Did you ever wonder how God could call David “a man after His own heart” (I Sam. 13:14)? True, He called him that before his horrific infractions of adultery and murder. But even after his death, God said of him that he did “keep My statutes and My commandments” (I Kings 3:14). How can this be?
Well, to begin with, compare how Balaam was able to say of God that “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen perverseness in Israel” (Num. 23:21). This, of course, was because the Jews could say that “as far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us” (Psa. 103:12), and Isaiah could pray with confidence, “Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back” (Isa. 38:17). Similarly, God was able to turn a blind eye to David’s sins, knowing that Christ would one day pay for them.
But there has to be more to it for God to be able to call David a man after His own heart, and I believe there is. You see, when God said of David that his heart was “perfect with the Lord his God,” He said that in contrast to Solomon, whose wives “turned away his heart after other gods” (I Kings 11:4). Despite his great sins, David never fell into idolatry. He always had a heart for the Lord, and a burning desire to serve Him.
As a pastor, Christians often ask me how I can think so highly of them when, in many cases, I have counseled them through their times of sin and failure, and so I know their deepest shame. I always explain that it is their heart for the Lord that God looks at, and so I always try to do the same. I don’t mean to say that those who strive to serve the Lord can do no wrong in my eyes, but this is very close to being so.
So it is that while we should always strive to live our lives as perfectly as God sees us in Christ (Phil. 3:10-14), if you are beating yourself up about your past sins and failures, stop it. Remember that “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (I Sam. 16:7), and if God doesn’t behold your iniquity, neither should you.
Finally, if you are a judgmental Christian, why not learn to look upon others the way God looks at you, and “receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God” (Rom. 15:7).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.
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