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Men after God’s Heart

Men after God’s Heart

1 Samuel 16:11-12

The man after God’s heart is usually a title associate with David. How can David, the man who usurped another person’s wife, be after God’s heart? How can this man who danced naked be after God’s heart? How can this man whose son Absalom, a treacherous and vengeful individual, be after God’s heart? How can this womaniser be after God’s heart? It never ceases to amaze me, how God chooses His friends. I would love us to explore some four characteristics in David, which in Psychological circle and very recently among some spiritual authors, that typifies the soul of men. Tomorrow, we shall talk about initiations into these four archetypes. David is such an interesting character to study. He grew through naivety, courage, skill, tact, foibles, vulnerabilities, responsibility and wisdom to earn this uncommon title.

Just look at how David was anointed. There was nothing so extra-ordinary about him. He did not have any important office; he was charismatic. It was not a requirement for worthiness. David grew from a boy into a man; not just any man, but the King of Israel. David started at the bottom to the top. He had very humble beginnings. Let us examine a couple of passages to extract some qualities of David.

1 Samuel 16:17-18 – especially verse 18 – He is a skilled player (lover), a brave man and a fighter (warrior); he is prudent in speech and a man of presence (wise man or magician), and Yahweh is with him (Sacred King).

Lover – He is credited with writing as many as 82 of the 150 psalms; he is a shameless dancer (2 Samuel 6:14-23), a singer (2 Samuel 6:5), a composer (2 Samuel 1:17-27), emotional (2 Samuel 19:1-4; 12:16-23), compassionate (2 Samuel 9:1-13) lover boy and coyness (2 Samuel 11-12). David wants to taste everything. His strength was his weakness. And it was his weakness that humiliated him and brought him back to his senses.

Warrior – He began by being Saul’s armour bearer but soon surpasses him in battle (1 
Samuel 18:7), he evaded Saul’s attempt at his life (1 Samuel 18:10-11), he knew how to use power by not eliminating Saul when he had the opportunity (1 Samuel 26). He killed Goliath the Philistine (1 Samuel 17). David’s sojourn in the wilderness as he was tending to his father’s animals prepared him for the responsibility ahead of him. In the wilderness, he cultivated self-discipline, knew how to draw boundaries and where to put his spaces. He was powerful because he had power but tamed his use of naked power.

King – He was a king for forty years. He had to gain mastery of himself before he could exercise this divine responsibility. The king moderates and balances for you to gain wholeness. He takes long before you can become a king or you can be called Father. You need to have loved, failed, sinned, been forgiven several times for you to learn the mysteries of life. You need to understand power and know how to use power. David became the king of Israel only when he honoured and protected the kingship of Saul. Read 2 Samuel 8:15. Whenever the head is healthy, the whole kingdom flourishes.

Wiseman – He listened to Nathan and obeyed Samuel. Read 1 Samuel 19: 18-24. We see the life of David summarised by two prophets at the beginning and at the end of his life. In 1 Samuel 16:12, Prophet Samuel said “This is the one” and in 2 Samuel 12:7, Prophet Nathan said, “You are the man:.

We must all learn to moderate all these tendencies enumerated in 1 Samuel 16:18, so that we all can be men after God’s heart. Every gift or quality has its hubris. The truly integrated man is the one who has been able to maintain the tensions in these qualities and kept them in balance. The lover should not get carried away by the attention or ovation. He must remember that the same group of people who shouted Hosanna to Jesus screamed “Crucifiy Him”. The Warrior must realise that the world is not just controlled by brute force. Lord Acton said that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. The Wiseman must always seek the counsel of others. The mantra of Liverpool says that you never walk alone. Wisdom seeks counsel. Finally, the king must moderate every other characteristics with the wealth of experience garnered over the years.

Fr. Tee, SMA

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