A Man After God’s Own Heart
Excerpted from heart of the story by Randy Frazee
1 Samuel 1:14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD's command."
Saul refused to go all in, and it cost him his throne. When God looked into the heart of David, he saw an “all in” kind of guy. Where others saw a shepherd covered with dirt and grime, God saw a boy who went the extra mile to protect and care for his father’s sheep.
As it turns out, it didn’t take long to see David’s heart at work on behalf of Israel. Israel was at war with the Philistines, and things weren’t going well. The Philistines had what we might call a “ringer,” a kind of secret weapon. For example, let’s say you are in a recreational basketball league where everyone is about the same age and ability except for one team that went out and recruited a former college basketball star who is six inches taller than your tallest player. This guy would be considered a ringer, and the Philistines had one in an extremely large guy named Goliath.
You probably already know how this story goes. Goliath mocks Saul’s army every day because they are too cowardly to fight him. Jesse sends David to the front lines to deliver some home-cooked food to his brothers. David hears Goliath taunting the Israelites and offers himself to Saul to go out and fight the obnoxious giant.
When Saul finally gives in, David refuses his offer of royal armor and instead picks up a few smooth stones and grabs his slingshot.
The rest, as they say, is history. One shot, and the nine-foot giant, Goliath, falls dead. Israel defeats the Philistines because a teenager trusts God. As Goliath prepares to crush David, the shepherd shouts his confidence to the enemy: “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty.”6
Talk about being “all in”! David doesn’t mostly trust God. He doesn’t ask a few soldiers to back him up with their spears. To him, it is a no-brainer: God will save us.
We think, “God can’t possibly use me to build his perfect nation because I don’t have a seminary degree.” Or you aren’t a dynamic speaker. Or you are unemployed. Or your marriage just fell apart.
Or you haven’t been a follower of Jesus since childhood.
But God still has giants to kill. He still has big, hairy, audacious plans to accomplish that will take someone like David to get the job done. The shepherd boy’s unlikely rise to power reminds us that in the Upper Story, God often uses underdogs to advance his plan. He is not impressed with titles or rank or status but looks inside the heart to find people he can use. He knows that with our willingness to go all in for him and his power to transform shepherds into kings, nothing is impossible.