by Nila K. Bartley
In the introduction of A Heart Like His: Intimate Reflections on the Life of David, the reader is invited to come along on an exciting excursion with author Beth Moore. This book lives up to that promise and is an in-depth look at the life of David. As the reader travels with the author, a person begins to see that even though God says in the Scripture, “David is a man after God’s own heart,” how David was still a very flawed human being. King David was and is an example of the best and worst that lies in the heart of humanity. In 1 Samuel17, while he was still a shepherd boy (a teenager), David faced Goliath with more than a slingshot and five smooth stones. He was bold. He was confident. He foretold what would happen that day to the giant. David’s confidence was in his God and not in himself. The shepherd boy knew it was not by his own ability that he would slay the giant, but the Lord working through him. Such an important lesson to have learned at a young age. Years later, David showed the dregs of humanity that existed within, when he had an affair with a married woman, who became pregnant as a result, and he had her husband, Uriah, murdered by positioning the young Uriah on the front lines of the battle. And to top it off, David did not repent for a year afterward until he was faced with his sin by the prophet of the day, Nathan.
After David was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be king, he had to be patient. It would be fifteen years later before he would be crowned. During a good portion of that time, Saul, who was the current king, had become jealous of David. Because of that jealousy, Saul would chase David for years and try to end David’s life several times. The shepherd boy had matured and grown into a young man who now had to sleep in caves to hide from Saul. He was literally on the run. His life depended on it. David was not alone, however. The Bible says, “those in distress, and everyone in debt, and everyone that was discontented gathered themselves unto him” (1 Samuel 22: 1-2). This is where his band of men came from. Again, who did David cry out to for solace? His God. I am sure some of the leadership qualities David needed to be king were forged into his character at this time.
As the reader travels the above-mentioned situations and other climatic moments that make up David’s life, Beth Moore causes each one to be pertinent to the present. She draws parallels from those situations and moments and turn them into teachable points of contemplation on each individual reader’s life and circumstances. There are thought-provoking review questions in the back of the book for further reflection. All of this makes one reevaluate your own life. Through the whole book, the reader travels on a rollercoaster of emotion as it tours through David’s life. The rollercoaster is worth climbing into.
Beth Moore was masterfully skilled in writing this book. She intuitively delves into David and his many imperfections to make the reader hold up a mirror on oneself. I say (not the author), that this mirror be used to look at yourself, if you are a follower of Christ. If the shepherd boy turned King of Israel could be a man after God’s own heart as scripture declares, then what about each child of God? Could each one of His Children be that too, even though every one of them has many faults? Remember, the Lord never left David. He was by his side through it all. How much more so then with every member of the Body of Christ? The answer to all three of the above raised questions is a resounding yes! For each Child of God is loved beyond measure. This book is worth the read.
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Nila K. Bartley is in her late fifties and lives in Ohio, U.S. She is married to her forever love, Jason. Nila volunteers at her church and was the teacher of the Ladies’ Sunday School Class there for three years. She considers her writing ability to be a talent from the Lord and serves Him with her writing. Nila derives joy from this and hopes people are blessed by her short stories and poems.