Summary: In introductory message to a series on the life of King David
Seeking God Faithfully - A Study of the Life of David
"Meet the Man After God’s Own Heart"
One of the many things I appreciate about the Bible is the fact that the writers do not flatter the hero’s of the Bible. Within the pages of the Bible we read about both the good and the bad of the major personalities of God’s people. We learn of the many great things the Bible characters accomplished for God, and we learn of the many failures they experienced in their lives. If we learn anything from the Bible, we learn that God isn’t looking for perfect people.
This is true more so in the life of David, then in the life of any other Bible character. David was a great man of God. He was known as a man after God’s own heart. He accomplished some pretty amazing things as a young shepherd boy, and later as the king of Israel. On the other hand, he had a glaring and devastating personal failure in his life.
This morning we begin a two month walk through the life of David. We’ll take a frank look at a man gripped by destructive passion, rocked by family chaos and personal tragedy, yet a man who became the national hero of God’s chosen people. We’ll see how devotion doesn’t mean perfection- that God loves us in spite of our weaknesses and He can do extraordinary things through ordinary people whose lives are wholly devoted to Him.
A look at the life of David will teach us that in spite of mistakes and devastating troubles, a life that God considers great is within the reach of everyone who submits to Him.
David’s life was not all success. He also experienced bitter failure - and yet, his life was ultimately a glory to God. How could that be? Well, I hope that is one thing we will learn from his life.
One author has said that David’s life reminded him of a compass needle: It wiggled quite a bit from side to side, but it always returned to due north. And I have a hunch that a description like that has something in common with where you and I might be living for God. I believe you will be able to relate to David’s story as we study it.
David took the throne of Israel about 1013 B.C. He was the middle of three important Kings during what is called the "United Kingdom" period of Israel’s history. The three important kings were Saul, David, and Solomon.
His young life was spent tending sheep with his father Jesse.
Saul had been appointed as the first King of Israel, but it didn’t take long for Saul to show what he really was made of.
This whole concept and idea of appointing a king to lead the people of Israel was not an idea from God. Up to this point, and for over 300 years, God had led the nation of Israel. He had been their king. He raised up people, known as judges, to govern the daily affairs of the nation, but pretty much, God was the king.
But that wasn’t enough for the people. They wanted to be like the nations around them. They wanted an earthly king. Demanding a king to be like the nations around them would bring misery on Israel for years. Ultimately, the nation would fall because of it.
You see, the Israelites in the days of Saul weren’t interested in things like character and commitment to God’s ways. To put it simply, they wanted someone who looked good, someone who could represent them in the public eye, someone with Charisma and a good image. They were looking at outward appearance only. If they were making their decision in our day it would be someone who would look good in front of the camera. So that is exactly what God gave them. Saul looked great, but he proved to be hollow within.
But he didn’t have a heart for God. And for that these people would pay dearly once he became king.
Eventually God decided that Saul needed to be replaced as the king of Israel. Saul had rejected the word of God and now God was rejecting Saul.
So God needed to select a new person to be king of Israel. And this time he chooses someone who on the surface was not impressive at all. David was a common Jewish boy . He was on the handsome side, scripture tells us, but he was nothing more than a teen age boy who was working on his father’s sheep farm.
David was born about ten years after Saul became king. The people of Israel were on a long drift from God, and now, to make matters worse, they were becoming disillusioned with the leader they had chosen.