David was a young man when he stood up in defense of the armies of the Lord and faced Goliath. He was not a warrior but he was courageous and humble. David was a shepherd, a watcher and protector of sheep. He chased after a lion that had taken a sheep. He saved the sheep, grabbed the lion by its mane, and killed it. He also killed a bear (1 Sam. 17:34-36). David was courageous; he was humble. He stated that it was the Lord who delivered him from the paws of the lion and bear (1 Sam 17:37). When faced with Goliath, David did not wear Saul’s heavy armor. He was adorned with the armor of God – faith and righteousness and truth. He grabbed his sling and some stones. He then ran toward Goliath as he sent his rock into the forehead of Goliath. David knew the Lord would deliver him. He made the choice to stand up and fight the man who defied the armies of the Lord and blasphemed His name. David was an impressive young man who impressed the king of Israel. He was a man after the Lord’s own heart: “[The Lord] raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will” (Acts 13:22).
Later, as king, David looked upon the bathing Bathsheba and lusted after her. Here was the start of this great man’s fall. He did not avert his eyes when he should have looked away. This led to an act of adultery. However, David’s greater sin was placing Bathsheba’s husband in harm’s way so that he would die to cover up the sin of David and Bathsheba. David’s fall is not the focus of this essay though. David’s story is tragic but I still look up to him and respect him. David spent the rest of his life trying to repent for what he did. He spent many hours pleading in prayer and in song for forgiveness. His story is especially striking in the context of Saul’s and Solomon’s. Both of them faltered and never seemed to try to stand back up and dust off the dirt.
Saul was condemned for offering a burnt offering without proper authority (see 1 Sam. 13). Later, when David gained popularity, Saul become jealous to the point where he tried to kill David many times (see 1 Sam. 18-19, 22, etc). However, David was forgiving. Just like Hamlet spared his uncle when he had an opportunity to slay him, David spared the life of his father-in-law Saul on multiple occasions. Eventually, after a defeat in battle by the Philistines, Saul killed himself to prevent some unspeakable death at the hands of the Philistines (see 1 Sam. 31). Saul had been the Lord’s anointed but he fell and never tried earnestly to repent.