Have you ever wondered what made God say that David was a man after His own heart? (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22)
We know David loved the Lord. Maybe because of his joyful, exuberant love that he had for God, God said that David was a man after His own heart. Dr. Sproul believes that it is because when David sinned, he was heartbroken over his sin and sought forgiveness.
Chuck Swindoll said this about a person who has a heart after God:
What does it mean to be a person after God’s own heart? It means your life is in harmony with the Lord. What is important to Him is important to you. What burdens Him burdens you. When He says, “Go to the right,” you go to the right. When He says, “Stop that in your life,” you stop it. When He says, “This is wrong and I want you to change,” you come to terms with it because you have a heart for God. That’s bottom-line, biblical Christianity.
In Psalm 57, we see some of David’s core qualities that made him a person after God’s own heart. He disciplined himself to have a fixed heart toward God.
Because He was disciplined to have a fixed heart, we see in Psalm 57 three things that a fixed heart will do. A fixed heart will:
- Trust in God
- Be concerned with God’s glory
- Seek to praise God
57 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. 2 I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. 3 He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.
First of all, we see that David trusted in God.
It is believed that David wrote this psalm when he was on the run hiding from Saul in caves. Instead of opening his prayer to God asking for deliverance, he starts with asking for mercy. He acknowledges from the beginning that God is great and that he needs God’s mercy. He is humble in acknowledging that he needs God’s mercy and only God can save him.
He also compares himself to a chick that hides under its mother’s wings. He is hiding under God Almighty’s wings until the trouble is past. He would wait for God to intervene. Our protection also is from God. We can trust in God to protect us.
David doesn’t trust in the shadow of the cave — only in God. The cave became his holy place because God was with him. Wherever we are, that place can be a holy place where we meet with God — because God is with all who have received Him as their Savior.
In this psalm, we notice that David is magnifying and exalting God before he brings up any of his problems. He knows God will send help and has a confident belief that God will work all things out for good. No one or no thing can stop God’s work from happening and others will see his great God and magnify God even more. Here are some of the positive things that David proclaims about God:
- God is a merciful God. (v. 1)
- He is the most high God. (v. 2)
- He is the God that performs all things. (v.2)
- He trusted that God that would send from heaven and save him. (v. 3)
When we are times of trouble, we need to ask ourselves: What is bigger? Your problem or your God? David’s God was bigger than his problems.
A fixed heart is confident — it trusts God. A fixed heart doesn’t stop us from experiencing trials, but it does strengthen us to triumph over the trials.
When we pray, we need to remember who we are talking to. It is good to start our prayers like David did: praising God for who He is. We see that Jesus in His model prayer also does this. He starts off His prayer by saying, “Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.”
Secondly, we notice that David was concerned with God’s glory.
4 My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. 5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth. 6 They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.
He started this section of verses talking about his formidable enemies. He had big problems. His enemies were ruthless — they had previously killed 85 defenseless priests. In the middle of verse 4 where he is talking about these terrible enemies, he says he will lie down! His trust in God is so great that He can lie down in peace. After he described his enemies, he exalted God in verse 5. He is more concerned with God’s glory than what his enemies can do.
Thirdly, David sought to praise God.
David continually prayed to God, but he made a practice of starting every day praising God.
7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. 8 Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. 9 I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. 10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. 11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.
His heart is fixed and focused on God’s glory, so he praises God. When he wakes up, he praises God. He praises God in front of others. All the nations will see his praise to God.
Here he is in the middle of running from the enemy and hiding in a cave, yet he is praising God. He keeps his heart fixed on God no matter what the circumstances are around him.
When the dark cave experiences happen to us, we can be take confidence that they will eventually pass, and we will be able to praise Him for getting us through them. We need to keep our heart fixed on God during these dark cave trials we go through so that we can trust in Him during the difficulties and give Him glory for delivering us out of those trials.
A fixed heart will seek to praise God. It has the discipline to seek His glory no matter what cave it is going through, whether it is the cave of fear or the cave of sorrow or the cave of sickness.
God doesn’t always remove the problem or remove us from the cave; but He is always there. Because of that we can fix our hearts on Him and trust Him during the hard times, give Him glory during and after the hard times, and praise Him daily whether it is a good or bad time.
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