But more than anything else, what made David a man after God's own heart was a broken and a contrite heart.
We cannot know our true state of heart until it is tested.
And David was tested.
Self-indulgence that defied God's command for a king to not accumulate many wives led David to sin against God at the epitome of success and prosperity.
David's self-indulgence is also demonstrated in his neglect: the tragic story of David's adultery and murder in 2 Sam 11 begins with a simple yet telling fact:
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. (v.1)
It was a properous time. David had defeated one of two greatest threats to Israel - the Ammonites, and defeat of their western enemy, Philistines, was only a matter of time.
From a practical point of view, David did not need to be out there.
But he should have been.
It was need not for the sake of victory at the battlefield, but for another battle raging in his soul.
By neglecting his duty, lulled by ease and comfort of firmly established kingship, David made a grave error of allowing complacency to dictate his life.
And it cost him everything.
From the moment David ignores his servant's information that the woman Bathsheba was a wife of one of his greatest generals, David dives headlong into sin that is followed by horrific consequences; incest, fratricide, intrigues, rebellion, civil war, disgrace...
As tragic as these repercussions of his sin against God were, David was tormented by far more excruciating pain from his sin: a chasm in the relationship between himself and God.
David's beautiful and poignant Psalm 51 was penned during this time as he wept and broke down before God in contrition and soul-wrenching regret.
More than anything, David knew he had offended God. What made David a man after God's own heart was his clear understanding of what sin was in His eyes. How despicable and unbearable sin was to a holy God.
Remember the wolf devouring his own blood gushing from his own sliced tongue as he hungrily licks on the sharp knife, impaled on its hilt on the ground, once covered with frozen blood to cover its deadly blade in the cold artic night by a shrewd Eskimo...
Sin is consuming and deceiving.
It will attract the eyes, deceive the mind, lure the unwary, and in the end, there is only one goal - it kills.
But we have hope in Christ, through the Holy Spirit who gently prods us to turn from sin, to walk away, to refuse to yield to what is often seemingly harmless entertainment or means of relaxation.
Be sure your satisfaction in life comes solely from God, through God, and in God alone, because you may discover that all this time, you had taken pleasure from sin at the cost of your own very soul, the dawn finding you dead beside a sharp blade.
-- from Nakwon EM Nov 19th Sunday Worship Service