But now your kingdom shall not continue: the LORD has sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be ruler over his people, because you have not kept that which the LORD commanded you.
Read Chapter 13
Aphrahat the Persian Sage
Also David was persecuted, as Jesus was persecuted. David was anointed by Samuel to be king instead of Saul who had sinned; and Jesus was anointed by John to be high priest instead of the priests, the ministers of the law. David was persecuted after his anointing; and Jesus was persecuted after his anointing. David reigned first over one tribe only and afterwards over all Israel; and Jesus reigned from the beginning over the few who believed on him, and in the end he will reign over all the world. Samuel anointed David when he was thirty years old; and Jesus when about thirty years old received the imposition of the hand from John. David wedded two daughters of the king; and Jesus wedded two daughters of kings, the congregation of the people and the congregation of the Gentiles. David repaid good to Saul his enemy; and Jesus taught, “Pray for your enemies.” David was the heart of God; and Jesus was the Son of God. David received the kingdom of Saul his persecutor; and Jesus received th...
You ask, “Why did the Lord, undoubtedly having foreknowledge of the future, say ‘I choose David according to my own heart,’ although this very man committed such serious sins?” As a matter of fact, if we understand this statement concerning David himself, who was king of Israel after Saul had been condemned and slain, it was especially because God has foreknowledge of the future that he foresaw in him such great holiness and such true repentance, that he numbered him among those of whom he himself said, “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one to whom the Lord has not imputed sin.” Therefore, since God foreknew that he would sin and would wash his sins away by holy humility, why should he not say, “I have found David according to my own heart?” He was not going to impute sin to him who was doing so many good acts and living in such great holiness and by this same holiness offering the sacrifice of a contrite spirit for his sins. For...
In the same vein, take the words Samuel said to Saul.… These words are not to be taken to mean that God had intended for Saul himself to reign forever and subsequently had decided otherwise on account of Saul’s sins (for God knew Saul was going to sin). They mean merely that God had planned for him to have such a kingdom as would typify an everlasting kingdom. Hence the added precision: “But your kingdom shall not continue.”
The kingdom which Saul’s kingdom symbolized has continued and will continue—but not for Saul; for neither was he personally destined to rule forever, nor was even his progeny after him (at least in the sense of his blood successors following one after another) to make good the pledge “forever.” - "City of God 17.6"
What shall we say of the celebrated David, to whom God said, “I have found a man after my own heart, David the son of Jesse, in eternal mercy I have anointed him.” But even he says to God, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your great mercy, and according to the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my iniquity. Wash me yet more from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin; for I knew my iniquity, and my sin is always before me.” 1 - "Clement 18"
Continue long. This seems to have been a threat, which Saul might still have escaped, if he had not proved disobedient again. St. Gregory says, "he might have been loosed from the bonds of his former disobedience "prioris inobedientiæ nexus enodaret. The second rebellion caused him to be entirely rejected, and the prophet was ordered to go and anoint David, chap. xv. (Salien)
The doctrines of the gospel were well known to holy and blessed David in his capacity of prophet, and although it was under the law that he lived his bodily life, he yet filled, as far as in him lay, the requirements of the apostolic concern and justified the witness borne to him by God in the words: I have found a man after my own heart, David, the son of Jesse. He did not avenge himself upon his foes by war, he did not oppose force of arms to those that laid wait for him, but after the pattern of the Lord, whose name and whose meekness alike he foreshadowed, when he was betrayed he entreated, when he was in danger he sang psalms, when he incurred hatred he rejoiced; and for this cause he was found a man after God’s own heart. - "Homilies on Psalm 53 (54).1"
So whom should we cite in discoursing on clemency? Who else than the one receiving testimony from on high and especially remarkable in this case? “I found in David, son of Jesse,” Scripture says, remember, “a man after my own heart.” Now, when God gives his opinion, there are no grounds left for opposition: that verdict is proof against corruption, God judging not from favor or from hatred but making his decision on the mere virtue of the soul. It is not for this reason alone, however, that we cite him, that he received the verdict from God, but also because he is one of those nourished in the old dispensation. You see, while there is nothing remarkable for anyone in the ages of grace to be found free of resentment, forgiving enemies their sins and sparing abusers—that is, after the death of Christ, after such wonderful forgiveness of sins, after the directives redolent of sound values—in the old dispensation, by contrast, when the law permitted an eye to be plucked out for an eye, a t...
And is it surprising that a person previously of good repute should afterwards fall? Saul, though good beyond all others, was afterwards overthrown by jealousy. David, a good man after the Lord’s heart, was afterwards guilty of murder and adultery. Solomon, whom the Lord had endowed with all grace and wisdom, was led by women into idolatry. To remain without sin was reserved for the Son of God alone. If then a bishop or deacon, a widow, a virgin or a teacher, or even a martyr, has lapsed from the Rule of Faith, must we conclude that heresy possesses the truth? Do we test the faith by persons or person by the faith? No one is wise, no one is faithful, no one worthy of honor unless he is a Christian, and no one is a Christian unless he perseveres to the end. - "Prescriptions Against Heretics 3"
As, therefore, it was not lawful for one of another tribe, that was not a Levite, to offer anything or to approach the altar without the priest, so also do you do nothing without the bishop; for if any one does anything without the bishop, he does it to no purpose. For it will not be esteemed as of any avail to him. For as Saul, when he had offered without Samuel, was told, “It will not avail for you,” so every person among the laity, doing anything without the priest, labors in vain. - "Constitutions of the Holy Apostles 2.4.27"