1 Samuel 13:14
ESV - 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.
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In my opinion, emulating David would consist of possessing attributes such as the following: 1) faith in God, even in the face of what might appear from a human perspective to be insurmountable odds (as shown, for example, by his confidence in responding to Goliath's challenge (1 Samuel 17:4-54)); 2) a love of God and His Law (which he made particularly evident in the many psalms that he composed expressing this attitude) (Psalm 119 is a good (and lengthy) example of this.); 3) expression of praise and thankfulness to God for His blessings (again, as exhibited by David in psalms such as Psalm 9 and Psalm 145), which David maintained not only during times of peace and prosperity, but also of fear and despair; 4) true repentance after the commission of sin, and not allowing God's judgment of that sin to drive one away from God (2 Samuel 11-12; Psalm 51; Psalm 32). (To me, this is particularly encouraging. It reminds me that God will forgive sin in response to genuine contrition (even though there may still be temporal consequences to be faced (2 Samuel 12:1-23; 2 Samuel 14-18)).) 5) showing mercy even to one's enemies, and leaving their judgment to God (such as when David spared the life of Saul on multiple occasions, despite the fact that Saul was trying to kill him (1 Samuel 24; 1 Samuel 26)).
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