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(Psalm 51:1–6)

Read the following verses about David’s early life before he became king:

1 Samuel 16:6–13;

1 Samuel 17:45–47;

1 Samuel 18:14;

1 Samuel 24:10;

1 Samuel 26:9; and

1 Samuel 30:6–8.

What does this tell us about David?

God chose Saul as the first king of Israel because he was the kind of king that the people had asked for. But when God chose David to be the next king of Israel, He reminded Samuel that the Lord looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

David was not perfect. In fact, some would argue that David’s later sins were much more serious than Saul’s sins.. But the Lord rejected Saul and forgave David’s worst mistakes.. God even let David continue to be king. What made the difference?

What important truth is found in Psalm 32:1–5 and Psalm 51:1–6 that is so necessary to faith?

God is in the heart business. He reads the heart—the center of thought, inner attitudes, and reasons. But He can touch and change hearts that are open to Him.. David felt how sinful his heart was.. David repented, and he patiently accepted the results of his sins. Saul made outward confessions. But it was clear that Saul’s heart was not surrendered to the Lord.

“The Lord placed on Saul the responsibility of the kingdom… But the Lord did not leave Saul to himself. The Lord caused the Holy Spirit to rest upon Saul to tell him of his own weakness and his need of God’s grace..2 If Saul had depended fully upon God, God would have been with him.. So long as Saul obeyed the will [plan] of God and let His Spirit lead him, God could reward his efforts with success.. But when Saul chose to act independently of God, the Lord could no longer be his guide.. Instead, the Lord had to reject him..”

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