Developing Humility Like a Man After God’s Own Heart
The first and primary characteristic of David that we looked at was his dependency on God. All throughout his life, no matter how good or bad, we see David continually returning to a deep dependence on God.
As one continues to take a look at David’s life, one sees that his dependence produces a tremendous humility. David, as a young man is anointed the next King of Israel, yet, we see later in his story that he is still faithfully shepherding the sheep while his older brothers are off at war. Take out “WAIT” David is anointed King and does not demand his throne or demand to be treated as a King. Maybe this type of humility only seems odd in our present day culture of entitlement. After all, how many teenagers have you known that if they were approached and told they were to be King of the United States would go to work at HEB the next day. NO!!! They would, probably like me, sit around, do nothing, and act like they owned the world. Not David, even after defeating Goliath and becoming a national hero when the King tries to kill him, he remains humble. He does not bow up for a fight and demand to be King, which he had already been anointed. No, he lives in caves and refuses to take the king’s life despite multiple opportunities.
Later in David’s story God tells David that he will not allow David to build a temple for him, but instead would allow one of his son’s to build it. God then goes on to tell David that he would bless his household and from David’s line would come a King that would rule forever. David’s response is amazing.
2 Samuel 7:18-22 King David went in, sat before the LORD , and said, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my family, that you should have brought me to this point? 19 And you didn’t stop there, O LORD God! You have also spoken about the future of your servant’s family. Is this your usual way of dealing with men, O LORD God? 20 What more can David say to you? You have given your servant special recognition, O LORD God! 21 For the sake of your promise and according to your purpose you have done this great thing in order to reveal it to your servant. 22 Therefore you are great, O LORD God, for there is none like you! There is no God besides you! What we have heard is true!
God does two things, He tells David no on something David really wanted to do and then blesses his socks off. If I were David I would have probably responded with prideful anger about not getting to build the temple. Maybe you are different than me but I probably would have taken the approach of, “Why not me God? Why is my son good enough to do this but not me? This is a good thing, I am going to do it any way. You just said you were going to bless my household so why can’t I build the temple?” Maybe it is just me, but David’s ability to withhold his prideful anger is impressive to me.
Then there is this unbelievable blessing. If I were David I would probably responded something like, “God is going to bless my household because I did it right. More people should listen to me. That’s awesome God that you are going to bless me like that, I knew I was valuable to your plan. Aren’t you glad to have me on your team? I can do anything I want because God is going to take care of me.” All of which would again be pride to think that God’s blessing was about me getting what I deserve or God needing me.
Not David, he responds with awe and humility. He wonders why God would have favor on him to bless him in such a way. He sees himself as God’s servant, and does not overvalue himself. This amazes me because it is the opposite response of all of our human nature. Think about it, why do we always have to work on being humble, we never have work on being more prideful. David’s experiences with God created a dependency on God which leads to David’s humility.
I would love to, when I receive blessings, to respond with humble, thankful, awe. Likewise, when I receive difficult circumstances in life I would like to humbly respond with dependency and trust as David demonstrates. A person whom has a heart like David’s will be a person that displays humility in their life. You simply cannot be a person after God’s own heart if humility is not a chief characteristic of your life. When our experiences with God, dependency on God, and trust in God produces humility it changes the way we interact with others as well.
David clearly did not always get things right, and failed enormously at times in his role as a King, leader, husband, and father. However, many times in his life we see how his humility led him to be a great leader. He served as a leader in the army, a leader of rebels, and a leader of the nation. Most of his life he served other people, and is still known and remembered today as a great King of Israel. If our experiences with God lead us to dependency and humility, it will show itself in how we serve others.
Service is the best way to evaluate a humble heart. How does that person serve others? Do they do the little things, the lowly things? Are they only willing to serve in ways that brings recognition to themselves or that they value? Do they serve in ways that speak to the needs of others? In a conversation, do they listen or do they simply talk? You see humility is all about how you see the world around you. If you are humble before God, you see God as greater than you and so you trust and follow Him. If you are humble toward others, you value them and their needs above you and yours. Ask the same questions above about yourself? What are your honest answers?
When it all comes back to it, it boils down to, “How do you view God?” Is God the creator of all, the supreme being, the one who controls all, who can do all, and who knows all? If He is then maybe he is worthy of my dependence, my trust, my allegiance, and for me to approach Him humbly. May your experiences with God transform our prideful hearts to hearts led by humility.