Paul and Barnabas are moving west. They next head to Turkey, Pisidian Antioch. Again they start by sharing their story in the synagogue. The tradition was that after the set readings, visitors were invited to bring a word of exhortation. The door opened for them to share and they did!
What follows in Paul’s speech sounds awfully familiar to how Stephen shared before he was stoned – with Paul watching! Paul hadn’t forgotten. Paul starts with the Egyptian period and Israel’s growth as a nation. He slides past the judges and prophets to King David, “a man after God’s own heart” and someone God knew “would do anything I want him to do.” Paul quickly jumps to Jesus, introduced by John the Baptist, Jesus crucified and resurrected. The people are delighted and ask Paul and Barnabas to return the following week.
My heart is touched today by the title Paul gives to David, “a man after God’s own heart.” That title is loaded with meaning. What picture does it bring to your mind? Perhaps we think of someone courting “the love of his or her life” as being someone after someone else’s heart. It implies a relationship that is covenanted for better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and in health, under all conditions. David was seeking a relationship with God that would be rock solid in all situations. It does not speak to me of a relationship seeking the goodies and blessings of knowing someone important. It does not speak to me of slave to master. It does not speak to me of being a citizenship in a “better kingdom.” David was after God’s heart. Perhaps today we need to reflect on the flavor of our relationship with God. Are we after God’s heart?
Secondly God trusted that David would handle with integrity anything God gifted him with. Not only was David after God’s heart, he was a man of integrity in his relationship with God. So are we people of integrity?
Lord, may I thirst for a deep, committed relationship with you and may I be found to be a person of integrity? Help me to become that sort of person. Blessings as you grow in faith!