December 16, 2019

The Way of God's Heart

1 Samuel 16:1-13

“People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

—  1 Samuel 16:7

Today, as we move closer to Christmas, we move on to the second section of Matthew’s genealogy, which focuses on David and his descendants. Matthew wants us to know clearly that Jesus, the son of David, came to be our King.

David was not the first king of Israel. Saul, who was tall and handsome, had become the people’s first king (1 Samuel 8-10). But Saul disobeyed God’s commands, so the Lord rejected him as king. God then chose David to be king—not because he was perfect, but because he was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).

What does that mean? Psalm 23, written by David, who had been a shepherd in his youth, helps us understand. In Psalm 23, David says the Lord is his shepherd, leading him to green pastures and quiet waters, guiding him in the right paths and protecting him in dark valleys. The Lord, said David, refreshed his soul, comforted him, and assured him that God’s goodness and love would surround him forever. In some ways, we could say, David walked with God as Enoch and Noah had done.

Jesus, who became not only the son of David but is also the Son of God, our King, is our “good shepherd” who has laid down his life for us, his sheep (John 10:14-15). And he has shown perfectly the way of living by God’s heart. Shall we trust and follow him today?

Thank you, Jesus, our Shepherd-King, for calling us to follow your way and your heart in the world today. May we do so always. In your name, Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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