“Hound of Heaven” Meditations: 11. No Mistakes by God
1 Sam 16: You are to anoint for me the one I indicate
Yesterday we were considering the hidden hand of God, but when God speaks it is no longer hidden, but obvious. We don’t know when and how David came to know God, how much environment or family contributed to his faith, we can only go on his own testimony, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Sam 17:37)
The Lord obviously had His eye on David because earlier Samuel had been able to rebuke Saul saying of another, “the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart,” (1 Sam 13:14) picked up centuries later in Acts 18:32. Thus it is that we find in 1 Sam 16 the Lord telling Samuel to go and anoint another to be king who will obviously take over from Saul, who is obviously this man “after his own heart” and it turns out to be David.
In the text, in the accounts of David, initially at least David doesn’t seem to say much about the Lord but the way he approaches Goliath indicates he clearly has clear understanding of covenant relationship when he says, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Sam 17:26b) and then when he addresses Goliath: “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.. and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.. that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Sam 17:46,47) What an awesome testimony.
But as we follow David’s story we see the awful account of his adultery with Bathsheba (2 Sam 11) and later his pride in numbering Israel (2 Sam 24), yet in the latter case it was more the Lord allowing Satan to provoke David (1 Chron 21:1) to bring to the fore Israel’s state that angered the Lord. Yet it would appear, according to the chronicler, that the Lord only condemned the Bathsheba incident (see 1 Kings 15:5). In that incident, when he his confronted by Nathan the prophet, his instant response is, “I have sinned against the Lord.” (2 Sam 12:13). We know the sort of heart David had by his over 70 psalms. We know what the Lord thought of him right to the end by the way He referred to him again and again. Check out 1 Kings 11:32,34,36,28, 14:8, 2 Kings 19:34. Again and again God subsequently acts in line with what He feels about the sort of man David had been. This is amazing. The Hound of Heaven pursued David and then, because he had been a man after His own heart, allowed that heart to move His heart. Imperfect yes, pursued by God yes, but able to move God’s heart as well. And that can be you and me as well.