My husband and I are reading a book by Ravi Zacharias called The Grand Weaver. He shares a notion that has presented itself time and again since I read it about a week ago. King David was called a man after God’s heart. But we all know what a sinner he was. He committed adultery and murder. He was ready to abandon his own child in order to cover up his sin of adultery—and when that failed, David chose the murder route.
But the fact remains that David was a man after God’s own heart. How can that be? What Ravi shares is that David deserves this noble distinction because of his own heart. Yes, David sinned. But David also remained in relationship with God and maintained a heart reachable by God. That is the key. When Nathan came to convict David of his sin, David receives it. He repents without holding a shred of himself back from his Lord.
As you read his psalms, you can see the transparency and intimacy with which David lives in relationship with God. He comes at God with whatever emotion, whatever thought. No masks at all. When David is frightened, joyful or expectant, he pours it out to God. He is equally forthcoming when he is angry and feeling abandoned. “Where are You? Save me!” My all time favorite is when David tells God, Don’t let me die because I won’t be able to praise you anymore! I love it!! How bold is that?
The other thing I notice when reading the psalms is that David doesn’t just come and dump everything on God and walk away. No matter what notions he may have when he first approaches God, he ends in unfettered praise. And how could he not? How can you step into His presence and not be changed? With the kids I compared it to walking into a freezer or an oven—either way, you will be feeling very differently coming out than when you went in! How much more true it is with the Creator.
Pharaoh saw amazing things and was given very specific instructions. But his heart was so hard. Being in the presence of the Lord only further hardened him. But if we have hearts that are inclined to God, we will be changed. So David may open a song with rants and fear, but never fails to end with praise and faith.
The big lesson for me here is that we are not required to be sinless to live in concert with God. We only need to be present. We need to be soft and ready. Our hearts are what matter.