We could almost wish that David had died before he fell into sin. O David, why didst thou not die, fall thyself in battle, before that dreadful night! The glory and the splendor of thy reign are past; now comes the eclipse and the night. If thou hadst died before thy double crime, thy name would have come down to us unstained. But now sufferings and misfortunes await thee. Never shall the sword depart from thy house. If only thou hadst died before thine eyes beheld Bathsheba, before thou didst write the letter that murdered Uriah, thou hadst never seen incest among thine own children, Tamar dishonored and Amnon murdered, the bloody dagger of Absalom pass like a curse before thine eyes! Never wouldst thou have forsaken thy capital, to hear the curses of Shimei, nor have cried out, there on thy lace in the chamber over the gate, with the tears bathing thine aged cheeks: "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" (II Sam. 18:33.)
According to an old rabbinical legend the harp of David hung over his couch. The night wind playing upon the strings made such pleasing music that David arose from his bed and, all through the night, till the morning came, united words to the music. This legend embodies the idea that in the Psalms of David we have all the music of which the human heart is capable.
Now, Angels of Heaven—ye who hanged your harps on the branches of the Tree of Life when ye heard of David's fall, and have not struck a chord or sung a single note since—now, Angels, take down your harps, for once again you can sweep their chords as you sing that greatest of all songs, the song that tells the joy of heaven over one sinner that repenteth, for David has come back to God! And David himself, with his own harp, will sing with you as he forever teaches transgressors the ways of God.
In calling David, God—sought a man (1 Sam. 13. 14), chose a shepherd (Ps. 78. 70), found a servant (Ps. 89. 20), commanded a captain (1 Sam. 13. 14), and provided a king (1 Sam. 16. 1-13).
Latest born of Jesse's race,
Wonder lights thy bashful face.
Twofold praise thou shalt obtain
In royal court and battle plain,
Then come heartache, care, distress,
Blighted hope and loneliness;
Wounds from friend and gifts from foe,
Dizzied faith and guilt and woe.—J. H. Newman
(1 Sam. 13. 14; Acts 13. 22)