“For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, ‘I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’” Isaiah 57:15
As a young child, I often wondered why King David was described as a man after God’s own heart. My young mind heard the sins of adultery and murder and believed these to be very grievous sins. In my mind, David did not deserve such a title. If David could commit such crimes and offenses and get this kind-of sought after description, surely, other kings could as well. Yet, when King Saul acted disobediently and rebelled against the Lord, he was rejected as king. (1 Samuel 13 & 15)
Samuel spoke to the Israelites saying, “if you will fear and worship the LORD and listen to his voice, and if you do not rebel against the LORD’s commands, and if you and your king follow the LORD your God, then all will be well” (1 Samuel 12:14). Both, King Saul and King David disobeyed the LORD and were rebuked by the prophets in their day.
The difference between these two kings is their confessions. First Samuel 15 records Saul’s confession as an attempt to shift blame and to elevate his own pious attempts of burnt offerings and sacrifices. But, God does not delight in offerings that are done with prideful intent or impure motives. “To obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22). Second Samuel 12 records David’s heartfelt confession to God. David offers no excuses or false humility before God when he simply states, “I have sinned against the Lord” (vs. 13). We can read a fuller confession in Psalm 51
As my faith matured, I understood the difference between the two kings. Both had sinned. The difference was that the king after God’s own heart humbled himself, sought the Lord, prayed, and turned from his wicked ways.
The Lord did not cast David from his presence or take his Holy Spirit from him. He restored and sustained David. His humility was priceless, and God raised up a Righteous Branch from David’s line; a King who will reign wisely forever.
How about you? Do you make excuses? Do you offer sacrifices with impure motives?
Father God, I have rejected you and your ways, I have offered my worship with impurity in my heart. I confess my prideful, rebellious ways. Thank you for Your indescribable grace in Jesus! As a new creation, I offer myself as a living sacrifice to You each day with a wholly, devoted heart! In Christ alone, Amen.