In the Bible, David was known as someone in accordance with God’s will.
When Solomon succeeded to the throne of David, Jehovah God said to him: “ And if you will walk before Me, as David your father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep My statutes and My judgments: Then I will establish the throne of your kingdom on Israel for ever ” (1 Kings 9:4–5). As can be seen, in Jehovah God’s eyes, David was honest and upright, and he followed all God’s instructions and strictly kept God’s laws and decrees. This is God’s evaluation of David, and is God’s approval and acceptance of his actions and deeds in his life. This shows that David was after God’s heart.
Many people may feel confused about this: Though David sincerely trusted in God and won many victories with God’s blessings, he planned to have Uriah killed and took Uriah’s wife Bathsheba for his own, so why was David a man after God’s heart? Now, let us search for the answers through two things David did.
1. David Truly Repented After Sinning
After David committed adultery, Nathan the prophet conveyed Jehovah God’s words to him, telling him that God would punish him so that the sword would never depart from his house because of his evil deeds—he had Uriah killed and took Bathsheba for his own. Hearing that, David felt so guilty and reproached himself, immediately confessed to God in his heart, and acknowledged his transgressions, saying: “I have sinned against Jehovah” (2 Samuel 12:13). And he completely submitted to and accepted God’s punishment; he didn’t make any excuses or resist, nor did he pray to Jehovah to mitigate the punishment.
After that, David felt especially remorseful and often wept bitter tears and hated himself whenever he thought of his evil deeds. He said in Psalms: “[A]ll the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears” (Psalm 6:6). Clearly, David suffered great spiritual torment because of his sins and even felt remorse to the point of crying himself dry. When David grew old, it was difficult for him to warm up his bed, and so his attendants brought a young beautiful virgin to warm his bed. But David never moved close to her. This shows that David did not only repent in word but also from the bottom of his heart and through his practical actions.
As a king of a nation who had much power, David didn’t commit adultery a second time until death. He repented to God through his practical actions for the rest of his life. He repented thoroughly and no longer committed the crime after doing it once. For a king, it was so hard to do this. So it can be said that David is a model example of truly repenting. He is indeed admirable and is worth us all emulating.
2. David Was Most Considerate to God’s Will
David not only truly repented, but showed the most consideration for God’s will as well.
The Bible says: “Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, See, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of Jehovah remains under curtains” (1 Chronicles 17:1). This is what David said after he led his people to make offerings to Jehovah God. He saw that he himself was living in the palace, while Jehovah God’s Ark of the Covenant remained under curtains, and that the Israelites had no place to worship God in the wilderness. So he wanted to build a temple for God where the Israelites could worship God. At that time, however, God told David that he could not build a temple for God because he had shed the blood of many people and God promised David that Solomon would build Him a temple. Though this was not what David had planned, he could completely obey and accept God’s arrangement. At the same time, he thanked God very much for His grace that he had the fortune to make preparations to build the temple though he was unable to do it in person.
From then on, David always treated preparing material for the temple as one of the biggest issues in his life. He strived for this all his life; he went to war himself to kill enemies so that God’s temple could be erected successfully. When he got huge and precious spoils, he offered them to Jehovah God to be used for building the temple. David wanted to build a magnificent temple for God and he devoted his entire life and made every effort to practically prepare materials for the temple. Just as the Bible records that David said: “Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colors, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance. Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of my own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house” (1 Chronicles 29:2–3). “David prepared abundantly before his death” (1 Chronicles 22:5).
As we all know, among all kings throughout history, some take stabilizing the regime as their number one priority, some asking for long life, some ensuring their rule for generations…, with only David devoted to building the temple for God. He thought all the time of doing this to make more people worship God. From David’s actions and deeds, we can see clearly that his heart loved God and was considerate of God, and that he had absolute faithfulness to God. So we can say that David was most considerate to God’s will.
From the above fellowship, we can see that David truly repented after committing sins, and that he loved God and was considerate of God. He worked hard all his life to prepare everything necessary for the building of the temple. This is enough to show that David was after God’s heart. Today, if we want to become people in accordance with God’s will, we should truly repent from within our hearts like David and cannot only be satisfied with admitting our mistakes verbally. Besides, we should also consider God’s intentions like David. No matter whether we support our brothers and sisters or perform work in the church, our hearts must be in the right place and we should do all this just to be considerate of God’s will and satisfy God. Only by doing so can we conform to God’s will.