John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

David's Heart (part 2)

Thanks to all the people who played along and said hello. I still don't know who is in Minneapolis -- or Egypt for that matter! Still, it's fun to see who stumbles across my blog. Lots of folks from the Dallas/Fort Worth area lately. Hmmm.... The question on the table is still this: Why was David known as a man after God's own heart? I mean, if we look honestly at what the Bible says about him, his record isn't that impressive. Sure, he was a great musician, intense warrior, poet and statesman. But he was a disaster as a husband and father. He did really stupid, disastrous things. When he sinned, he sinned big.

This is not the kind of man we normally think of when we think of being a person after God's own heart.

But we noticed before his unwillingness to turn away from YHWH. He had no other gods, and when he messed up he took his mess to the only God he had. I think that's part of what made David's heart so special.

Another thing about David's heart is that it is characterized by a sense of wild abandon. When David praised God, he did it with his whole heart (see Psalms 9, 86 and 111). He didn't hold anything back, wasn't calculating and cautious with his heart.

There's a great story of David dancing for joy with all his might. I have three little girls in my house, and they are like that. They dance and get so excited about things that sometimes they just jump up and down squealing. When Anabel was a little younger, she would hear the theme song to her favorite show and say, "Oh! It's time to dance!" And she would just dance and twirl and jump and squeal with delight.

That's what David was like. That is nothing like me at all. Unless I'm at a baseball game.

Ugh! That last line says something about me, doesn't it?

I was raised in a very conservative church. We were not prone to be wild and reckless with our hearts. We were not real big on the jumping up and down part of worship. If we got really excited, we might say, "Amen." That's about it. If we got really, really excited -- in a way that you'd remember for years, we might say, "A-men." That was over the top.

But David was like a little kid in his excitement over what God was doing, had done or was going to do. When's the last time you were so overwhelmed with what God was doing that you just had to jump up and down and high-five the person next to you?

I want to have a heart like that. I don't want to go to my grave with a heart that was cold and calculating and protected and safe. I want to have a passionate heart that is sold out to God with a sort of wild abandon. After all, that's the kind of heart God has for me. God is not neutral about me. He is for me. He cheers me on. He longs to lavish good gifts on me. It's almost as if God can't help himself -- he just loves us so much that he is willing to go to incredible lengths to restore us and draw us back to himself. God himself gives his heart to us without holding anything back. As the Apostle Paul says, "If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us?" (Romans 8:32, The Message).

David had a heart like that. He gave it with wild abandon, and that's another reason why he's called a man after God's own heart.