Two Kings: Two Different Hearts – Part 2

In contrast to King Saul, David was someone whom Samuel described as, “…a man after his [the Lord’s] own heart” (2 Samuel 13: 14). As with Saul, a few incidences recorded in 1 Samuel demonstrate the type of heart David had; unlike Saul, David’s words and actions attested to a deep reverential fear of the Lord:

1 Samuel 17: 23-37—The terrifying Philistine giant, Goliath, had taunted and challenged Saul’s army to send a man to fight him; the winner would obtain victory for their entire army. No one would take up the challenge (including King Saul) until a young shepherd (David) stepped forward. David said, “…who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the army of the living God?” David did not focus on himself; instead, he focused on the Lord, who was the true Commander of His army. We read in verse 37 that David believed that it was the Lord who had always delivered him from dangerous attacks by lions and bears, and thus he trusted this would be exactly what God would do concerning Goliath. The outcome: David—refusing Saul’s armor—fought in the name of the Lord using a sling and a stone, effectively delivering Israel from destruction by slaying Goliath.

Another revealing trait of David was his enormous respect for the one God had anointed—King Saul—despite the fact that Samuel had already anointed David himself and the Spirit of the Lord had come upon him (1 Samuel: 16:13). As mentioned earlier, Saul was jealous of David and relentlessly sought his life; nevertheless, David passed up at least two opportunities where he could have easily taken the life of Saul and put an end to the peril he had endured. David’s reverential treatment of the king did not rest in Saul’s character; rather, David’s worshipful fear and love of God moved him to treat his enemy in a way that would leave any judgement or vengeance to the Lord. The outcome: Saul’s life came prematurely to a tragic end, but David successfully ruled Israel for forty years; and the Lord preserved David’s name and generations forever through Jesus Christ.

We will examine how these truths apply to us in today’s world in the next post…