When we look at David in the Bible, we see a man who knew many facets of life. He started out as an insignificant shepherd boy and wound up as a great king. He spent time living in caves, hiding from King Saul, who was trying to kill him. Then he spent many years in the palace ruling over the great nation of Israel.
He had many people who hated him (even his own son, Absalom, tried to steal his throne), and many who loved him dearly. He sinned horrifically, as he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. He also showed powerful character as he repented and forgave so quickly.
Through it all, God called David a “man after God’s own heart.” How did he manage to be God’s man through all of that? There were two things which stood out all the way through David’s life.
First, he saw God’s greatness always – in the big things and the small. He didn’t wait until he was in the palace before he spoke of God’s majesty; he recognized His awesomeness when he was still a shepherd boy. While tending the sheep he wrote:
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Thy name in all the earth…When i consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy hands, the moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained.” Psalm 8:1,3
All he had to do was look around, and David saw the greatness of God and worshiped Him. Many of his Psalms testify to that.
The second attribute of David’s heart was his determination to worship God even in the midst of dire circumstances. There were times in his life when he faced tremendous opposition. As mentioned earlier, he was chased by Saul for years and his own son tried to overthrow his reign. Throughout his life there were those who falsely accused him and tried to harm him.
There were times when he would pour out his heart in his Psalms. He would cry out to God and lament his condition. But over and over we see something very significant. He would remind himself to worship God. There were times when he would even talk to himself.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name.”Psalm 103:1
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God” Psalm 42:11
It’s as if he would put a demand on himself to praise God no matter what – and that praise would lift him to a higher place of remembrance and faith.
Is there a lesson we could learn from David? I think so. As circumstances in our lives attempt to steal our faith and even our closeness to God, there is something we can do about it. We can be determined to praise and worship God – no matter what. As we do that, we begin to remind ourselves of God’s goodness in our lives – all the times when he gave us mercy and favor. And we return to a place of faith and rest – and, yes, power.
Power to overcome the enemy before us. Power to press through the darkness. Power to live our lives as “people after God’s own heart.”