How can David be after God's heart?


I would like to know how can David be regarded as the one that went after God’s heart and followed the LORD completely, when he had committed adultery and murder?

Please refer to 1 Kings 11:4 and 11:6.

Thank you.



@henry_auw Great question :slight_smile: I think what makes King David a man after God’s own heart is not that he was sinless - only Jesus was without sin - but the way that he responded to his own sin. If we read Psalms 51, we see David’s complete brokenness over what he had done and his humility in returning to God.

King David also respected King Saul simply because he was God’s anointed and restrained himself from killing him multiple times. David showed an extreme reverence for God and a jealousy for God’s name.

However - I think we can say that the sins of murder and adultery in the case of Uriah really crippled David as an individual, even though he repented. If we look at his later life - specifically the way he handled his family - it seems he never really recovered completely.

Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Ahab’s Story

Ahab was an extremely wicked King, but we see that God responded when he truly humbled himself. God is pleased with those who acknowledge their sin before him and admit their emptiness so that He can heal them.

1 Kings 21:27-29 - When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.

28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”


Hi Sean,

Thank you for your answer to my question. I agree with you in saying that only Jesus is sinless.
I forgot about that truth! :blush: So, I guess God blotted out King David’s sin, because he had repented.
Hence, when comparing to King Solomon who did not repent, King David was still considered following God’s decrees and commands completely.


@henry_auw I don’t think I would say that being after God’s own heart means that David completely followed God’s commands. David took a census also (1 Samuel 21 / 2 Samuel 24) and was punished - and David even had to be corrected by his military commanders a few times when he was not leading well (2 Samuel 19:5). So I think it simply means that David desired - and tried in his broken human way - to fully honor the Lord.


Yes. I agree with you! Thanks Sean!

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