1 Kings 3:6
ESV - 6 And Solomon said, "You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day.
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I would say that God showed mercy to David in at least five ways: 1) by taking him from his position as a shepherd, and as the youngest of his father's eight sons, and elevating him to be king over God's chosen people (1 Samuel 16:1-13); 2) by saving him from those who tried to kill him in order to take the throne away from him (such as Saul, whom David had replaced, and Saul's followers (1 Samuel 19-31; 2 Samuel 1-4); David's own son Absalom (2 Samuel 15-18); and Sheba (2 Samuel 20); 3) by promising him (2 Samuel 7:1-16) that his dynasty would last forever, culminating in the birth of Jesus, who was descended from David both through His mother Mary (Luke 3:23-38), and through Mary's husband Joseph (Matthew 1:2-16); 4) by forgiving him (that is, not taking away eternal life) for his adultery with Bathsheba and his subsequent ordering of the death of her husband, Uriah (although David and Bathsheba's first child died as a temporal judgment from God) (2 Samuel 11-12); and 5) by similarly forgiving him for his pride in ordering a census of Israel (2 Samuel 24) (although God's temporal punishment for David's action resulted in the death of 70,000 Israelites). In addition, the Bible records many subsequent instances (such as 1 Kings 11:9-13) where God performed merciful actions "for David's sake", even after David's death.
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