10 Reasons David Is Called “A Man After God’s Own Heart”


Acts 13:22 says, “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.‘”

Previously I posted on this truth of David being a man after God’s own heart. (You can read that post HERE.)

The following words describe the heart of David as seen in his own writings:

(All verses New International Version)

Humble – Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. Psalm 62:9

Reverent – I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:3

Respectful – Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. Psalm 31:9

Trusting – The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Loving – I love you, O Lord, my strength. Psalm 18:1

Devoted – You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. Psalm 4:7

Recognition – I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. Psalm 9:1

Faithful – Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6

Obedient – Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Psalm 119:34

Repentant – For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. Psalm 25:11

David’s example is a great road map for how we are to live our life.

Which of these areas need your greatest attention for improvement?

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29 thoughts on “10 Reasons David Is Called “A Man After God’s Own Heart”

  1. This is so difficult for me. David was a man after God's heart, but not, it seems, when it came to other people. So many people suffered because of him: 1) Uriah the Hittite(and anyone who loved him); 2) Bathsheba lost her husband(a good man) and son. I would assume that she had little choice in her encounter with David…he was the king; 3) Uzzah(and all who loved him) — from what I've read, the way David was having the Ark of the Covenant transported was NOT the way God had instructed that it should be moved.

    Numbers 4 and 5 are two of the saddest stories in the Bible, as far as I'm concerned: 4) The Amnon/Tamar/Absalom story…lives destroyed, because David did not obey God's will by having one wife, and one wife only(and stay faithful to her, which would have meant that he wouldn't have had any concubines); and 5) Michal…she loved David. She went against her father's wishes and hid David and saved his life. David, however, didn't wait until he could come back to her. Michal is given to another man, who cares so much for her that he is utterly devastated when David takes her away from him(and I see no indication in the Bible that David loved her…just that he was going to have her!). Now Michal, who had loved David and then been abandoned by him after saving his life, married again to a man who seemed to greatly value her, only to be taken away by David to share him with all his other wives and concubines. Then she sees him dancing half naked, rebukes him(I would assume that she was, by now after all she had endured, a very sad woman), only to have him use God as an excuse for doing what seems a very ungodly thing, and then mock her and tell her that he was going to become even more undignified, but that, basically, the girls who were watching him would be impressed!

    How could someone who loved God when it came to some things in life, be so disobedient, and not even see that he was destroying those very people he should be taking care of??!! I'm in my mid-fifties, have been a Christian since I was a little girl, and have attended church since then. I have always gotten the impression that we are supposed to think of David as a great, great, godly man, but the more I read the Bible on my own, the less I think of David, and the more I wonder how a man after God's heart can be so selfish and callous toward the individuals in his life that he should be taking care of.

    Any thoughts?

    • I think you're asking good questions. I wonder though if there's a bigger question. Should we be looking not so much at David when we consider his story, but at God. Is it not a picture of His grace and forgiveness? Does it not point to His ability to keep the promise He committed to David? Does it not a sure those of us who continue to make mistakes and fall short of the glory of God that He who began a good working I was will be faithful to complete it? I personally find great comfort in David's story for my own story.

      • Your points are just what I needed to be reminded of. It's not about David, it's about God.

        I think when we make heroes of individuals in the Bible, it can become confusing. For example: I remember coloring pictures in Sunday School of Joseph wearing his coat of many colors. It was supposed to be a happy story about a father's love for his son, but in Sunday School it was never pointed out that the obvious favoritism shown to Joseph caused sibling rivalry that resulted in a lot of pain for a lot of people…Joseph's father most of all. As a child I was disturbed by that fact that we were supposed to think that it was wonderful that Jacob loved Joseph the most. As an adult I could see that it was wrong, had consequences, and Jacob had learned this attitude from his father's and his grandfather's examples.

        Your comment concerning God's grace and forgiveness is something I need to be reminded of. Often when I'm struggling with a bad attitude, or am embarrassed about my some of my irritating personality traits, I wonder if God isn't so annoyed with me that He would just rather I leave Him alone! But He wants a relationship with me, in spite of my failings. As he used also-far-from-perfect David, He can use me. He used the consequences of the sins in the Jacob/Joseph situation to carry out great things…that story, too, is, ultimately about God, not the people involved.

        Thank you for your reply. David's story is, ultimately, NOT about David, but about God. I should know these things — they are somewhere in the back of my brain…I just need to be reminded :)

          • In stating that David is a man after God's own heart never equated David with God. He was still human, hence …a man after God's own heart. In going through the life of David one sees, in the midst of his human weaknesses, characteristics that are acceptable to God. The word of God did well in not hiding the shortfalls from us. When challenged about his sin, David repented and confessed, unlike Saul who kept on blaming others instead of taking responsibility. Showed kindness to the children of enemies…Mephibosheth, Saul's grandson. Consulted, God in battles he fought as to whether or not it was proper to do so. Acknowledged the he needed the Lord's hand to succeed, in spite of the vast armies he had. Recognised that there is more to life than the physical. He embraced the divine and looked up to God. Even when challenged he did not blame God, but acknowledged that God knows better under the circumstances. At times when he ought to have revenged he showed mercy. He worshiped God…sang Gods praises thereby telling or pronouncing God's goodness. He marketed God to fellow Human beings

  2. David sees himself as sheep that need help of his shepherd,
    He never prang about his own abilities but see God has strenght,
    He see the LORD battle as his own and depend God to fight for him,
    He see God as his provider called Him my shephard

  3. God is my Heavenly Father, one who adopted me as His child. Made me acceptable through the death and burial, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ on the Cross shedding His blood that I might receive forgiveness of all my sins. As a child desires to be as its earthly father, pleasing and obedient to him in all he asked my heart is to do the same with my Heavenly Father. The scriptures says God is my husband, I'm in covenant with Him, therefore I'm after all He desires for me as His child.

  4. David's love for God was raw/candid and true. He wasn't perfect but he worked at his relationship, with open communication, love and honesty. He had a covenant/marriage with God. Like a husband and wife would. A team.

    Thanks Ron for that message.

  5. I can sum it up much more simple than anyone here…….God was a God after David's own heart….that was the key…..David recognized God's awesome love, compassion and mercy toward all creation not just men. He judged God and received the same judgment from God.

  6. I am hungry for the word of God and I am like a clean page yet to be filled with jehova’s gospel please if you do get to read this I need need bible lessons but I am poor I can not afford the fees, please any help, I love what I am reading and I will stop @ nothing to be filled with his word amen

    • I would suggest reading leviticus from begging to end and proverbs is a good start too it will teach you a lot. And the best way to learn is to read with pane and paper and every point or parable you dont understand try to make it appeal to you try figure it out in your own words like the one above of David : a man after Gods heart… and pray for understanding ask God for help

  7. Here's a thought. Is this reference saying that David " takes after God " (God's heart) in the same sense as we might say that one's son takes after his father. Or is like his father. Or is this reference saying that David is a " pursuer " of Gods heart. In other words he is trying to win God's love much like a man would try and win the love of a woman or an employee win the favor of his employer. Is David is a pursuer of God trying to find out what God wants from him and has become enamored you might say with the thought of learning about, becoming intimately acquainted with God's heart. The Greek reference in Acts 13:22 is not clear (at least not to me) but the Hebrew reference in Samuel 13:14 does list the word " pursuing " as one of the many English words the original Hebrew word (" achar " Strong's reference # 310) was rendered into by the A.V. translators. I tend to lean toward this idea of David being a pursuer of God's heart, not that he is " like God in heart ". Many are after riches, fame or power. But David was after God's own heart. Just a thought. Something to think and pray about.

    • Yes, I believe you got it! After God's own heart. David is " after or seeking" God's heart or love or affection since the heart of God is LOVE. It's just like saying I am after your life – I want to kill you, or "I am after your riches" or he wants your riches.

      David desires God's love for him and when God in many occasions showed him or showered him with his love David reciprocates by loving God in return.

      Jesus reveals to humanity the "heart of God." It's like the heart of a Father longing to see again his prodigal son, ready to forgive and to accept again into his house.

      Jesus also revealed that God so love the world that he even sent him and spared him not for mankind.

      Paul knew the heart of God when he confidently declared that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

      Jesus commands us to show this "heart of God" towards one another by "loving one another as I have love you."

  8. I appreciated the writer and the answers to this question, may the good God grant you more wisdom and inspiration. I want to talk on last reason why David was a man after God’s own heart, which is Repentance; I believed is one of the quality David posses, that make God called Him a man after His own heart. Considered the case in 2Samuel 12:1-13

    • God didn't need to repent, but David did. God created us for oneness…we rebelled…He chases after us with grace. When we repent, surrender, admit, believe, we can receive the grace He extends. And, our hearts are aligned for one purpose.

      • I agree that repentance is a beneficial quality for those of us who have something to repent against, such as David. God's own heart cannot be repentant because he has never had something to repent against, which means it is not a quality that could be "after his own heart."

        • Thanks. It's a quality that honors God. In my opinion. It's a command. And obedience honors God. That's my point. Yours is accepted. Thanks. 

  9. I think I'm pretty excited about becoming a man after God's own heart, until I get to the last line: Repentant. True repentance is just so painful (towards God and others). Needed, obviously, but something I wish wasn't a necessary part of the equation.