Updated: Nov 15, 2019
God esteemed David by calling him a man after His own heart. When we think on the meaning of this, I find it helps to insert one more word... "seeking". In other words, God saw David seeking after the very heart and core of who God is and this caught the Lord's attention and pleased Him greatly.
David made it a life-long pursuit to study, meditate, document, and behold God's inner-life…. His emotions, longings, desires, passions, grievances and all that makes up the mind, will, and emotions of God.
Ps 27:4 - Onething I have desired, this I will seek. To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. To gaze on His beauty and inquire in His temple
Gazing on the beauty of God is not mostly about His appearance, although I believe His appearing is a most-beautiful reality. Rather, gazing on the beauty of God is primarily, at least in this lifetime, about studying and meditating on God's inner-life - His mind, will, and emotions. God's beauty emmanates from within. He is so kind, merciful, transcendent, gracious, wise, honoring, loving, joyful and the list goes on. In other words, His beauty comes from the inside. His internal attributes resonate with our spirit because we were made in His image, or likeness. When we experience one of the attributes of God, even just a little bit, our spirit is awakened and we are provoked inwardly to cry Holy, Glory, Beautiful… "Holy! Holy! Holy!" can also be expressed just as well by saying, "Beauty! Beauty! Beauty!"
When Moses asked to see God's glory, it wasn't the physical attributes of God that were revealed. It was the Lord declaring His name… "The Lord God gracious, merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in love." His Name is His character and is what makes Him glorious and beautiful.
Inquiring of God is finding out what's on His heart, what is important to Him, how does He feel, what is He longing to share with us? It's enjoying friendship with God like Moses.
John 15:15 - No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you
Friendship with God is lingering in the tent of meeting like Joshua. It's a life of worship like David. A life laid down in service to the Lord like John the Baptist. It's leaning on the breast of Christ at the communion table like John the Beloved.
Studying God's emotions is taking the truths we find in the Scriptures and using them with prayer as an escort into the Person of God, with whom we fall in love with. Jesus warned that we can love the truths of Scripture but never learn to love Him (John 5:29-40). Paul warns that we can receive revelation and it can produce the opposite of love in our hearts (2 Cor. 12:7).
We become students of God's heart as we meditate on the truths of God's word and let the Word of God touch our hearts. As we do this, our hearts become trained by the presence of the Lord.