Qualities of the Heart of David #1

Fred R. Coulter—April 8, 2000

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We will a little later start into how it was that David was called a man after God's heart!That's certainly something that we want to try and emulate, that kind of attitude and that kind of heart. Then we will finish off with the mind of Christ, because that is the ultimate.

If we can have the heart of David and the mind of Christ, then we can always do those things that are pleasing to God. Then God will be with us more. That doesn't mean that we will have fewer trials. The absence of trials does not necessarily mean that God is with you. It says that all of those who will enter into the Kingdom of God that it is 'through much tribulation' that they do so. So, there will be trials.

As I pointed out for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, God delivers us out of them all. Sometimes there are some very sore trials, and David went through some sore trials. We will see how it is that David responded to God.

With All Your Heart

That's what God wants! Isa. 66 is really quite a profound section, and it tells us an awful lot concerning God's attitude toward us, God's attitude toward things, rituals and so forth.

Isaiah 66:1: "Thus says the LORD, 'The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where then is the house that you build for Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all these things My hand has made, and these things came to be,' says the LORD…." (vs 1-2).

Even if you have the greatest plan, the finest of everything that can be—like Solomon did for building the temple—everything he did it with was created by God! So, God is telling us that there is nothing great that we can do, except:

"…'But to this one I will look, to him who is of a poor and contrite spirit and who trembles at My Word'" (v 2).

That's the whole key in everything that we are looking to in our relationship with God. That is more precious than all the burnt offerings, than all the temples, all the buildings and the lands.

We have seen that the Worldwide Church of God came to an end. The properties were sold. Why? Because everyone was looking to the physical things, and not taking care of their heart! God took it all away from them; it's gone!
Let's see something else that is important that has to do with our heart. Everywhere you go in the Bible and find out the turning point of someone's attitude when they began to do evil, as we've seem, their hearts get lifted up, just like Nebuchadnezzar. His heart got lifted up and he was struck mad for seven years.

Isaiah 57:15: "For thus says the high and lofty One Who inhabits eternity…" I've contemplated that an awful lot. God lives in a totally different level of existence than we do, and He inhabits eternity. This is what He wants to bring us into.

"…Whose name is Holy; 'I dwell in the high and Holy place…'" (v 15)—which is the Majesty on high, and we have direct access to that through Jesus Christ.

"…even with the one who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones" (v 15). We will see how contrite David's heart was; that's why he was a man after God's heart.

It's interesting that Isa. starts out this way, and also ends this way. Many times you find that what is inspired to be preserved in the Bible, the way something starts and the way it ends is very similar. I think that's interesting, because Jesus said that He is 'the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last.' So, we have it here.

Isaiah 1:10: "Hear the Word of the LORD, rulers of Sodom; give ear to the Law of our God, people of Gomorrah" Their conduct is very sinful! They think that they are delivered to remain in these sins.

Verse 11: "'To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?' says the LORD. 'I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of he-goats.'"

Let's stop and think about this for a minute. God commanded that those sacrifices be given in the first place—didn't He? So, the thing is, if they're living in sin, and their hearts are not right, those things are completely meaningless to God. In fact they're a detriment, because what people begin to do is trust in the sacrifice.

Very likely what they did, they began to look at it as if they gave this sacrifice, then God is compelled to respond, much like it is with the Catholic Eucharist today; that God must come and put His presence in there, because the priest commands it. That's the same attitude!

Verse 12: "When you come to appear before Me, who has required this at your hand, to trample My courts? Bring no more vain sacrifices…" (vs 12-13).

If the heart was not right, all of the sacrifices, all of the ritual was not even accepted by God. But then people began to trust in it.

"…incense is an abomination to Me—new moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies…" (v 13). Whatever you did was wrong, even the Sabbath Day!

Have you ever gone to church on the Sabbath Day, in your past experience, and you pray go before you go to church, 'O God, let this be a wonderful Sabbath Day. Last week was not too good, but let this one be good'? You go and by the time you get out of services you're in a bad attitude and you're all upset? Yes!

Well, in that kind of Sabbath, God is not there! Though it's His day that He commanded. This can also refer to their new moons, their sabbaths, which can refer to any day that they worshipped on. When they worshipped Baal and Ashtoroth, it was on Sunday and they did it right at the temple of God.

"…I cannot endure iniquity along with the solemn assembly! Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; they are a trouble to Me; I am weary to bear them. And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of blood" (vs 13-15). Then God calls them to repentance!

This also is what we need to understand today. We can apply the same thing today with the grace of God. God has given His grace that we live under as an umbrella covering us, and bring to us all the aspects of God:

  • His love
  • His grace
  • His mercy
  • His righteousness
  • His forgiveness

But if we treat that lightly, with the same kind of attitude that they had here, and say that no one can keep the Law, no one has to keep any commandments, Christ ended it all, then we end up with the same kind of attitude that God will have toward us as God had toward them who were doing things at the temple that God said not to do, because the heart, the spirit and humbleness is what God wants.

Isaiah 66:3: "He who kills an ox is as if he killed a man; he who sacrifices a lamb is as if he broke a dog's neck; he who offers a grain offering is as if he offered swine's blood…"

What was it that Antiochus Epiphanes did? He offered swine and swine's blood as the abomination that made desolate! That's how God looks at it.

"…he who burns incense is as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations" (v 3).

Then God turns around and He does exactly what we've seen happen all the time.

Verse 4: "I also will choose their delusions, and I will bring their fears upon them because when I called, no one answered; when I spoke, they did not hear. But they did evil before My eyes and chose that in which I did not delight."

Think about that today when we have the whole Bible, all of God's Word. Then you begin to understand the magnitude of why it is that the properties of the Worldwide Church have been sold. God has destroyed and ended the Worldwide Church of God; but He won't destroy the spiritual believers, the true believers with the Holy Spirit of God!

There are so many lessons for us to learn in that, and it is so profound that we're really going to learn a lot from that.

I look back at the times when Delores and I would go down there [to Pasadena, CA, and the campus of Ambassador College] and it was beautiful, marvelous, a foretaste of the Millennium. It was a type of the Kingdom of God on earth. You could leave money in your little mailbox and it would always remain there; no one would take it. There was no stealing, no lying, it was really great.

But when they turned—I think the turning point began to occur when Mrs. Loma Armstrong died—and from that time on things began to go the wrong way.

God was there all the time with His Word. "…when I called, no one answered; when I spoke… [out of His Word] …they did not hear…" (v 4)—no one responded! But there is always a remnant, because Jesus said that His Church 'would not die out; that the gates hell (grave) would not prevail against it.'

Verse 5: "Hear the Word of the LORD, you who tremble at His Word…" That compares to the ones who don't in vs 3-4. The ones "…who tremble at His Word…" refers back to v 2, tying it together with the comparison. 

"…'Your brethren who hated you…" (v 5). I've used this many times, because that's what happened. Isn't that something, that within the Church of God you end up with all this hatred and fighting?

"…who cast you out for My name's sake… [in other words, it was done for the name of Christ, and many times in the name of Christ] …said, 'Let the LORD be glorified.' But He will appear to your joy, and they will be ashamed." (v 5).

This is why God wants us to be wholehearted with Him in everything that we do! Let's see how God wanted this with Israel. Let's put it all together, because you can't separate out… That's why Jesus made the statements like:

  • if you love Me, keep My commandments
  • he that has His commandments and is keeping them, knows Him

We will see that God wants it with our whole heart.

Deuteronomy 6:1: "Now, these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD our God commanded to teach you so that you might do them in the land where you go to possess it, that you might fear the LORD your God…" (vs 1-2).

We always have to have the fear; if nothing else, have the fear. If you have the right kind of fear of God, then your mind will be opened. That's the beginning of humble and contrite mind and spirit to fear God! Then you're not being lifted up in your vanity and haughtiness.

"…to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you, and your son, and your son's son, all the days of your life, and so that your days may be prolonged" (v 2). God always wanted to do good for Israel!

It just seems to be that way with this generation. The parents wanted to do good for it, but look at what this generation has done. They've kicked God out and they want to go their own way!

Verse 3: "Hear therefore, O Israel, and be diligent to observe it, so that it may be well with you, and that you may greatly multiply…" Think about that spiritually, too, "…that you may greatly multiply…" in the Holy Spirit.

"…as the LORD God of our fathers has promised you, in the land that flows with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel. Our one God is the LORD, the LORD. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart… [that's what God wants] …and with all your soul and with all your might" (vs 3-5).

Why does God require that? Because of the great destiny that God has for us! That we will receive glory and splendor, a spiritual body and spiritual mind, and have residence in the city of Jerusalem in the Kingdom of God! The children of Israel had their residence in the land that God gave them. So, likewise, God is going to give us the Kingdom. Didn't He say that 'it's the Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom'?

Think on that! I know how it is, we get out there and we get all involved in the everyday things that we do, and it's awfully easy to not be thinking of the things of God. It's awfully easy—especially in this hurry hustle bustle world that we live in—not to pray, not to study, not to think on God, not to do those things!

But when we do that, then we end up in the Laodicean attitude, which God has been correcting for a long time! That's why we have to go back to we have to 'love God with all our heart, mind, soul and might.'

Verse 6: "And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart." That's where God wants them! That ties right in with what we saw for the New Covenant. God is going to write them in our heart and mind, and our sins and iniquities he will remember no more!

Here we have the same thing, with all your heart;Deuteronomy 10:12: "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways…"

We're to walk in the ways, the good works that have been created for us to walk in (Eph. 2:10). We're to walk in the ways of His Sabbath and Holy Days, and all the things of God.

"…and to love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, to keep the commandments of the LORD, and His statutes which I command you today for your good?" (vs 12-13).

Keep that in mind. Always remember this Scripture, because whenever you come across a Protestant that says, 'God gave the commandments to the Jews to curse them, to destroy them.' NO, He didn't! Their sins destroyed them! Their sins cursed them! Not the Law!

Verse 14: "Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the LORD your God, the earth also, with all that is in it. Only the LORD had a delight in your fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, you above all people, as it is today" (vs 14-15).

The New Testament tells us very clearly that if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise! So, when it says 'I chose your fathers' that's referring to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

This can be applied directly to us! Paul refers to that many, many times, how that it goes back to Abraham. Just like I wrote in The Christian Passover book, the covenant that God gave to Abraham in the three steps of the covenant, and how that applies directly to what we are doing in the New Covenant.

Verse 16: "Therefore, circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stiff-necked." This is the whole purpose of the New Covenant. This is actually a prophecy of the circumcision through Christ.

Too many times people make God in their own image! Or they try and follow those who are not God's, like demons, of which they don't realize it, but the demons will let people have a certain amount of control over them to deceive them. They think that they have great powers. People always discount God and try and make Him more like a man, even thought we're created in His image, God is nothing like a man!

Verse 17: "For the LORD your God is God of gods… [understand that He is Supreme, Sovereign] …and Lord of lords… [not some great and mighty hunter] …a great God, the mighty and awesome God Who does not respect persons nor take a bribe."

In other words, He is not a respecter of persons! His laws and commandments are always affective and in motion and work!

Verse 18: He executes justice for the fatherless and widow, and loves the stranger in giving him food and clothing. Therefore, love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the LORD your God. You shall serve Him, and you shall hold fast to Him, and swear by His name. He is your praise, and He is your God, Who has done for you these great and awesome things, which your eyes have seen. Your fathers went down into Egypt with seventy persons. And now the LORD your God has made you as the stars of the heavens for multitude" (vs 18-22).

It doesn't matter how small, it doesn't matter how little, because God can always add and there can always be the growth that God wants. God is able to do very much with very little! I think that's what God wants to show today.

  • He doesn't need the buildings
  • He doesn't need the colleges
  • He doesn't need all of the glitz and glamour

What He needs are the hearts of the people and those who are willing to do what He wants.

Also, remember the whole story of Gideon. God said, 'Gideon, I want you to fight the Midianites. Get up an army!' Lord, I've got 30,000! 'That's too many, Gideon. Take them all down by the river and you watch those who drink water and lap it up like a dog, choose those.' Gideon ended up with 300! God said, 'Gideon, you send all the rest home.' They had a night attack, because the battle was God's! We need to remember that! The fewer that we are, the more that God will fight our battles for us!

Then we trust in God rather than numbers. I remember going into the auditorium in Pasadena and it really made you feel good. You could go into that nice auditorium and you could see all of these people there, all there on the Sabbath. Not only that, they had a morning and an afternoon service. They had comfortable chairs to sit in, they had the choir, everything glitzy and glamorous!

But those things became important and they turned their hearts away from God! Now they're all gone!

Deuteronomy 11:1: "Therefore, you shall love the LORD your God, and keep His charge and His statutes and His judgments and His commandments always."

Verse 13—God says: "And it will be, if you will hearken diligently to My commandments, which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give the rain of your land in its due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock so that you may eat and be full" (vs 13-15).

Verse 16—Moses says: "Take heed to yourselves that your heart may not be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods, and worship them."

Hasn't that happened, over and over all through the history of the children of Israel? But the thing that is just astonishing to me is that it happened in the Church of God!

Solomon is a classic example as we go back to and look at time and time again of what happens to a Laodicean that goes after other gods. It fits the description perfectly.

1-Kings 8:22: "And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel and spread forth his hands toward the heavens. And he said, 'LORD God of Israel, there is no god like You, in heaven above or on earth beneath, who keeps covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their heart'" (vs 22-23). Then he refers to David, his father, that he has fulfilled what God promised him.

There are so many examples for us in serving and loving God with all our heart! That's what it needs to be. When we do that, you will find that living God's way will be more joyful. Praying and studying will be more meaningful, and you'll get far more out of it, because your mind is receptive.

It's one thing to study the Bible with a contrite spirit and humble mind and say, 'O Lord, teach me' than like so many people do, especially a lot of the critics who go to the Bible and say, 'Let's see where there's a conflict. Let's see where God is wrong!' You're not going to learn anything that way.

Psalm 86:11: "Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your Truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O LORD my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore, for great is Your mercy toward me; and You have delivered my soul from the depths of the grave" (vs 11-13).

Of course, in forgiving our sins, that's what He's done! He's delivered us from the lowest hell! Not as the world views hell, but that is the lowest depths of the grave.

Again, we will see that the New Testament, the New Covenant—which it should be called—is built upon the exact same premise that God gave to the children of Israel.

In all the literature that we send out there's a logo of any open Bible, and it quotes Mark 12, which we'll read right after Matt. 22. Here is the greatest thing. In other words, you look back and ask: What is the greatest thing you can do for God? Here it is right here, and you tie it all together with the other Scriptures: a humble heart and contrite spirit.

Matthew 22:37: "And Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment; and the second one is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets'" (vs 37-40). Everything that God does is based upon His love:

  • His Law is
  • His commandments are
  • His statutes are
  • the giving of the Prophets and inspiring them

It all hangs on the love of God! This is the sole and core purpose of why God has created man. We'll this repeated in Mark 12. Just like we find in the Old Testament, the New Testament repeats itself on the important and primary things of what we are to do.

Mark 12:29: "Then Jesus answered him, 'The first of all the commandments is, "Hear, O Israel. Our one God is the Lord, the Lord. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind… [and He adds]: …and with all your strength." This is the first commandment'" (vs 29-30).

The word first in Greek is 'protos' that means the primary, from which we get the English word. In other words, this is the primary commandments on which everything else has been built.

Verse 31: "'And the second is like this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." There is no other commandment greater than these.' Then the scribe said to Him, 'Right, Master. You have spoken according to Truth that God is one, and there is not another besides Him; and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.'" (vs 31-33).

That's quite a profound statement! We covered that at the beginning concerning what it's like if you offer sacrifices without the right kind of heart. It's more than all that.

Verse 34: "And Jesus, seeing that he answered with understanding, said to him, 'You are not far from the Kingdom of God.'…." He said in another place to the Pharisees about more than whole burnt offerings and so forth, 'Now go and learn what this means!'

A whole burnt offering is pretty expensive. If you take a whole bullock, you talk about offering unto God. It was a sweet savor unto God (Lev. 1).

Acts 8[transcriber's correction]—this is when Philip found the eunuch going on the way back to Ethiopia and he saw that he was reading out of the scroll of Isaiah.

Acts 8:35: "Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning from this Scripture, preached to him the Gospel of Jesus. And as they were going down the road, they came upon a certain pool of water; and the eunuch said, 'Look, there is water! What is preventing me from being baptized?' And Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart… [a total commitment to God, an absolute complete commitment to God] …it is permitted.' Then he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.' And he commanded the one driving the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him" (vs 35-38).

Obviously, he could have had a jug of water there that he could have sprinkled him with, but his baptism would have been sprinkling. You don't travel without water. That shows that it's baptism by immersion!

One other thing, v 37 is missing in the New International Version. It reads this way; v 36: What can stand in the way… [hinders me] …of my being baptized? [v 38]: And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him."

Giving absolutely no condition for baptism! A lot of people think that v 37—if you believe with all your heart you may—that that is not a real commitment. It is!

Verse 37 (KJV): "And Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.' And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'"

The Heart of David/Mind of Christ

  • Repentance

We will find out about why David was a man after God's heart! It was all in his love of God and the love of

  • His Word
  • His commandments
  • His statutes
  • His judgments
  • praising of God
  • seeking after God

We will see that all of those things are the factors of why David was a man after God's heart.

Acts 13:22: "And after removing him…"—King Saul! There's another good example. If someone doesn't serve God, He removes him, so God removed King Saul.

"…He raised up David to be their king; to whom He also gave testimony, saying, 'I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will perform all My will.' Of this man's seed has God according to His promise raised up to Israel a Savior: Jesus" (vs 22-23).

This attitude was a type of what Christ's attitude was like. That's what we need to really grasp and understand.

We will examine David's heart and attitude in the book of Psalms. This is a prophecy concerning Jesus, but it also has to do with David, because we saw how David and Jesus were connected in Acts 13.

Psalm 40:8: "I delight to do Your will, O My God; and Your Law is within My heart.'" We will see other statements concerning that it was within his heart.

Verse 9: "I have preached righteousness in the great congregation; lo, I have not kept back my lips, O LORD, You know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not hidden Your loving kindness and Your Truth from the great congregation. Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O LORD; let Your loving kindness and Your Truth always preserve me" (vs 9-11).

Notice that at this point David, who gave the inspiration of this Psalm, though there are prophecies of Jesus involved in it:

Verse 12: "For evils without number have encircled me… [he knew the frailty of human nature] …my iniquities have taken hold on me, so that I am not able to look up…"

  • The battle is God's

The first key thing concerning the heart of David: repentance, always looking to God!Though he sinned, he repented! Repentance and confessing sins is what he did!

"…they are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails me" (v 12). It overwhelmed him. That's one thing we need to understand concerning sin. Sin is just that way, if overwhelms you!

Verse 13: "Be pleased… [look how he pleaded with God to deliver him] …O LORD, to deliver me; O LORD, make haste to help me"—God did!

Verse 16: "Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You, and let the one who loves Your salvation always say 'Let the LORD be magnified.' But I am poor and needy; may the LORD think upon me; You are my Help and my Deliverer; O my God, do not delay" (vs 16-17).

This is the same attitude that he had when he went out and conquered Goliath. The armies were up there all afraid, and here Goliath stomping down the middle of the valley, almost like an earthquake shaking both sides, and no one wanted to go fight Goliath. David said, 'I'll fight him!'

Saul said, 'Look, you've got to put some armor on, you can't just go down there that way and fight that way, you've got to have some armor.' So, he put the armor on him, but it was too big, didn't fit, and he had never used it, and said, 'I can't do this, I haven't tested it.'

So, David just went down there and took a slingshot and five stones. The slingshot was not the kind like we have with the rubber inner-tube that we pull back and shoot through a Y stick. His was the kind that was two long tongs with a little leather holder in the middle of it. He put the stone in there and whirled it around and get the speed up and then sling it! He slung it and it went straight and sunk into Goliath's skull; he dropped dead!

Today they're trying to say that David didn't really do that. But Goliath had some sort of pituitary disease and just died right there on the spot. NO!

The reason that David was able to do that was because he said, 'The battle is the Lord's!' Keep that in mind; that's whatever battle you have. Whether it's with yourself, your sins or enemies without. The battle is the Lord's!

  • Praise God with the whole heart
  • Seek the will of God
  • You're wholehearted
  • Joyful in the Lord—rejoice and sing praises to His name

Psalm 9:1: "I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High" (vs 1-2).

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David still trusted in God to fight his battles; v 3: "When my enemies have turned back, they shall fall and perish before You." Think about this in relationship to overcoming sin. Sin is an enemy! If you let God fight the battle for you, through the power of the Holy Spirit by casting down vain imaginations and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Vain imaginations are the enemy!

Verse 4: "For You have maintained my right and my cause; You sat upon the throne giving righteous judgment."

Verse 13: "Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death, so that I may declare all Your praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion; I will rejoice in Your salvation" (vs 13-14).

So, whenever God does something for you, thank God, rejoice in God. Notice how David just talked to God. So, if you have trouble praying, just read the Psalms and get on your knees and ask God to help these words be your words, and let you be inspired by these words. This will help trigger some ideas in your mind for praying, too.

This way, you have a two-way prayer going. God is speaking to you through His Word, and you are speaking God with your heart. That's the best kind of prayer that you need. It's actually a two-way prayer that way.

  • Always praying to God

Psalm 17:1: "Hear the right, O LORD; attend unto my cry; give ear unto my prayer, for it is not from lips of deceit"—always praying to God!

That ties right in with the New Testament where Paul wrote, 'Cease not praying' (1-Thess. 5).

Verse 2[transcriber's correction]: "Let my judgment come forth from Your presence; let Your eyes behold things that are upright. You have tried my heart…" (vs 2-3).

That along with a repentant attitude, he was not afraid to have God prove his heart. In God doing that, He's not going to come and crush and destroy him. He's going to grant of His Spirit so that you in coming to God can overcome the difficulties of your life.

"…You have visited me in the night; You have tested me, and You shall find nothing…" (v 3).

There are certain times at night that you will commune with God in such a way that you don't commune any other time or in any other way. Sometimes they will be very heartfelt and overwhelming prayers.

  • Trust in God

"…I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. Concerning the works of men, by the words of Your lips, I have kept myself from the paths of the violent" (vs 3-4)—trust in God!

  • Bold in prayer

Verse 5: "My steps have held fast to Your paths, my feet have not slipped. I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; incline Your ear to me; hear my speech" (vs 5-6)—bold with God, bold in his prayers! Asking God to hear him!

'Let us come boldly before the throne of grace that we may find help in time of need' (Heb. 4). This is boldness, 'Hear me, O Lord!'

Verse 7: "Show Your marvelous loving kindness, O Savior of those seeking refuge in You; by Your right hand save them from those who rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings" (vs 7-8)—looking to God to protect!

Verse 9: "From the face of the wicked who oppress me—my deadly enemies who encircle me." That shows how they just come against him in every way.

  • Looking to eternal salvation

Notice how David ends this prayer. In spite of everything that's all around, it doesn't make one bit of difference:

  • all the enemy
  • all the people pressing against him
  • all the difficulties he's in

Verse 15: "As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Your likeness."

  • Loving God

Psalm 18:1: "I love You, O LORD, my strength…. [not trusting in his own strength] …The LORD is my Rock… [that's what Christ in the New Testament is called] …and my Fortress…" (vs 1-2). That's what the Rock of Petros means, a big craggy cliff, which is like a fortress.

"…and my Deliverer; my God, my Rock in Whom I take refuge; He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower. I will call on the LORD, Who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemies" (vs 2-3). That's how we are rescued from them!

Lot's of times we try to fight the battles ourselves, but the whole lesson of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread is that God will fight your battles for you! God will take care of it! He will do it IF you trust in Him!

  • Kept the ways of the Lord

Verse 21: "For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God."

David recognized his own sin, but he didn't go off in willful disobedience to do so, with the one exception with Bathsheba.

Verse 46: "The LORD lives; and blessed be my Rock, and let the God of my salvation be exalted. The God who avenges me and subdues the people under me, He delivers me from my enemies; yea, You lift me up above those who rise up against me; You have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore, I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the nations, and sing praises to Your name, He gives great deliverance to His king, and shows mercy to His anointed, to David and to his seed forevermore" (vs 46-50).

Not only does God fight the battles, David looked to Him for:

  • Deliverance

You need to do that if there's something in your life that you need to be delivered from. Come to God and ask God to deliver you from that, to help you from that.

  • Praise God for His creation

Psalm 19:1 "The heavens declare the glory of God…" I'm sure that at that time—not having smog like we have today—that when David would go out at night and see all the stars… I imagine that that's how they say in Texas, that the stars a big! I don't think I have ever really truly seen the stars in a way that this is describing here: "The heavens declare the glory of God…"

I've been able to see some photographs that we have on slides that I've shown from time to time, and that really shows the glory of God! How that out there in the universe there are these galaxies, and they don't know how many there are out there, but there are billions and billions of galaxies. There must be trillions of stars. They're all so beautiful and magnificent, and the whole power of God upholds that!

That's very important for us today, because we have so many things and we're so gadgetized that we take all of these things for granted.

  • Understanding and Loving God's Laws

This is David's view of the Law and what it does. What we're learning here is to be after God's heart as David was encompasses many, many thing. It's not just an emotional 'fuzzy-wuzzy, goody-woody' thing! It's powerful!

Verse 7: "The Law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandments of the LORD are pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever…" (vs 7-9).

That's quite a section of Scripture! I think every Protestant ought to read that. All of those who go against the laws, statutes and commandments of God ought to read that. It is the Word of God, and David is going to be in the Kingdom of God, no question about it!

"…the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether, more to be desired than gold, yea, much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb" (vs 9-10).

See how David loved God's laws? Understanding and loving God's laws! We will see that later in Psa. 119.

This shows the purpose of God's Law, v 11: "Moreover, by them Your servant is warned…"

If you have God's Law written in your mind, and you have God's Spirit in your mind, and all of a sudden here comes a temptation, which they do; some of them pretty nasty and evil! What do you do with that? You give it a warning! The first thing that comes up with God's Spirit and conscience is, 'I shouldn't think that.'

The way that you handle it is that you immediately pray and ask God to help you cast down that vain imagination, because that's what it is that exalts itself against the things of God, and put it away from you. That's the whole operation of it!

"…in keeping them there is great reward…. [not a curse] …Who can understand his errors?…." (v 12). In other words, if you didn't have the laws and commandments of God and His way, how could you even understand what was right and wrong. You'd have no basis of right and wrong; you're just a moralist and humanist in the world.

"…Oh, cleanse me from my secret faults" (v 12). That's between you and God alone when you go to God and you pray. Everyone has something that God has just left in us as human beings that we have to go to God and have Him help us with it.

Verse 13: "And keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins… [doesn't go out and willfully sin] …do not let them rule over me…"—New Testament doctrine!

In going through the sermons series: Refuting Sunday-Keeping, I tell you, it's amazing what they believe, and hatefully, too! I never knew that the Protestants were so hateful in their denunciation of the Law.

  • the laws and commandments of God are good
  • they show us what sin is

Just like David said, 'Don't let sin—which is the transgression of the Law—have dominion over me.'

Romans 6:14: "For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law… [animal sacrifices for justification] …but under grace… [for justification!] What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? MAY IT NEVER BE! Don't you realize that to whom you yield yourselves as servants to obey, you are servants of the one you obey, whether it is of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" (vs 14-16). That ties right in with exactly what God was saying here!

Isn't that amazing? New Testament doctrine found in the 'hated' Old Testament! But they'll take the Psalms. If the Protestants take the Psalms, then you have to say that this is true.

Psalm 19:13: "…then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer" (vs 13-14).

  • Asking God to Lead him; eyes always toward the Lord

Psalm 25:1: "To You, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; do not let me be ashamed, let not my enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none who wait on You be ashamed; let them be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your Truth and teach me…" (vs 1-5).

That's really something! "Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your Truth and teach me…" What's so important is when it starts out with a verb like that. That gives us an impact to it! That is really something!

"…for You are the God of my salvation; on You do I wait all the day long. Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your loving kindness, for they have been of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Your loving kindness remember me for Your goodness sake, O LORD" (vs 5-7).

That's also New Testament doctrine, because He will remove our sins from us as far as the east is from the west, and He will remember them no more!

After you have this, when you come to this point, then David praises God and says, v 8: "Good and upright is the LORD; therefore, He will teach sinners in the way. The meek He will guide in judgment… [now we're back again to the attitude of the meekness and the humble heart that David surely had] …and the meek He will teach His way" (vs 8-9).

Do you understand why none of the scholars and critics understand God's way? Very few, because they're not coming with a meek attitude! They're coming and saying, 'Let's see how much of this we can get rid of.' It's the opposite of what God wants!

Verse 10: "All the paths of the LORD are mercy and Truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies." They're rough if you don't keep His covenant and testimonies.

Verse 11: "For Your name's sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity, for it is great." In other words, the whole thing:

  • not because I'm praying
  • not because I'm humble
  • not because I'm looking to You, O God

All of those things count, of course! But for God's name's sake, because God's name is:

  • Righteousness
  • Mercy
  • Truth
  • Forgiveness

It's for His name's sake! Also with the forgiveness of our sins through Christ. He forgives us for Christ's sake, because of what Christ has done! Not because of what we have done. That's why repentance and humble, contrite heart and attitude is so important. That's why we started out this study with that section.

Verse 12: "What man is he who fears the LORD? He shall teach him in the way that He shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease, and his seed shall inherit the earth. The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant" (vs 12-14).

The Apostle Paul talks about the mystery of God, which is the secret; that's another name for mystery, that we are going to become as God is:

  • in inheritance
  • in form
  • in shape
    • not in glory
    • not in honor
    • not in splendor

We'll always be below God, but we will share that existence. That secret is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant!

Stop and think about the times that we grow in grace and knowledge and understanding. When is that? That is when we are doing just exactly like David is saying here, that we're:

  • loving God
  • fearing Him
  • seeking His way

Then He opens up understanding to us!

That's part of His secret, because He doesn't let anybody else know! Isn't that amazing? But anyone who has that attitude, God will eventually show! So, it's not something that is just to one person, but to all those who love and fear God!

Verse 15: "My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn unto me, and be gracious unto me, for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; O bring me out of my distresses. Look upon my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins" (vs 15-18).

What are we seeing here? An attitude of continual repentance! In other words, he didn't just repent once and say that's good enough, that's all there is for life. NO! Continuously repenting! Why? Because the Spirit of God exposes the human heart and mind for what it is, and that causes you to see more sin in your life! It's quite the opposite of what some people think!

Some people wonder, 'I still have thoughts come into my mind that are evil, am I converted?' Yes, you are! And God's Spirit is revealing that to you so you can repent of it! So, that you can come to God and ask Him to deliver you from it. God will do that!

Verse 19: "Consider my enemies, for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred." This can also blend in with Christ. There are going to be enemies!

Verse 20: "O keep my soul and deliver me; let me not be ashamed, for I take refuge in You…. [there again, trusting in God] …Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait on You. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles" (vs 20-22).

Psa. 63 to me is the epitome of all the things that we have covered up to this point that shows this attitude and shows David's desire. This Psalm really inspires me every time I read it. You're going to find that there are certain portions of Scripture that really inspire you. They may be different than ones that inspire me, but this one inspires me.

Psalm 63:1: "O God, You are my God, earnestly I will seek You!…. [notice that attitude, he didn't delay] …My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You, as in a dry and thirsty land where no water is." This is why David was a man after God's heart!

Compare the attitude of what we just saw of David, let's see what it's like in the world today. This is why David was such a man after God's heart. When you compare it to what it's like in the world, and you compare it to what most people are:

Romans 3:10: "Exactly as it is written: 'For there is not a righteous one—not even one! There is not one who understands; there is not one who seeks after God'" (vs 10-11).

How great is it in God's sight when someone is continually and early seeking after God? Thirsting after God? When God looks down here on the earth, look at the difference.

Verse 12: "They have all gone out of the way; together they have all become depraved. There is not even one who is practicing kindness. No, there is not so much as one!"

You can be guaranteed that in this evil world, just like it is here, if there are people out there trying to seek God, they will find Him. God has His seven eyes, which are the Spirits of God that go through the whole earth to seek those who are seeking after God. If you seek after God, you will find Him!

If you find yourself in a terrible downturn and terrible trouble, you do like David did. Take this example of all the things that we've been going through and seek God!

Verse 13: "Their throats are like an open grave; with their tongues they have used deceit; the venom of asps is under their lips, whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes" (vs 13-18).

That's really some strong thing! There's nonethat seek after God! How many, even in the Church of God, are seeking after God like David did? With this kind of attitude? Notice the fervor that he has in this!

Psalm 63:1: "O God, You are my God, earnestly I will seek You! My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You, as in a dry and thirsty land where no water is." Tie that together with:

Psalm 17:15: "As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Your likeness." This is what impelled David with his attitude!

Psalm 63:2: "To see Your power and Your glory…" What is it going to be like to see the power and glory of God? What an awesome thing that's going to be! This shows that David was looking forward to the resurrection!

It talks about that we are 'sown in corruption and raised in incorruption. Sown in dishonor and raised in honor; sown in a physical body and raised in a glorious body.' We're going to see God's power and glory and look at God face-to-face!

  • that's why David was all excited about it
  • that's why he was a man after God's heart

How many people really truly have that? David is the only one in the whole Bible that it talks about a man, other than Christ, that way.

"…as I have seen You in the sanctuary" (v 2). What I've done at the Feast of Tabernacles in showing that when the Ark of the Covenant was retrieved by David, he took it to his own house and built a sanctuary. There was a little tent there where he had place the Ark. So, when he composed these Psalms and came before God, he was actually right there before the veil looking right into the Ark.

When it says "…I have seen You in the sanctuary," I don't know if God gave David a vision of Himself there with the Ark of the Covenant or not, but it says, "…I have seen You in the sanctuary." It would have to be something like that!

Verse 3: "Because Your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You."

If you think that you're under the heavy hand of correction of God all the time, then take the attitude that David had and start praising God for:

  • His love
  • His mercy
  • His kindness
  • His goodness

And ask God to lift you out of those troubles, just like David did. He will! There's no need to be down that way; let Him lift you out! His "…loving kindness is better than life…" That means this physical life.

Verse 4: "Thus I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips" (vs 4-5). Marrow and fatness also refers to eternal life spiritually!

Verse 6: "When I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches." That's when a lot of drawing close to God can occur. There are times when you will have restless nights and won't sleep. Begin thinking on God:

  • on His way
  • on His love
  • on His purpose
  • on His calling

Especially think upon the calling, that God has individually—the Father Himself—reached down and has called you! The reason He has called you is because you are you, meaning that for whatever reason beyond that, God knows!

  • surely it isn't because we're great
  • surely it isn't because we're rich
  • surely it isn't because we're strong

God has called the weak, the despised and the rejected (1-Cor. 1). That's what we are, brethren! That's just the way we are! Think on His calling! That God has called you to a glorious and fantastic purpose of eternal life, that is so great and glorious that only the Spirit of God can give you an inkling of how great and marvelous that is.

That's what David did! Those times will come at night. Those times will come when you're twisting and can't sleep, and you pound the pillow and things like that.

Verse 7: "Because You have been my help, therefore, in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice"—God's protection!

Like the eagle's wings. Do you know how the eagle teaches its young to fly? Let them get on the mother's back and take them out and then dump them. Let them fly! If they can't fly too good, then they come right underneath and help them again!.

Verse 8: "My soul follows hard after You…" That's what it has to be. His whole soul and being following after God with every fiber of his being.

 "…Your right hand upholds me" (v 8). That's why God gives us challenges, enemies, battles to fight, so that we look to Him for His deliverance!

Verse 9: "But those who seek my life to destroy it shall go into the depths of the earth. They shall fall by the sword; they shall be a serving for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; everyone who swears by Him shall glory, but the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped" (vs 9-11).

Psa. 84 is the companion of Psa. 63 to show the intense desire that David had for God. The intense love, looking to God for all of His goodness and mercy in His very being.

Psalm 84:1 "How lovely are Your tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yea, even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God" (vs 1-2). That's quite an attitude! Now we get more of a greater understanding why David was a man after God's heart!

Verse 3: "Yea, even the sparrow has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may lay her young, even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You. Selah" (vs 3-4). Then what he wants to do is help take this out for other people, not just for himself.

Verse 5: "Blessed is the man whose strength is in You; Your ways are in their hearts"—then showing how great God is with it.

Verse 9: "Behold, O God, our shield, and look upon the face of Your anointed… [as king] …for a day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness" (vs 9-10).

This is not saying that God is looking for doorkeepers. He'll have angels do that. But what he's saying is that it's better than all the wickedness and all the things that wicked have.

Verse 11: "For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You" (vs 11-12).

That ties right in with what Paul wrote: That all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose!

Now we can see more and understand why David was a man after God's heart!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

  • Isaiah 66:1-2
  • Isaiah 57:15
  • Isaiah 1:10-15
  • Isaiah 66:3-5
  • Deuteronomy 6:1-6
  • Deuteronomy 10:12-22
  • Deuteronomy 11:1, 13-16
  • 1 Kings 8:22-23
  • Psalm 86:11-13
  • Matthew 22:37
  • Mark 12:29-34
  • Acts 8:35-38
  • Acts 13:22-23
  • Psalm 40:8-13,16-17
  • Psalm 9:1-4, 13-14
  • Psalm 17:1-9, 15
  • Psalm 18:1-3, 21, 46-50
  • Psalm 19:1, 7-13
  • Romans 6:14-16
  • Psalm 119:13-14
  • Psalm 25:1-22
  • Psalm 63:1
  • Romans 3:10-18
  • Psalm 63:1
  • Psalm 17:15
  • Psalm 63:2-11
  • Psalm 84:1-5, 9-12

Scriptures quoted, not referenced:

  • Ephesians 2:10
  • Leviticus 1
  • 1 Thessalonians 5
  • Hebrews 4
  • 1 Corinthians 1

Also referenced:

  • Book: The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter
  • Sermons Series: Refuting Sunday-Keeping

Transcribed: 8/19/18