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I Samuel 15;10-12 tells us "The word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, 'I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as King, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed my commandments'"

The New Testament tells us in Romans 11:29 that the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. Is that a privilege only given to those under the New Covenant?

King David sinned by committing adultery and murder, yet it didn't cost him his crown; Saul's sin was to offer a sacrifice when it wasn't his place to, a sin of presumption. Was this a greater sin?

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The key difference between Saul and David is loyalty (trust, faith, belief, understanding, obedience, humbleness).

Saul had attacked the Philistines. Samuel told him to wait 7 days and he would arrive. Saul saw the enemy gathering against him, panicked, forgot the promise of God, and turned away to formulate his own "work". Samuel shows up right after Saul sacrifices.

1 Sam. 13:13-14 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.

God had promised him to reign, but Saul failed to believe. David, however, did believe God (was a man after His own heart; Acts 13:22).

The end of the matter is this.

1 Sam. 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

PS. Re Romans 11:29, the preceding verse sets the context; that is, concerning the gospel, concerning the election.

  • I think that's a good answer in part, it does go a long way to explaining why Saul was rejected, but it doesn't really explain why David wasn't rejected. David was also disobedient at times and proud and obviously didn't believe God in the time of his sin with Bathsheba. In re-reading 2 Samuel 12 it's apparent that David also paid a price for His sin. V15. David's child died. Maybe losing a child is a greater punishment than losing a crown and also in v11 the Lord promised David calamity from and within his own family. V10 The sword would never depart from his house. – user38924 Nov 15 '17 at 19:52
  • @ColinAmey - I think the difference is that Saul disobeyed a direct command from God's prophet Samuel. While David obviously sinned when he sent Uriah the Hittite into a particularly risky situation so that he would likely die, all so he could have his wife Bathsheba. But David did this on his own, and didn't directly defy a direct order. – David P Nov 16 '17 at 21:29

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