The Bible’s objectivity eliminates the possibility of flattery or undeserved praise. Therefore, when David is described by an inspired penman as being a man after God’s own heart, a wise Bible student diligently seeks to identify and then imitate those godly characteristics he discovers. A careful study of Psalm 40 unearths five notable characteristics about this man after God’s own heart. He was:
- Patient in his trials (vv. 1-3).
- Wholehearted in his faith (vv. 4-5).
- Prompt in his obedience (vv. 6-8).
- Bold in his proclamation to others. “I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great assembly; indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O Lord, You Yourself know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly” (vv. 9-10). David’s exuberance for God was not a private matter; it was not hidden under a bushel.
- Confident in his God. “Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord; let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have surrounded me; my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head. Therefore, my heart fails me. Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord; let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me! Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion who seek to destroy my life; let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor who wish me evil. Let them be confounded because of their shame, who say to me, ‘Aha, aha!’ Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let such as love Your salvation say continually, ‘The Lord be magnified!’ But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God” (vv. 11-17). Like the apostle Paul’s joyful epistle while under arrest in Rome (Philippians), David’s confidence in God was unshaken by his circumstances. Innumerable evils, personal failure, and vicious enemies could not eclipse or erode his confidence in his help and deliverer.
Are you a person after God’s own heart?