One of the most important figures in the Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles books is David. He comes to the fore in 1 Samuel 16-31 but we first read of him in Ruth 4. The son of a man named Jesse, David was anointed king in 1 Samuel 16.13 but did not ascend to the throne until 2 Samuel 5.3-5.
Maybe the most interesting Scripture concerning David is found in 1 Samuel 13.14. Speaking to Saul, Samuel says,
“But now your kingdom will not continue. The LORD has sought out for himself a man who is loyal to him, and the LORD has appointed him to be leader over his people, for you have not obeyed what the LORD commanded you.”
(NET, emphasis added)
Maybe your Bible says ‘a man after His own heart‘ there, but either way, what is being said is that David did whatever God wanted him to do. If you’re even a little familiar with the life David lived and some of the things he did, how can he be described as a man who is loyal to [the Lord]? Let’s see.
David trusted wholeheartedly in God as we see in 1 Samuel 17. He says to Saul that
“The LORD who delivered me from the lion and the bear will also deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
David, for all his faults in the flesh, loved the law of the Lord. Psalm 119 (generally held to have been written by David by most historical commentators) says
“I will find delight in your commands,
which I love.
I will lift my hands to your commands,
which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes.”
Just two examples, then, of how despite being as fallen and as fallible as you or I, David could be referred to as a man who is loyal to [the Lord]. He failed many times and has had those failures recorded and read throughout history, but when he sinned he sought the forgiveness of God (Psalm 51, for example). He loved the law and sought to follow it, but ultimately knew that it pointed to a better and truer experience of living in fellowship with God: the person and the work of Jesus (Psalms 2, 10, 22).