God looked into David’s heart. What did he see? He looks into your heart, and mine. What does he see?

Samuel saw tall, handsome Eliab and thought, Surely this is the man God wants me to anoint. But God said to Samuel, You are looking in the wrong place; this is not the man I have chosen. “For the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).

And the Bible tells us a remarkable thing: what God saw in David was such that David was spoken of as “a man after God’s own heart.” Centuries later the Apostle Paul, recounting the history of Israel in a sermon to the people of Antioch in Pisidia, said, “[God] raised up David to be their king; of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will’ ” (Acts 13:22).

What did God, with his all-searching, all-seeing eyes, see in David’s heart? What qualities made it possible for God to say David was a man after his own heart?

God saw a man of deep faith. As one reads the history of David’s life and the psalms he wrote, one realizes that here is a man who had unswerving faith in God. David knew that he, in common with all men, had an ultimate responsibility to God; that God is sovereign in all circumstances; that he is a God of abiding love, one who is faithful and absolutely trustworthy. The one uniting quality of the heroes of faith was their confidence in God. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”

God saw in David a man of great courage. This physical courage had a spiritual quality, also, for it was based on the name and honor of God. Confronted with a crisis, one that found ...

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