David tends to be defined by two stories: David and Goliath and David and Bathsheba. In the first story he is reduced to a childlike hero who overcame insurmountable odds. In the second story he’s an adulterer and murderer.
Yet I would argue, outside of Jesus, he is the greatest bible character. A remarkable poet and musician. A mighty warrior. A strategic leader who built a kingdom and forged alliances. A person of tremendous spiritual depth. And someone who rose above the disabling superstitions of the day.
Then his life unraveled. He suffered tremendous loss. Struggled as a parent. His family rebelled. He lost his kingdom. But he rose from the ashes to become great once again.
Michelangelo’s David portrays gentleness, strength, and intensity (notice the eyes). It’s what you’d expect when the insightful poet, the skilled leader, and the powerful warrior intersect in one person. They not only possess the skills and inner strength to accomplish great things, but also to overcome the most complex obstacles and rebound from self-sabotage.