In the well-recognized Greek lexicon by Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich, the Acts 13:22 use of “after” is referred to under the heading of norm, similarity, or homogeneity. Its usage includes: according to, in accordance with, in conformity with, and corresponding to. Thus, Paul’s usage would seem to indicate an intention of communicating a certain and close association in kind. Paul, under inspiration, added to 1 Sam 13:14 (after My heart) the words, “who will do all My will.” So, a vital aspect of understanding how David’s heart was like God’s heart includes what one ultimately considers being God’s will?
David was deeply mentored and impacted by Samuel (1 Sam 19:18) who never recovered from the Ark of the Covenant being treated as a magical instrument and lost to the Philistines (1 Sam 4:1-18). The Ark, from the time of Moses onward, represented the presence of God with His chosen people. David came to grasp how God longed to be present with His people—that foreshadowed Immanuel. The recovery of the Ark and eventually establishing a place for it to reside was a life long focus. Finally he was able to retrieve the Ark (2 Sam 6, 1 Chr 15) and after an embarrassing and costly delay, returned it to Jerusalem. In the dedication that followed, David expressed his heart—he was consumed with God’s glory and committed to His being known among the nations.
The pinnacle of David’s life comes in 2 Sam 7 (1 Chr 17) when he expressed his deep desire to build a house for God (that is, for the Ark). In response, God pulls back the curtain and explains why He chose David. Although a house for the Ark was part of God’s plan, David understood correctly that God’s will was more fully realized as He became known and glorified.
The record of David’s life ends with final exhortations about the temple to be built as a place for God to dwell and where peoples from all over the earth would worship Him. David passionately did all he could in preparations for the magnificent building and in motivating others to get involved. In his final words of wisdom to Israel, David expressed his heart desire that was God’s heart desire and His will.
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.”
David had a heart after God and did God’s will. If God’s will is ultimately understood in His delight to glorify Himself (as the beginning of the Westminster Shorter Catechism suggests), then that must also be the willful determination of everyone who has a heart after God.
How do you understand God’s glory? How specifically do you glorify God? What could possibly be more important than growing in our understanding and advancing of God’s glory? If we want a heart after God, like David, it will be because we are focused on God’s glory.
Recommendation: Piper, J. (1998). God’s passion for his glory. Wheaton: Crossway Pub.
Next Blog: David was great because of the men he attracted.