David vs Saul (IV)


The third quality that God saw in David was integrity. Look at Psalm 78:71-72: “From following the ewes great with young he [God] brought him [David] to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart [emphasis added]; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.”[1] God is not looking for magnificent specimens of humanity. God is looking for deeply spiritual people who are genuinely humble and servants who have integrity. Integrity means “being totally honest.” It is being honest regardless of whether anybody is looking.[2]
On the other hand, God told Samuel to tell Saul to bring a total judgment against the Amalekites, but Saul did not do this. When Samuel went to meet Saul, Saul said, “I have performed the commandment of the LORD.”[3] This shows that Saul was being dishonest. He had no integrity.[4]
Today we live in a world that says that making a good impression is all that matters. But we will never be men and women of God if that is our philosophy. We never will. God is not impressed with externals. He always focuses on the inward qualities, that is, those things that take time to cultivate.[5] In this regard, it is enlightening to look at how God trained David in the qualities of spirituality, humility, and integrity. David’s training ground was time, just hours and hours of taking care of his father’s sheep. For nights, he sat alone under the stars.[6] He felt the wind of autumn and the cold rain of winter, and he endured the rays of the summer sun.[7] Time was one of the teachers God used as He trained David.

[1] Seay, Life of David; Nobis, “God’s Heart, God’s Man, God’s Ways.”

[2] Seay, Life of David; Nobis, “God’s Heart, God’s Man, God’s Ways.”

[3] 1 Sm 15:13.

[4] Guznik provides a different interpretation. See Guznik, David Guzik’s Commentary on 1 Samuel.

[5] Tan, “The Making of the Man of God,” 122; Seay, Life of David; Nobis, “God’s Heart, God’s Man, God’s Ways.”

[6] Cf. Ps 8:3, 19:1.

[7] Seay, Life of David.