“But now thy kingdom shall
not continue: the LORD hath sought Him a man after His own heart, and the LORD
hath commanded him to be captain over His people, because thou hast not kept
that which the LORD commanded thee.” (1Sam. 13:14).
did Samuel call David a
man after God’s own heart? What did he mean by a man after God's own
heart? Did he mean that the man would love like God loves? Did he mean that the man would follow the example set by God like a hunter chasing its prey? Either sounds like David. David said, “My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.” (Ps. 63:8). Was David a man by our definition of a man? No, David was a
child at that time Samuel dismissed Saul as king. And even when David was unveiled to Israel he didn’t look
or act like the typical man.
“He was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look
to.” (1Sam. 16:12). The
word, “man”, assumes maturity. David didn’t have the look of the typical mature
man—careworn, sullen, unhappy. David was every bit the opposite of that. He was
joyful, youthful, unmarked by internal conflicts. He was like the King who
would follow in his steps, “the Messiah the Prince.” (Dan. 9:25).
The “Son of David” (Matt.
12:23) was childlike as his earthly father had been. He had peace with God like
David had, only He was greater than David. His peace was infinitely deep. That childlikeness
left Him very unlike the other men, of whom it is written “the way of peace
have they not known.” (Rom. 3:17). Compared to the other men who battled with
life, Jesus didn’t appear mature at all. His peace left him very youthful in every respect. True, He received a different complexion resulting from His battles in
the wilderness with Satan, but, His warm, earnest smile and engaging
temperament covered His marred face with spiritual beauty. “He shall
grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he
hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that
we should desire him.” (Isa. 53:2).
David’s youthful appearance
made Goliath very angry when the little shepherd boy came out to fight him, a
respected warrior. The perceived insult was that Goliath didn’t rate a regular
soldier to fight him. Instead of another furious gladiator to make the kill
worth watching, in the soft answer that the Lord had sent to turn away his wrath, Goliath
saw a sneer at his power and bloodthirstiness. And doesn’t God do everything He can to attempt our needed humilation? When Elisha did the same to the Syrian secretary of
war Naaman, Elisha got the same response. If King Saul thought his height made
him a great man, and Goliath even a greater man, then the King of heaven will
look down upon them all and challenge their self-exaltation.
“Thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at
them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.” (Ps. 59:8).
“And when the Philistine
looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and
ruddy, and of a fair countenance. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a
dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his
gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh
unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. Then said David to
the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a
shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the
armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” (1Sam. 17:42-45). To Goliath was
nothing more than a pretty boy. A lad. A “stripling” (Vs. 56), a child to be kept
out of sight.
The humble approach to defuse Goliath might have
been what inspired David to write the verse from his eighth psalm. “Out of the
mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of Thine
enemies, that Thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” (Ps. 8:2). David
was poetic and musical. He was everything a “mature” man shouldn’t be. Yet, he
was a man like Jesus was a man—neither one accepted by the mature,
As it turned out David was a
man—but a different sort of a man. He was manly only because he loved receiving
grace from God. It was mercy and grace that made David a person of justice and
truth. He was jealous for the honor of God who had befriended him and given him the
great sign of acceptance—peace, deep peace, “the peace of God, which passeth
all understanding.” (Phil. 4:7).
So David was manly, but
unexpectedly so, in a new and living way. “This day will the LORD deliver thee
into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I
will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls
of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know
that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD
saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give
you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came
and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet
the Philistine.” (1Sam. 17:46-48).
David wasn’t gruesome or
vengeful when he took “the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem.”
(Vs. 54). He was satisfied that the enemy of God was dealt with in justice. A
man of war from his youth, Goliath had been trained to destroy the God of love.
He perfectly reflected the spirit of Satan who sought to be “great, even to the
host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the
ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the Prince of
the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of His
sanctuary was cast down.” (Dan 8:10,11).
“And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against
God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them:
and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Rev
Yet, despite the warfare
David made fighting with the violent servants of Baal, his was not a fighting
spirit. He loved peace and sought to make peace. David understood that “the
fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” (Jas. 3:18).
But, Israel was surrounded by
nations of Canaanites who had departed from the God of justice and mercy, and
they had none of that. Satan’s dark, violent spirit turned them into “natural
brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, [who] speak evil of the things
that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; and
shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to
riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with
their own deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery,
and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have
exercised with covetous practices; cursed children.” (2Pet. 2:12-14).
But, neither did other men in
David’s cabinet of counselors know the love of God. Their justice was no better
than the Canaanites’. Sin can happen to anybody. It can spring up from even the
best of us.
“Woe is me…!
My soul hath long dwelt with
him that hateth peace.
I am for peace: but when I
speak, they are for war.” (Ps. 120:5-7).
Likewise, Jesus, the Man
after whose heart David followed so hard, was a Man of peace. “For unto us a Child
is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder:
and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The
everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isa. 9:6). Jesus was the great
Prince of peace. But, for the sake of His Father’s eternal kingdom, He was also
“a man of war” (Ex. 15:3). He had to wage endless warfare against the enemies of
His Father’s kingdom who tenaciously strove to maintain human tradition inspired by lawless spiritualism. Nevertheless, Jesus’ warfare made me very distraught when I sought to have
peace and to see a Saviour of peace. But, most of what I read sounded like
Jesus was a trouble-maker, and a lover of debate, a know-it-all who liked to
show off His spiritual prowess. Just read John 8 and Matthew 23. It seemed like
the gospels listed His warfare in great detail, but His mercy in broad, brief
generalizations. I wanted to know the details of “the gracious words which
proceeded out of His mouth.” (Luke 4:22). I learned later that we see Jesus through the people of the Bible.
“And they said, Is not this
Joseph’s Son?” (Luke 4:22). The church people refused to see past His youthful
appearance that clashed with the traditional expectations of a man who would be
as morose and lifeless as the typical fallen human who was dead in sin. “They
63:10) against the unspoken message from His beautiful countenance, the
promise of life “for evermore” (Ps. 16:11), and they “vexed His holy Spirit.”
“Therefore He was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them.” (Isa.
63:10). “With righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for
the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth,
and with the breath of His lips shall he slay the wicked.” (Isa. 11:4).
was the Prince of peace who would cut off the wicked in their consciences and
be “delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1Tim. 1:20).
We don’t feel comfortable about Him doing that because maybe He will turn on
us! But, who were the wicked?
Everyone who was not meek, everyone
who refused to be humbled were the wicked. A God who humbles pride is not the
Saviour that the world wants. We don’t think of a Saviour who slays our
wickedness. And that has been the problem throughout all time. The fallen
children of Adam have never wanted to be brought to repentance, starting with
Cain. But, Cain’s problem has been all of our problem. We own the same carnal
nature that Cain and his parents had. Sin doesn’t desire humiliation. It will
not be humbled. Sin rejects reproof, because Satan controls the hearts of
But, God will test every
sinner and find out who will back down from their gigantic pride. Therefore, He
sent prophets and His own Son. The Son of God was not only a tender plant and a living root in dry ground, but
He was a rod of righteousness. And He was the one who David typified, “a man Child,
who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.” (Rev. 12:5).
“Behold, the days come, saith
the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall
reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” (Jer.
23:5). “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour,
for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:31).
He would find all the sinners
who would back down, everyone whose “mouth may be stopped” and whose conscience
might “become guilty before God.” (Rom. 3:19). Those precious humbled ones
would make up His kingdom. They could bow before the Most High who He
represented; therefore they would make proper subjects of the Great King who
they have been tempted to blaspheme and insult. But, for anyone who would
repent, the King, notwithstanding their great insolence against Him, would treat them as full-fledge
citizens of His eternal domination. If they would be humbled and keep getting
humbled ever afterward until their ultimate humiliation at death, then they
could be exalted, starting at their first humiliation giving them a taste of their
“For we are made partakers of
Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.” (Heb.
3:14). “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in
My word, then are ye My disciples indeed.” (John 8:31).
All who could stay with
Jesus, abiding with Him, despite the prospects of their sins being reproved on
a non-stop basis, have the Son. And he that “hath the Son” (1Jn. 5:12) “hath
eternal life.” (John 6:54). But, contrariwise, all who stop accepting the
humiliation of their pride and sin, leave the Prince and Saviour. No one “that
hath not the Son of God” (1Jn. 5:12) “hath eternal life abiding in him” (1Jn.
3:15) because “the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36).
And the blessing to those who
continue under Jesus’ administration of truth and grace will know great peace
and certainty of salvation. “In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall
dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR
RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jer. 23:6).
Our Saviour is both meek and manly. Our
great High Priest is also the King of kings. He is both Prince and Savior. Are
you interested in following Him? Will you accept the convicting Prince who
judges righteously because you have learned that He is still a tender plant?
The Child is born to us as a Wonderful Counselor; though to our frowardness He
is the also Word of God whose convictions are “quick, and powerful, and sharper
than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and
spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and
intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12).
Won’t we take the candid Prince
in order to have the gentle Saviour who immediately perceives the crest-fallen
pride and turns to encourage the heart broken in contrition? Will we take the
bad with the good, His “evil” with His “peace” (Isa. 45:7)? Will we accept His
necessary evil for the blessedness that comes we confess to Him our sin? Will
violent pride and sin dominate us, or will gentle humility and grace? Will we
be a Goliath with a forehead full of blasphemy? Or, will we be a David with a heart that
followed hard after “the God of [his] life” (Ps. 42:8)? “He shall receive the
blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” (Ps.
24:5). Will we receive the seal of God or the mark of the beast?
“And whosoever shall fall on
this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him
to powder.” (Matt. 21:44).
For all who will be humbled,
who will sorrow for their sin instead of fighting for their pride, He promises,
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me; because the LORD hath anointed Me to
preach good tidings unto the meek.” (Isa. 61:1). The meek are not meek because
they were born that way; no one is born a meek sinner. Sinners are all born
shaking their fist at God, no matter how mildly or ethically they shake their fist. Those in
this promise are only meek because they got their mammoth pride humbled. The
humbled, who bore up under the humbling process until the day of their death, will be able to hear
the beauty of the gospel that the Bible preaches to them; but, everyone else
have no ears to hear it. All the promises that are Yea and Amen to the humbled,
mean nothing but foolishness to everyone who turned down the humbling. The
common people heard Jesus gladly because, after the providential Roman Empire plague,
they had endured their heavy-handed father John with his ax at the root of
their sins. Are you humbled? You can know by reading the Testimonies of Jesus.
Try Testimonies for the Church, volume 2, pages 631-677 and see if you don’t
feel like an “unprofitable [servant]” (Luke 17:10). And that is only one testimony! But, the Jews who
surrendered to the hardships and discipline from God were worthy to receive the
blessings of a Saviour from God. And for us, the same promise from the Father
still stands today.
It’s our choice. If we will
accept the humbling of God whenever, however, wherever, from whoever it comes
(friend or foe), then we will hear the manly and joyful voice of Jesus saying, “He
hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the
acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort
all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty
for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of
heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of
the LORD, that he might be glorified.” (Isa. 61:1-3).