David was a shepherd, a psalmist, a king, an adulterer, a murderer, a schemer, a bad father and, in the end, a man after Godís own heart.
We see David as a man of passion. He made a righteous decision to take on the Philistine champion after being sent by his dad to bring his brothers a few things. The youngest son of Jesse could not stand by as Goliath cursed the living God, so he grabbed his sling and found a stone and settled the issue. David recognized that God went with him and walked boldly before a giant while others quaked in fear.
He led his men valiantly in the wilderness as they waited for God to give this shepherd king a throne. David recognized Godís timing and perfect promise so he patiently led while others were less enduring.
He was overwhelmed when the Ark of the Covenant was brought back into the city. David recognized Godís phenomenal goodness, so he danced while others misunderstood.
The Psalms are filled with passion as they describe desperate circumstances and an incredibly timely God who was willing to rescue. No matter how dark things got for David, he would invariably look up to find his strength.
The Bible doesnít tell us why, we just know that when most kings were going to war David found other ways to spend his time. He spotted Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah from his lofty position in the palace and he sent for her. After the couple sinned before God, David tried to cover up his wrongdoing by ultimately causing the death of Uriah.
Because David wanted this woman more than, dare I say, his relationship with God he lied, cheated and stole what was not his so that his yearning could be fulfilled. David came to see the depravity of his own heart and saw fit to turn back to God while he reaped a personal Ďsin harvestí.
David had trouble controlling his own children. One son raped his own sister and another plotted his fatherís demise. David understood his personal failings and certainly lamented many of his personal choices, yet God allowed Davidís son, Solomon, to become the wisest man on earth.
The Bible is filled with individuals who started poorly but finished strong. Some, like David, started well, had a bad in between but finished well. This should give each of us comfort knowing that we are a work in progress. We can long to follow hard after God in the midst of tremendous failings and this very longing is a good thing.
This gives me courage to continue to pray a prayer I have prayed for years, ďLord, make me a man after Your own heart.Ē
There are days I feel like Iím very close to God; when I am obedient and my heart seem to pant for Him like a deer for a clear stream, times when I ache so much to walk with Him that itís like my lungs are deprived of air and He is the only one offering oxygen, when I am so hungry for His Word that no matter how much I read I am never satisfied.
Then comes a day when all hunger, thirst and longing for God subsides as I stumble and cast my gaze away from my Creator. In that instant I choose to alienate myself from God because I looked away. I might even wrestle with an idea that says, ďMaybe itís not so important to turn back again.Ē
One day my life will end and I will stand before God who knows me better than I know myself. He may ask why I stopped looking up. How could I intentionally turn my face away from the One who gave me life, who gave me the greatest gift of love by sending His Son to complete what I could not, and who offers me eternity with Him?
So, with my whole heart, I will turn and I will walk in His way. I will taste once more and discover how good God is. I will rediscover the thirst for righteousness and I will pant for water only He can provide. I will offer words of praise that will never convey enough gratitude. And maybe, just maybe, at the end of my life God will be able to tell me that I reflected His heart.
A longing, a passion, my chief goal and aim?
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