  If you don’t believe me, check out the numerous psalms that David drafted probably just after he’d sang them to the Lord; many we are familiar with and others are still to be explored.  David found out through worship, that it moved the heart of God, He is always on the lookout for it “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him (John 4:23).” 
    • Humility: The definition for humility is “freedom from pride or arrogance.”  That really captured David to a tee, he was willing to defer from pride even when he knew God had anointed him King.  Whether it was serving and honoring a father that did not deem him valuable or serving a King that he knew he would soon replace.  He was able to detach from pride and even when he was arrogant he was able to (95% of the time) immediately acknowledge his wrongs and be transparent with God (Psalm 51:4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight). 
    • Integrity: David’s character was at times impeccable; he trusted and served God with the utmost distinction.  He responded to God given authority with such humility and professionalism; so much so, that while Saul attempted to kill him every time, he had an opportunity to harm, he refrained because of God’s word.  David did the right thing even when nobody was around.  David knew that continual assessment to maintain his integrity (Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting). Allowing God to challenge him and share with him those areas we typically try to hide, that takes courage and David demonstrated this constantly. I wish we all had David’s Integrity.
    • Prayer:  One thing David understood was where his help came from, (Psalm 121… I will lift up my eyes to the hills– From whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the Lord).  The key to this understanding, however, was David knew how to access this help, he communicated with God more than anyone besides Jesus.  David was constantly in conversation with God, whether seeking guidance, giving praise or even cursing his current situation.  David consistently talked to God; he believed that he moved the heart of God with his worship, and moved the hand of God with his praise, yet his prayer life made it all possible.  David models the value of a powerful prayer life, the consistent communication with God opened his heart to receive direction and favor for the people he was charged to lead. 

We cannot be David, but we can use David’s example to help us move to the next level of relationship with God.  If we want to be men after God’s heart, we need to inspect our WHIP. How is your Worship, Humility, Integrity and Prayer??