Commemoration of David: Prophet, Psalmist and King
Today we remember and thank God for St. David, Kind of Israel, and ancestor of Christ the Lord. David is one of the more fascinating persons we learn about in Holy Scripture. He is a icon of God’s grace, truly human and truly redeemed. A nobody who became a somebody purely by God’s own choosing. A man who experienced the most profound depths of man’s sinful condition in his own personal life, and then, even more, the love and mercy of God for a repentant sinner. What I love most about King David are the wonderful treasure God gave us through him in the form of the Psalms: the inspired poetry that have formed the people of God’s “hymnbook” through the ages since they were given through David by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We remember, praise God for, and commemorate David on this day, most importantly because through him and his offspring and descendants came the Son of David Himself, our Lord Christ, King of King and Lord of Lords.
David, the greatest of Israel’s kings, ruled from about 1010 to 970 B.C. The events of his life are found in 1 Samuel 16 through 1 Kings 2 and in 1 Chronicles 10—29. David was also gifted musically. He was skilled in playing the lyre and the author of no less than 73 psalms, including the beloved Psalm 23. His public and private character displayed a mixture of good (for example, his defeat of the giant Goliath, 1 Samuel 17) and evil (as in his adultery with Uriah’s wife, followed by his murder of Uriah, 2 Samuel 11). David’s greatness lay in his fierce loyalty to God as Israel’s military and political leader, coupled with his willingness to acknowledge his sins and ask for God’s forgiveness (2 Samuel 12; see also Psalm 51). It was under David’s leadership that the people of Israel were united into a single nation with Jerusalem as its capital city.
An ancient song in the Church puts it this way:
Come, let us extol David the king, the grandparent of God; for from him sprang out a stem, namely the Virgin, and from that did shine forth Christ the Flower, renewing the creation of Adam and Eve from corruption; for He is compassionate.