Scripture: Lectionary 315. I Samuel 24:3-21. Psalm 57:2,3-4.6.11. Mark 3:13-19
David is constantly aware of God’s presence in his life. This is seen in even in his remorse for the failures he had in relationships. In battle he is always aware that God is the one who will lead Israel to safety and victory. In today’s readings we see the integrity that he has in relationship to Saul who is the legitimate first king of Israel. He could have easily killed Saul but did not out of loyalty and respect for the anointed one. David is faithful in battle as well in his role as a servant to the king. He even sings and plays for the king. That is why we know him as one of the persons inspired to compose the Psalms. He is considered a saint by many Christians and by Oriental Catholics. There is no doubt he is one of beloved of God. His friendship with Jonathan is another sign of the genuine and transparent love that he shares with so close a friend.
Saul does not have the talents of David; nor does Samuel who anointed Saul have the same pastoral approach to Saul who seems to be a depressed man given over to many moods and outbreaks of anger. The stature of Saul made a good appearance, but God looks to the heart of a person and not merely to whether he is handsome or strong physically. Samuel is a prophet but not a pastor in things of the soul. He treats David differently than he does Saul
David was always conscious of his love for God and his total trust in the providence of God. He discerned things well because he had such trust in God and in the talents he received. It was he who united Israel of the North and Judah of the South. It was he who conquered the Jebusites and set Zion as the center of the kingdom. Jerusalem was the result of this great ability to unite his own peoples who belonged to the twelve tribes.
We see the heart of a person in David and the magnanimous effect it has on all those who trust God and David. Even Saul is moved to tears in the cave where he was so vulnerable to David. Through all of these events David was being prepared to be the next and greatest of Israel’s kings anointed by Samuel the prophet.
I Samuel 16:18 summarizes David in this way: “a skillful in playing and a mighty man of valor and a man of war, and prudent in affairs and a comely person and the Lord is with him.”
“Of immense importance to the future course of history was David’s placing of the ark in Jerusalem, signifying a cultic unification emphasized later by the erection of Solomon’s Temple.” ( Jewish Encyclopedia, p.106). “David, King of Israel lives forever.” (R.H.25a)
From the Gospels especially that of the most Jewish Gospel Matthew we learn that Jesus was of the royal lineage of David and hence was a legitimate person for being the Messiah. Matthew treats of this in his first chapter where we learn of Joseph of Nazareth, the husband of Mary and the legal not natural father of Jesus.In today’s Gospel pericope we learn that Jesus called twelve men and united them around him as his disciples—symbolically the number of the twelve tribes of Israel that David had united in his kingdom.
Our prayer, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Amen.