King David was a man of contrasts. He was singlemindedly committed to God, yet guilty of some of the most serious sins recorded in the Old Testament.
David lived a frustrating life, first in the shadow of his brothers, then constantly on the run from vengeful King Saul. Even after he became king of Israel, David was engaged in almost constant warfare to defend the kingdom. King David was a great military conqueror, but he could not conquer himself. He allowed one night of lust with Bathsheba, and it had disastrous consequences in his life.
Although King David fathered Solomon, one of Israel's greatest kings, he was also the father of Absalom, whose rebellion brought bloodshed and grief.
King David's life was a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows. He left us an example of passionate love of God and dozens of psalms, some of the most touching, beautiful poetry ever written.
King David's Accomplishments:
David killed Goliath, champion of the Philistines, when David was only a youth and Goliath a giant and veteran warrior. David was victorious because he trusted in God for the victory, not himself.
He killed many of Israel's enemies in battle.
Despite several opportunities, David refused to kill King Saul, God's first anointed king, who was pursuing David out of mad jealousy.
He became friends, like brothers, with Saul's son Jonathan, setting a model of friendship that everyone can learn from.
King David is included in the "Faith Hall of Fame" in Hebrews 11.
David was an ancestor of Jesus Christ. Jesus was often called "Son of David."
God called David a man after his own heart.
King David's Strengths:
David was courageous and strong in battle, trusting in God for protection.
He was loyal to Saul, despite Saul's crazed pursuit of him.
David loved God deeply throughout his entire life.
King David's Weaknesses:
King David committed adultery with Bathsheba. He then tried to cover up her pregnancy, and when he failed with that, he had her husband Uriah the Hittite killed.
He took a census of the people, willfully violating God's command not to do that.
King David was sometimes lax, or absent as a father, not disciplining his children when they needed it.
Honest self-examination is necessary to recognize our own sin, then we must repent of it. We may try to fool ourselves or others, but we cannot hide our sin from God.
God always offers forgiveness for our sins, but we cannot escape the consequences.
God highly values our faith in him. Despite life's ups and downs, God is ever-present to give us comfort and help.
Bethlehem, City of David in Jerusalem.
Referenced in the Bible:
King David's story runs from 1 Samuel 16 through 1 Kings 2. David wrote much of the book of Psalms and is also mentioned in Matthew 1:1, 6, 22, 43-45; Luke 1:32; Acts 13:22; Romans 1:3; and Hebrews 11:32.
Shepherd, warrior, king of Israel.
Father - Jesse
Brothers - Eliab, Abinadab, Shammah, four unnamed others.
Wives - Michal, Ahinoam, Abigail, Maacah, Haggith, Abital, Eglah, Bathsheba.
Sons - Amnon, Daniel, Absalom, Adonijah, Shephatiah, Ithream, Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, Eliphelet.
Daughter - Tamar
1 Samuel 16:7
"The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (NIV)
1 Samuel 17:50
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. (NIV)
1 Samuel 30:6
David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God. (NIV)
2 Samuel 12:12-13
Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the LORD, the son born to you will die." (NIV)
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (NIV)