Fulfillment of prophecy is one way that God declares his righteousness. Isaiah, who was one of the Lord’s prophets proclaimed that the Messiah shall come forth out of the stem of Jesse (see Isaiah 11:10). Jesse, who was a man that lived in Israel while Saul was king, had a son named David. This man, who God claims to be a man after his own heart, was king of Israel for forty years. God promised King David that the Messiah would come from his family line. This article will tell the magnificent story of King David who was considered to be the most righteous king of Israel and was the writer of the majority of the Psalms.
David’s first appearance in the Bible comes when Saul was the King of Israel. Saul was not an obedient King. There came a time when the prophet Samuel was told of God that there would be a new king and that this king would be a son of Jesse. God told Samuel to go unto all the sons of Jesse and anoint a new king among them. God commanded Samuel not to look upon the countenance of the man but upon the heart (see I Samuel 16:7). When Saul looked upon all of Jesse’s sons, finally he came unto David. The Bible describes David as the youngest son of Jesse who kept the sheep, ruddy and beautiful to look at. When Samuel found him, God commanded Samuel to anoint David. The Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward (see I Samuel 16: 12, 13). Then Saul, who was being troubled with an evil spirit, wanted a young man to play the harp for him so that the evil spirit would leave him. Saul chose David to play for him and David became Saul’s armourbearer.
David and Goliath
While Saul was king, Israel was at war with the Philistines. There was one warrior of the Philistines named Goliath. Goliath made a challenge to the Israelites that if any of them could defeat him then the Philistines would be their servants. Goliath was a giant, about ten feet tall. David, who was not afraid to fight, volunteered himself to fight against the giant Goliath. Saul said that David would not stand a chance against the Philistine because David was just a youth, but David persisted and finally convinced Saul to let him fight. He told Saul how he had delivered a lamb out of the mouth of a lion and slew the lion. He continued by saying that it was God that delivered him out of the paw of the lion and so it shall be with the Philistine (see II Samuel 17: 37). David was faithful that God would help him be victorious over the giant Goliath. When David went to fight against Goliath, he said “thou comest to me with a sword and a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom thou hast defiled. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand” (see II 17:45, 46). David went on to defeat the Philistine and brought the head of Goliath unto Saul.
Saul seeks to kill David
David became a valiant warrior. Saul was very jealous of David because the women would sing that David killed ten thousand while Saul only killed one thousand. Saul became afraid that David would take the kingdom from him. From this moment on, Saul decided to kill David (see I Samuel 16:8, 9). In one attempt to kill David, Saul tells him that he will give him his daughter if he brought back one hundred foreskins of the Philistines. Saul planned that David would be killed in the war. This failed because David was a great warrior. Even though David brought back two hundred thousand foreskins of the Philistines, Saul did not give David his daughter. David grew stronger in strength and with favor of the people. This frightened Saul and then he commanded all his servants that David should be killed. However, David, with the help of Saul’s son Jonathon, fled the camp and hid from Saul in the cities of Nob and Gath. Saul’s servants found David therefore David fled to Adullam where he gathered about four hundred men and was captain over them. Saul continued his pursuit of David and he fled Saul and went into the wilderness of Engedi. While David was hiding in a cave, Saul entered the same cave to rest. This gave David the perfect opportunity to kill Saul, but he did not because he felt that it was a sin and that the Lord forbade him to “stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed” (see I Samuel 24:6). This still did not ease the hatred that Saul had for David, and Saul continued to pursue him in order to kill him. While hiding from Saul in the wilderness of Ziph, David’s spies informed him that Saul was in the wilderness also. He staked out Saul’s whereabouts and waited until he and his men were asleep. Then he went down to where they were asleep and again had the perfect opportunity to kill Saul. Once again David spared Saul’s life because he would not stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed but he did take Saul’s spear and his canteen and fled. After David had spared Saul’s life a second time, Saul finally repented and chose not to pursue David to kill him any longer (see I Samuel 26:21). David attempted to join the army of the Philistines because he did not believe that Saul would ever stop trying to kill him. But when the Philistines were once again ready to go to war against Saul and the Israelites, the Philistines expelled David from their city because they did not trust him. David went to fight his own battles. Saul finally died in a gruesome battle against the Philistines. He was being overtaken by them and attempted suicide by falling on his sword but failed. He commanded his servant to kill him and then Saul died. When David was told of how Saul died from this servant, he killed the servant for smiting the Lord’s anointed (see II Samuel 1:16).
David as King
David again prayed unto God as to what his next actions should be. God commanded that he go up to the city of Hebron which was in Judah. It was there in Hebron that David was made King of Judah (see II Samuel 2:4). In those days, the war between the house of Saul and the house of Judah was still fierce. However, Saul’s kingdom Israel grew weaker and weaker while David’s kingdom grew stronger. Israel was being led by Ishbosheth his brother and Abner his armourbearer. There was strife in the house of Israel between these two men. Abner made a pact with David to make him king of Israel as well as Judah. David’s only condition was that he be given Saul’s daughter for a wife as promised by Saul for bringing him one hundred foreskins of the Philistines. Soon after this pact was made, Joab, who was David’s captain, killed Abner. Soon after Abner’s death, servants of David slew Ishbosheth, brought David his head, and made him King of all Israel. David was king of Israel for forty years, grew stronger, and fought many battles to increase his territory. Each time before David fought a battle, he enquired of the Lord whether he should fight or not. David was a praying man and put his trust in God for his victories.
David and Bathsheba
One evening while David was on the roof of his house, he watched a woman named Bathsheba bathing. He was mesmerized by her beauty so he sent for her. He slept with her and she became pregnant (see II Samuel 11: 4, 5). This was big trouble for David because Bathsheba was a married woman. To cover his sin before God and the people, David sent for Joab and ordered him to send Bathsheba’s husband, whose name was Uriah, out to battle. David’s plan was that Uriah would be killed in battle and then he would marry Bathsheba (see II Samuel 11:15). Joab did as he was ordered, sent Uriah to the forefront of the battle, and Uriah died. When Bathsheba was finished mourning, David made her his wife. David’s priest Nathan rebuked David harshly for this and the Lord punished David as well. God put a curse on David saying that the sword shall never leave his house. The Lord also said that evil would rise up out of David’s house (see II Samuel 12:11). This curse was fulfilled when David’s son Absalom sought to overthrow David and become king himself. Additionally, the son that was born of Bathsheba was killed.
Absalom, one of David’s sons, was a judge in Israel. All the people loved Absalom and he was very beautiful. Absalom conspired to be king of Israel (see II Samuel 15:10). David was forced to battle against his own son. However, David commanded that his son Absalom not be killed. When his captain Joab killed Absalom, David killed Joab for he said that it would be better that he himself die rather than his own son (see II Samuel 16-19).
David reigned in Israel for over forty years. He wrote most of Psalms while he was hiding from Saul in the wilderness. He was a man after God’s own heart (see I Samuel 13:14), and was the most righteous king of Israel. God made a covenant with David that the Messiah should be born out of his family line. Jesus indeed was born from David’s descendants. Upon David’s death, the throne of Israel was given to his son Solomon. Before David died, he wrote a beautiful hymn to God which glorified God greatly. David gave the Lord credit for all of his victorious battles over his enemies. Let us learn from David by giving thanks to every good thing that happens to us comes from God. Also let us imitate David by praying before every difficult decision and letting God rule our lives.