Summary: King David, more than any other person in the Biblical record, illustrates the moral range of human nature. Look at these snapshots of his life to see the grace of God at work in one messed up fella.
Message - A Study of King David
Snapshots of King David’s character and Scenes from his life
I’ve always found King David to be one of the most fascinating guys in the Bible. There is so much about him that you wouldn’t normally expect to find written about a king.
There’s so much in there that you’d think should have been covered up or glossed over. But in the bible we get a really transparent, blunt look at David’s life.
David was a shepherd, hunter, warrior, general, king, poet, champion, outlaw, ladies man, musician, prophet, worship leader, adulterer, murderer, brother, husband, son, parent, leader, hero, builder, ancestor of Jesus Christ, a man after God’s own heart!
The Thompson Chain reference Bible, “No Bible character more fully illustrates the moral range of human nature”. That’s why I think it’s good to have a look at this fellow. Let’s look at some snapshots of David’s life.
What was David up to before he knew he was to be king?
1 Samuel talks about God telling Samuel to talk to Jesse, David’s father. Samuel meets Eliab, Jesse’s oldest son, and is very impressed with the way Eliab presents himself.
But God says to Samuel: "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.
The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart". 1 Sam 16:7
Another 6 sons of Jesse are paraded by Samuel. But God says: 1 Sam 16:10 "The LORD has not chosen these."
Then, almost forgotten and definitely not taken very seriously, Samuel has David, the youngest, the baby of the family, busy labouring in the outback, takin’ care of a bunch of sheep...
Samuel sees David and the Lord says to Samuel: "Rise and anoint him; he is the one."
So in this snapshot of David we see him as a labourer without prestige, busy at his task at hand, humble and low down on the totem pole as the youngest brother of seven, busy with his hand to the plow, so to speak; not, as far as we can tell at this point, made from the stuff of kings.
And yet he’s proclaimed to be the future sovereign king of God’s people. Good start.
David and Goliath
Goliath had shoes the size of a motor boat. This was no slight fella. This should give you an idea of what David was up against.
Goliath was a big Philistine. Here’s how the Bible describes him: 1 Sam 17:4-7 “He was over nine feet tall. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing 126 pounds 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed 15 pounds”.
Basically he was a big, scarey looking individual. And he broke the mold of your typical WWF-type guy, because he was pretty clever. You see the Philistine army was facing the army of Israel,about to go into a pitched battle.
Normally in this type of situation everybody on both sides just starts fighting and there’s blood and guts everywhere. Goliath suggested that instead of this type of carnage, Israel should send out one soldier to fight against him.
That way if Goliath, wins, Israel’s army gets to live, but as slaves to the Philistines. If the Israeli
fighter wins, the Philistines become slaves to Israel. But again, they live. Sounds like a plan, eh?
The problem was, of course, there were no takers on Israel’s side. There was no one brave enough or valiant enough or stupid enough (depending how you see it) to put his neck on the line for a fight to the death with this boxcar of a Philistine.
Now David was a little guy whose job it was to run rations to his brothers near the front lines. One day as he’s doing this he sees that both armies are just about ready to pummel each other because no one had taken the bait from Goliath.
David inquires and hears that the king (Saul) would give tons of money, his gorgeous daughter and his left foot to the man who would take Goliath on and defeat him. Saul, of course, knew that the defeated king in these situations is usually a bedtime snack for the victorious army.
Let’s just say he’s motivated to find someone to take Goliath on.
David puts this all together and with the combination of knowing the benefits to himself of beating this brute, and some apparent righteous indignation at the arrogance of Goliath: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?", David agrees to fight Goliath despite serious pressure from embarrassed and jealous brothers.