David was a man after God’s own heart.
That statement seems odd to many who know the story of King David.
Some may not understand one of the prominent characteristics that marked and guided David. It is apparent that the Lord understood it!
Yes, David, a man after God’s own heart!
Are we talking about King David . . . .
- David, who committed adultery with Bathsheba.
- David, who had Urriah’s life put in purposeful and fatal jeopardy.
- David who was stopped from killing Nabal by Abagail — that David?
- Are we talking about David who hid in Ziklag under the feigned loyalty protection of King Achish?
Yep — that David!
When David was confronted by Nathan the prophet, David did not fend off his clear and confrontational charge of Nathan. He understood Nathan’s parable was not only about him, but how egregious his doings were. Nathan’s parable had to powerfully stab the heart of David — by all of its passionate imagery!
David wrote Psalm 51, a well-known Psalm to all of us who, like David, know and understand how stained we are from birth with the ability to do what we know is wrong!
Abagail confronted David, and again David listened and reversed course. He heard the argument that Abagail was making and yielded to her words!
When returning to Ziklag with his army and seeing the city in smoke and the inhabitants deported — his response . . .
“And David was greatly distressed . . . . but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. And David enquired at the LORD”.
David knew that he was responsible for the situation and his only hope was to go to the Lord for merciful help!
David’s life was marked by some heinous sins, he was also marked by a quality that God takes note of in our lives — self-awareness!
David was self-aware of himself and his own layers of sinfulness.
Again, when David was cursed by Shimei while fleeing the city of Jerusalem, he responds with a level of understanding that some never come to in life and living — (II Samuel 16:5-12). David understood that such words were deserving and more — it was from the mouth of the Lord! He was a bloody man!
As is seen repeatedly, David was a man you could talk to, and he would listen! He had ears to hear because he was self-aware of himself, his tendencies, his sinful leanings, and his own ability to justify and rationalize his sinfulness.
If you have been following what is happening in one of the largest “denominations” of churches in America, the SBC, you will witness an example of the lack of that quality.
Pastor Tom Buck, whose wife has written a book talking about how rough and abusive her husband was in the many early years of their marriage, decided to point his finger and identify a deacon who committed adultery over 20 years ago.
While claiming that he and his wife story was written to illustrate God’s redeeming work midst their marriage, the redeeming work in the marriage of that deacon is worthy of condemnation and removal.
Oh no, that deacon who has shown true repentance over the past 20 years, and has served admirably and with integrity on many different levels over the past 20 years, is not granted the margins of grace that Pastor Tom Buck speaks about in his own marital situation — as a pastor!
It is sad to say, but there are too many pastors who are so lacking in self-awareness. They preach on this-or-that, and have no idea of their own failure in that very area. Like Pastor Buck, those in the audience wonder how he could say what he says in light of what he himself has done, said, or gone through. The response is — “You are kidding me! How in the world is he able to say or do that?”
√ I have personally heard and seen pastors speak against the nomination of a church officer or deacon because of the behavior of one of their children. In contrast, their own children should have disqualified them from pastoring.
√ I have personally heard and seen pastors talk about love, kindness, forgiveness, care, and concern, while they failed to show those very same qualities in dealing with and dismissing a member(s) of the church.
√ I have personally heard and seen pastors rationalize, explain away, defend, and justify clear and even grievous wrong-doing by them and/or others, while preaching about the sins of the world around them and calling for a revival in America.
Not so with David. David was self-aware of his sin and sinful tendencies. Self-awareness springs from a humility that “gets it.” Self-awareness and humility are the cousin traits that marked David — and traits that Saul never had. They are symmetrical qualities.
Jonathan — David — or the experience of life could never get Saul to grab hold of them — no less see as absent in his own make-up — though they tried!
It leads to the . . .
“for thee, but not for me-ism.”
“For Thee, But Not For Me” — is what we see in the world of politics . . . . and rightfully decry!
The continuing saga of the SBC is a microcosm of what happens when there is such a lack of self-awareness.