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Summary: Why was David acceptable to God when Saul wasn’t

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David is anointed King

In a small country village in Sicily, there were two brothers, Luigi and Guiseppe renown members of the local Mafia.

They were mean, bad and very rich.

No one had a good word to say about them.

Indeed, everyone seemed to have a story about how they had either been cheated or maligned by the brothers.

One day, one of the brothers, Guiseppe died.

The surviving brother, Luigi - with a rare touch of conscience - felt that something nice should be said about his brother at the funeral.

So he went to the local priest and said:

“I know that folk in the village hate us, and they dont know the half of what we have been up to.

However, I want you to say something nice about Guiseppe at his funeral.

I want you to say that Guiseppe was a saint when you preach.

If you will agree to do that, Ill show my gratitude by giving one hundred thousand Euros towards the repair of the church.

And with that Luigi held out a cheque for one hundred thousand Euros.

“If you dont,” Luigi continued ”you’ll be in big trouble with me and yoiu know what that will mean.”

The priest thought about it for a minute, agreed and took Luigi’s cheque for one

hundred thousand Euros.

A week later, the whole village turned out for the funeral curious to hear what the priest would say.

After the opening hymns had been sung and the readings had been read, the priest climbed up into the pulpit and delivered his sermon.

Eyeing the brother, sitting in the front row, the priest said how evil the pair of them had been.

He went on to say how Guiseppe had cheated, not only in business but on his wife, how he had lied and how had had no concern for anyone but himself.

In fact he went on to say what a downright scoundrel Guiseppe had been.

After ten minutes of preaching in this vein, the priest, being the man of integrity, ended his sermon by simply saying

"But compared to his brother, Luigi - Guiseppe was a saint.

I want to look at the anointing of King David from our OT reading and ask the question

Why was Saul rejected and David chosen?

Because – if you know the history of the two Israelite kings you might be tempted to say:

“But compared to David, King Saul was a saint”

After all, David wasn’t your archetypal saint was he?

In 2 Sam 11 and 12, we read of one of the most notorious acts of treachery in the Old Testament.

King David’s adultery with Uriah the Hittite’s wife, Bathsheba - followed by the shameful murder of her husband.

What makes this event so despicable is that Uriah wasn’t just any old soldier.

He was one of David’s special SAS force - known as the Thirty Chiefs - who had been with David from the days of Adullum’s Cave (2 Sam 23: 39).

In other words Uriah was a trusty companion of David’s.

A friend even. And David had him killed!

I haven’t come across anyone who could break so many of the 10 commandments at one sitting!

As far as I can make out David managed to break at least 4 of the 10 commandments

You shall not murder (No. 6)

You shall not commit adultery (No. 7)

You shall not steal (No. 8)

You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife (No. 10) (Ex 20:1-17)

But just before you think that David was a special sinner, I’d like to park a verse with you that St. Paul said about King David:

(God) testified concerning (David): ’I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ (Acts 13:22)

A murderer, an adulterer, a thief - a man after God’s own heart?

So how do we marry up all these paradoxes?

So why did St. Paul call David a man after God’s own heart?

I think you will find the key in 2 Samuel 12, where Nathan the prophet confronts David over his sin.

Nathan tells David the story of a man who had one single little sheep that he loves very much.

One day, one of the rich local landowners had a friend come to visit.

Instead of taking a lamb from his own flock, the rich landowner stole the poor man’s only pet lamb killed it and put it on the table for his friend.

David is so incensed at the injustice of it all – and you see David’s real heart coming through – that he said that the man who did this must die!!

And in probably the most moving scene of the Old Testament - Nathan looks David in the eye and says: “Thou art the man!” (2 Sam 12:7).

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