At another point a few hundred years later in a well-known story as recounted in 1 Samuel 17, we find David and Goliath in the middle of a battlefield surrounded by two armies. At this point David displayed a healthy “fear of God” yet without any physical or emotional fear included with it. The soldiers on both sides were watching with interest. We know the Philistine Goliath was a well-known warrior – a giant. And we know David was neither known nor very formidable in appearance. We can be certain that Goliath was not at all afraid of David. And yet in spite of these things, David also had no fear of the giant. David is known in the scriptures as a “man after God’s own heart.” That is the highest compliment anyone could ever hope to receive in this life. In Acts, Paul affirms this to a crowded synagogue on his first missionary journey:
“He raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.”
The connection between doing God’s will and being “a man after God’s own heart” is inescapable. If we wish to be like David in our walk with God, then we must do God’s will — all of it. As Paul continued to speak, transitioning from Old Testament points and into the Gospel that he was there to deliver, in verses 26 – 41 he then addressed the Christians as “those who fear God” and explained to them, the gospel of Christ and the course they ought to take.
“Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ Therefore, he says also in another psalm, “‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’ For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about: “‘Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’”