Scripture Reference: 1 Chronicles 22
As I come to the final article in this series where I explored why David was called a man after God’s own heart, I will today look at his total submission to God’s will when he desired something with all his heart and God decided that it will not be granted to him.
“He swore an oath to the LORD,
he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
“I will not enter my house
or go to my bed,
I will allow no sleep to my eyes
or slumber to my eyelids,
till I find a place for the LORD,
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.” (Psalm 132:2-5)
In response to David’s desire, God made it clear that He does not dwell in homes built by human hands. He fills this entire universe. He never needed a home. Heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool. Where will one build a house with those kind of dimensions? However, God was pleased with David’s desire because God saw his heart and looked at the intention behind his desire. David swore on oath to God that he wants to build Him a house and to honour David, God swore on oath that He will establish his throne forever:
The LORD swore an oath to David,
a sure oath he will not revoke:
One of your own descendants
I will place on your throne.
If your sons keep my covenant
and the statutes I teach them,
then their sons will sit
on your throne forever and ever.” (Psalm 132:11-12)
Although God honoured David by saying that He will establish his throne forever, He also said that David will not build his house. He had blood on his hands. But, God will give him a son who will be a man of peace and rest. “He will be my son and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.” I see more in this promise than a mere promise for David’s son Solomon. I see also the other one known as the Son of David. This is a promise pointing also to the distant future where a Son will be born and He will establish the kingdom of His Father forever and ever.
David must have had some degree of disappointment when he found out that he will not be building the temple for God. But remarkably, one does not detect one ounce of bitterness when he gives instructions to Solomon regarding the temple. It is also clear that although he was not permitted to build the temple, he didn’t stop making arrangements for the building project. “He appointed stonecutters to prepare dressed stone for building the house of God. He provided a large amount of iron to make nails for the doors of the gateways and for the fittings, and more bronze than could be weighed. He also provided more cedar logs than could be counted, for the Sidonians and Tyrians had brought large numbers of them to David.”
David was in total submission to God’s will and he gladly gave over the reins to his son Solomon:
“Now, my son, the LORD be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the LORD your God, as he said you would. May the LORD give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the LORD your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the LORD gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”
When one reads the above words from David to Solomon, one can see that he is fully supporting Solomon as the one appointed by God to build the Temple. What God desired was more important to David than his own desires and therefore he could gladly submit to God’s will without any bitterness in his heart. It is clear that David loved God more than he loved himself and his own aspirations.
Since God’s will is good, perfect and pleasing, we can be assured that when we submit to His will, we are submitting to the best possible outcome for ourselves and even our children. Therefore, when we pray “Thy will be done…” we do not have to pray it through gritted teeth as if we despise the fact that we have to submit to His will. We can do so gladly like David did. This man pleased the Lord and he is therefore an example for us on so many levels, pointing us to the Perfect Example, Jesus Christ.
There are many more reasons why David may have been a man after God’s heart other than the ones I touched on in this series and you are welcome to add any reasons you consider David to be a man after God’s own heart.