Monday, 2 January 2023
“And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ Acts 13:22
The previous verse referred to the reign of Saul. With that remembered, it now says, “And when He had removed him.” It refers to Saul who had disobeyed the Lord in two critical matters. The final one cost him the kingship. The account is found in 1 Samuel 15, and it is summed up with these words –
“And as Samuel turned around to go away, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. 28 So Samuel said to him, ‘The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. 29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent.’” 1 Samuel 15:27-29
From there, Paul continues with, “He raised up for them David as king.” Israel had asked for a king, rejecting the Lord as king over them. Therefore, He gave them what they asked for. In Saul’s disobedience, but still in agreement with the will of the people, the Lord continued a kingship over Israel. But this time, it would be in accord with the prophecy of Jacob that the scepter (the rule of a king) would not depart from Judah until Shiloh came.
Shiloh is an anticipatory appellation for the coming Messiah. In raising up David, this prophecy would come about. The name David means Beloved. Of David, Paul next says, “to whom also He gave testimony,”
The meaning is “about David also the Lord gave testimony.” In other words, the Lord spoke words concerning David that defined his character and the Lord’s attitude toward it. The Lord spoke, “and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse.’”
The words mean that the Lord searched out David, knowing all that his life was and would be. The sum of what could be found in David is what the Lord “found” concerning him. He was the proper choice by which to continue the redemptive narrative. Despite David’s many faults, he was a man of great character in his dealings with the Lord and with those around him.
The name Jesse means My Husband. But it also means Yehovah Exists. As such the name Jesse contains the weighty notion that human marriage reflects divine revelation. In considering these names in the surrounding Old Testament accounts, great hints of God’s workings in relation to the coming Messiah become evident. As for David, the Lord says he is “a man after My own heart.”
Paul takes two Old Testament verses and combines them to give a full description of the character of David. The first concerns what he was looking for in a king when addressing Saul –
“But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” 1 Samuel 13:14
The second is a reference to David from the psalms –
“I have found My servant David;
With My holy oil I have anointed him.” Psalm 89:20
Taken together, the two thoughts show that David is what the Lord searched for after first giving what Israel asked for. Because of whom David was, and because that included being a man after the Lord’s own heart, the Lord knew that he was one, as he says, “who will do all My will.” The sentiment is found in the continued words of Psalm 89. In verse 21, it says, “With whom My hand shall be established.”
In other words, the Lord’s will, His hand, would be realized in the person of David, who would establish that will in all his doings. Unlike Saul who rejected the word of the Lord, when the Lord spoke, David complied. In the times he did not, such as in his adultery with Bathsheba, his heart was convicted, and he returned fully to the Lord. Thus, the will of the Lord was wholly established through David.
Life application: The Lord “found” David in a certain condition, a certain state, before Him. As noted, this means that the Lord looked upon David, from beginning to end, and knew that he was a man whose very character defined what was good and right in his overall attitude and conduct.
The Lord has also “found” you out. He already knows everything about who you are, from beginning to end. However, you do not. This sentiment is expressed by David –
“O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.” Psalm 139:1-6
David understood that the Lord knew everything about him from beginning to end. As he knew this, he directed his life toward the Lord’s ways. Now that you know this is true about you, you can also demonstrate the wisdom of David and direct your ways to the ways of the Lord. What God has “found” in you does not have to simply be who you have been in the past, but who you can be in the future.
In turning to the Lord and living for Him now, what the Lord has “found” already about you is that you are a person who is willing to turn wholly to Him and follow in His ways. If you don’t do this, then that is what the Lord has “found” about you. Contemplate this and understand that you can be “found” by the Lord in a manner that pleases Him from this point on. He already knows what you will do. Do what is right, and in your doing, you will be found a person after His own heart.
Lord God, You already know everything about us. We can only direct the future by our conduct as we express it from moment to moment. May what You know about us be something that shows we are people who live after Your heart from this moment forward and for all our lives. To Your glory, we pray. Amen.