David, who has broken at least four, if not five, of the Ten Commandments of Moses, admits sin and is immediately forgiven. Saul, who may have sinned, although his sin is far from clear, is not forgiven; rather, he is deposed, isolated, and dies alone, a suicide on Mt. Gilboa. Though David eventually pays a bitter price for his bloody deeds by the implosion of his family and the horrors that follow, he himself lives long, dying in his own bed.
Surely, juxtaposing these two kingly accounts calls into most serious question the supposedly simple connection between human sin and divine retribution. Let us continually remind our congregations that such a simple connection plainly does not exist. Yet how often such foolishness finds its way into public discussion of modern tragedy! Let us no more offer them the dangerous pabulum that the Bible says, "What goes round, comes round." It does not.