Out of all of the titles given to people in the Bible, the one given to David has to be one of the best. God describes him in Acts 13:22 saying, “… ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’” Now why was this name given to David? Many have given great answers for this question, but I believe that there is one that many might have overlooked.
One answer that I would like to debunk goes like this, “David was a man after God’s heart because he was quick to repent.” While David was one amazing King, he did commit adultery with Bathsheba. If we are to assume that he was quick to repent, then one might think that the next day he would have been sorrowful. Instead we read that he decided to cover up his sin by having Bathsheba’s husband murdered. Even after the murder, God had to send the Prophet Nathan to confront the King, so David was not quick to repent. Yes it was a very meaningful repentance, but this was not why he was a man after God’s own heart. Many other people in the Bible had very meaningful repentance.
David wrote a psalm while being hunted by Saul. He said, “Surely I will not enter my house, Nor lie on my bed; 4 I will not give sleep to my eyes Or slumber to my eyelids, 5 Until I find a place for the Lord, A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.” This oath was about David bringing back the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.
I believe that as as a kid, David heard about the ark and wondered why no one had brought it back. This would explain why he said, “Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah, We found it in the field of Jaar. 7 Let us go into His dwelling place; Let us worship at His footstool.” (Psalm 132: 6-7).
What does the ark symbolize? It is a shadow of the Cross. The ark was a chest containing items that typified sin and rebellion. These items were covered by the mercy seat. In essence this shows God’s grace and propitiation for our sins.
Although there are many reasons why some people believe David was a man after God’s own Heart, I believe that there are multiple reasons for David being called this. One specific reason is because he brought back the Ark of the Covenant back to the center. We too are called to bring Christ back into the center of our lives. These were just shadows of the things to come. Now and today, Christ is our Mercy Seat. He is the propitiation of our sins!