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I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart

And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. (Acts 13:22 KJV)

We know David as the man after God’s own heart. This phrase appears twice in scripture. Samuel used it in 1 Samuel 13:!4 and Paul quotes this passage in Acts 13:22 above. What does it mean that David is after God’s heart?

Let me begin by examining the common understanding of this phrase “after God’s heart”. Many of us assume it means God really liked David or that David was the apple of God’s eyes; that is, David was precious and beloved of God. Though all of these things are true about God’s disposition towards David, they are not the meaning of the phrase, David is after God’s heart.

The meaning of this phrase is clearly seen in the context of both its original use by Samuel and the quotation by Paul. In Acts 13:22 above, Paul states “a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will”. David fulfilled the will of God or did exactly what was in the heart of God. This was in stark contrast to Saul when Samuel spoke to him in 1 Samuel 13:14.

Are you a man or woman after God’s heart?


Is the etymology (root meaning) of the word “after” very helpful in deciphering the meaning of the phrase “after my own heart”? Important Bible Study principle: Etymology is not always important but context is always king!


David was a rare gem in his day, and still so today. How many of us are sold out to do what is in God’s heart? Are you after God’s heart or your own heart? People like David are a precious jewel in God’s eyes. Allow the Spirit to help you be a man or woman after God’s heart.


Ask the Spirit of God to help you yield your heart to follow God’s heart. 

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