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David was an adulterer and a murderer. Why was he considered a man after God’s own heart?

After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ Acts 13:22

Despite David’s major mistakes, he was still called a man after God’s own heart.  How can someone like that be called such a thing?

1. David regularly inquired of the Lord and sought God's heart.

. . .so David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?” The LORD answered him, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.”2 Samuel 5:19

Many times, David turned to God to ask him what to do.  He rarely made a move unless God told him to do so.

However, those times he failed – multiple marriages, adultery, murder – he did not seek God’s will.

2. David was humble.

Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: “Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign LORD, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign LORD, is for a mere human! 2 Samuel 7:18-19

Despite his shortcomings, David usually understood his place before the Lord, remembering his start as a simple shepherd boy.

Many of the Psalms David wrote reveal this deep humility.

3. David loved to worship no matter what other people thought.

As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart. 2 Samuel 6:16

David was unashamed to praise God.

Once again in the book of Psalms we see David over and over finding things to say about how great God is.

4. David repented.

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” 2 Samuel 12:13

When Nathan pointed out David’s sin, David made no excuses and repented. His heart wanted to be right with the Lord.  David recognized that his heart was far from God so he took the steps necessary to be close to God.

David succumbed to the sins of this world like the rest of us. God still punished David for his sins, but by God’s grace, used David heart to accomplish great things in his lifetime, especially the greatest thing…

Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’” 2 Samuel 7:16

From David’s line would come the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. Genealogically, that line of ancestors was far from perfect.  We understand from this that our imperfection does not keep us from God.

Imperfect people can still be in God’s family.

The perfection of Christ allows us to come to God.  Though none of us will be perfect, we must always seek God’s heart and repent when needed, just like David did.