(Acts 13:13-52) We read Paul’s first recorded sermon, delivered at Pisidian Antioch. God gave Paul some insight concerning King David. He quotes God as saying, “I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will” (13:22). Why did God reveal to Paul that David was a man “after My own heart” (NKJV)?
Scripture shows that David became an “expert” in matters of the heart. In the very beginning, when God rejected Saul for his disobedience, Samuel told Saul: “But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him ruler over His people” (1 Sam. 13:14). God’s discernment was confirmed by the selection of David as king. He said at that time, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). God approved what He saw in David’s heart.
In the words that David assigned to Asaph to give thanks to the Lord, we find, “Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be joyful. Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually” (1 Chron. 16:10-11). David discovered that “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face” (Prov. 15:13). He found strength in it, as did Nehemiah: “The joy of the LORD is your strength” (8:10).
Hear the prayer of Solomon: “David my father…walked before You in truth, righteousness, and uprightness of heart toward You” (1 Kgs. 3:6). God responded to Solomon with these words: “As for you…walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and honesty” (1 Kgs. 9:4). It is obvious that God is concerned with our heart condition!
David mentioned the heart about two hundred times in Psalms and Proverbs. God desires a thankful heart: “I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders” (Ps. 9:1). God desires a steadfast (faithful) heart: “My heart is steadfast, God; I will sing, I will sing praises also with my soul” (Ps. 108:1). God desires a repentant heart: “Examine me, Lord, and put me to the test; refine my mind and my heart” (Ps. 26:2). Create in me a clean heart, God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10). “Search me, God, and know my heart” (Ps. 139:23).
And finally, be careful not to trust your own heart. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5). Always remember: “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails” (Prov. 19:21, NIV).
God’s work is a work of the heart. Paul concluded his sermon by quoting Habakkuk 1:5. All scoffers, mockers, and doubters should marvel, “For I am accomplishing a work in your days—You would not believe it even if you were told!” Take a moment to pause and look around. God is doing His work today in all of our hearts. “Blessed are those who…seek Him with all their heart” (Ps. 119:2).