Of course, MUCH could be written of David… even in a short biography.  David is famous for many things in his life; mostly good, but some bad.  Here might be the high points…

Saul Rejected

When God said it was enough of King Saul, the prophet Samuel was sent to seek out a new king from the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem. Samuel examined 7 of Jesse’s sons, but said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.”  Samuel asked if Jesse had any other sons. “There is still the youngest”, Jesse answered, referring to David. Samuel said, “Send for him,” and had him brought in.  Then God said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”  So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him.

 

At the Court of Saul

As punishment, Saul was tormented by an “evil spirit allowed by the Lord” (1Sam. 16:14) and it was suggested he send for David, a young warrior famed for bravery and his lyre playing.  Saul did so, and made David one of his armor-bearers.  From then on, whenever “the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.”

 

David and Goliath

According to 1Sam. 17, the ‘men of Israel’ under King Saul faced the Philistines near the Valley of Elah.  David heard the Philistine giant Goliath challenge the Israelites to send their own champion to decide the outcome in single combat; Goliath used to regularly stand opposite the Israelite camp and shout insults concerning King Saul and the Israelite people.  David told Saul he was prepared to face Goliath alone.

David picked 5 smooth stones from a nearby brook, and struck Goliath in the forehead with a stone from his sling.  Goliath fell, and David took Goliath’s sword and beheaded him.  The Philistines fled in terror.  Saul asked about the name of the young champion, and David told him he was the son of Jesse. 

In 2Sam. 22, David credited God for delivering him from the hand of the Philistines and saving him from “the snares of death,” in his psalm.

LifeAPP:

How did David train for his battle with Goliath?  A lifetime of prayer, worship and faith.

What weapons did David use in his battle with Goliath?  The same; prayer, worship and faith.

Prayer gave him courage to challenge the giant in the first place.

Worship reminded him this was a spiritual battle.

Faith assured him he would succeed.

Then, and only then, did he step out into that valley to face the giant named Goliath.

Each of us faces a battle in righteousness… a spiritual test: a lie that will bring us more profit, a kiss that will violate our vows, a compromise that pulls us toward mediocrity, etc.

David knew this was a spiritual battle, and that a stand had to be taken that day.  And he was ready.

Are you?

*  By prayer, worship, and a life of faith, we train for challenge God puts before us.

 

David and Jonathan

Saul made David a commander over his armies and offered him his daughter Michal in marriage for bringing 100 foreskins of the Philistines, but David brought back 200, saying “God was with me”.  David was successful in many battles, and his popularity awakened Saul’s fears.  Saul tried to arrange for David’s death, but the plots only endeared David further to the people, and especially to Saul’s son Jonathan, who loved David (1Sam. 18:1; 2Sam. 1:25,26).  Jonathan warned David, who fled into the wilderness, gathered a band of followers and became the champion of the oppressed while evading Saul’s pursuit.  He accepted the town of Ziklag from the Philistine king, Achish of Gath, but continued secretly to champion the Israelites.  Achish marched against Saul, but David was excused from the war after suspicion from Philistine nobles that his loyalty could not be trusted.

LifeAPP:

David and Jonathan had a friendship that made each a better, stronger person.  They trusted each other completely, and were loyal to each other over any other relationship they had.

How does such a friendship happen?  Surely there were things they had in common, but this was more than “chemistry”.  This came from a common faith… common values… a shared mission and purpose and goals… and the understanding of AGAPE love, a love that puts the needs of another before one’s own needs.

You probably only have a handful of friends like this.  Sadly, some people have none.

One of God’s great gifts to us is the gift of friendship.  We should make good friends, and stay loyal and true to them.  We should also know God as a Friend.  He stays with us when all others might leave.

Develop your friendships.  Protect your friendships.  Value your friendships.  Each day.  Every day.  And, especially, today.

 

Proclaimed King

Jonathan and Saul were killed in battle with the Philistines at Mount Gilboa. David mourned their deaths, especially that of Jonathan. He travelled to Hebron, where he was anointed king over Judah.  In the north, Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth was anointed by Abner as King of Israel.  War ensued between Ish-Bosheth and David, until Ish-Bosheth was murdered.  The assassins brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David hoping for a reward, but David executed them for their crime.  With the death of Saul’s son, the elders of Israel came to Hebron and David was anointed King over Israel and Judah.

 

Jerusalem and the Davidic Covenant

David conquered the Jebusite fortress of Jerusalem, and made it his capital. David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, intending to build a temple.  The prophet Nathan, announced that the temple would be built at a future date by one of David’s sons (Solomon).  Nathan told David that God had made a covenant with David, promising to establish the house of David: “Your throne shall be established forever.”

David wins victories over the Philistines, and the Moabites, and Hadadezer of Zobah paid tribute.

 

Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite

David committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Bathsheba became pregnant.  David sent for Uriah, who was with the Israelite army at the siege of Rabbah, so that he could sleep with his wife and conceal the identity of the child’s father.  Uriah refused to do so while his companions are in the field of battle and David sent him back to Joab, the commander, with a message instructing him to ensure that Uriah died in battle.  David married Bathsheba and she bore his child, “but the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.”  The prophet Nathan confronted David, saying: “Why have you despised the word of God, to do what is evil in his sight? You have smitten Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife.” Nathan presented 3 punishment options from God: 1) that the “sword shall never depart from your house” (2Sam. 12:10); 2) that “Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight”, and 3) that “the son born to you will die” (2Sam. 12:14).

David repented, yet David’s child died.  David left his lamentations, dressed himself, went to the House of the Lord and worshiped, and then returned home to eat. His servants asked why he wept when the baby was alive, but ended his mourning when the child dies.  David replied: “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (2Sam. 12:22,23)

LifeAPP:

David’s poor decision to commit adultery with Bathsheba led to several other poor decisions… including arranging to have someone killed.

When you sin – and you will (just as I will) – it is crucial you stop and confess your sin instead of trying to cover it up.

Admitting your sin early and confessing it  is better than making matters worse with more sin.

 

David’s Son Absalom Rebels

David’s son Absalom rebelled, forcing David to flee Jerusalem as the kingdom plunged into civil war.  However, David sent his servant Hushai to Absalom’s court as a double agent both to thwart the counsel of his chief adviser, fellow-traitor, Ahitophel, and relay intelligence to David’s forces.  Hushai was successful in persuading Absalom from immediately pursuing his father in favor of better preparing his own forces for a major battle, thus allowing David to regroup for it.  In the battle of the Wood of Ephraim, Absalom’s forces were defeated and he was caught by his hair in the branches of an oak and David’s general Joab killed him.  When the news of the victory was brought to David, he was grief-stricken, and he cried out “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

 

David’s Death

When David had become old and bedridden, Adonijah, his eldest surviving son and natural heir, declared himself king.  Bathsheba, David’s favorite wife, and Nathan the prophet went to David and obtained his agreement that Solomon, Bathsheba’s son should became king.  David gave his final instructions, to Solomon including his promise that the line of Solomon and David will inherit the throne of Judah forever, and his request that Solomon kill his oldest enemies on his behalf.

David died and was buried on Mount Zion.

LifeAPP:

Many possibilities might be suggested for the first line in David’s obituary.

In fact, an interesting experiment might be to ask people what they first think of when they think of David.  The vast majority will probably suggest his battle with Goliath.

But, when God summarized who David was, and what David did, God said David was “a man after God’s own heart” (1Samuel 13:14).  That is what made David truly great in the eyes of God.

As you determine to honor God in and through your life, what should be your highest aspiration?  That you accomplish great things for God?  That you live a Godly life?  Those are certainly Godly goals.  But, ultimately, our primary concern should be that we seek to have a heart that reflects the heart of God.  Nothing could be more important than that.

 

David’s story is told in 1Samuel 16—1Kings 2.  He is also mentioned throughout the Bible.  Many (if not most) of the Psalms were written by David.

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