God already rejected Saul’s kingship. He chose a man after his own heart to replace him.
“He chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds…to be shepherd…over Israel, His inheritance. He shepherded them with a pure heart and guided them with his skillful hands” (Psalm 78:70-72 HCSB).
Even though David was already anointed to replace Saul as king, he still waited for Saul’s death before sitting on the throne. God shows in the story of 2 Samuel 1-6 how he fulfills his promise to give them a king from the line of Judah (Gen. 49:10), a God-sent king who will rule and save them from their enemies.
The difference between Saul and David is not mainly about family line or military or leadership skills. The issue is the heart. David had pure heart. Saul’s heart was impure. He didn’t obey God. He was not faithful. He was overcome by jealousy, anger, at revenge.
David, however, became faithful to God. He obeyed God. He did not take matters into his own hands and refused to kill Saul.
So God is proving that his choice of David is the right one. He was “a man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14 ESV). It reminds us that “the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7 ESV).
We can see the heart of this man in the songs that he sings. Look at some of these songs which David used as prayers when his enemies (especially Saul) were chasing him: “I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psa. 18:1-2 ESV). “O God, save me by your name, and vindicate me by your might” (Psa. 54:1 ESV). “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psa. 63:1 ESV).
David really has “a pure heart” – he loves the Lord his King and Savior. How about you?
Click here (or the image thumbnail on the left) to read, listen, download or share the sermon God Turns Mourning into Dancing, chapter 16 of The Story of God sermon series. Story guides and story graphics are also available for download.