David’s finest moment is not winning battles or not killing Saul. It’s when he is confronted by Nathan for his sin with Bathsheba, and he accepts responsibility and humbles himself before God.
David is different than others kings — both in the past and leaders of today. He does not have the arrogance they have, and he repents.
Although the consequences of David’s sin is far-reaching (one of David’s sons will rape his sister and another will kill his brother and launch a coup against David himself), by admitting he sinned, David is a man after God’s own heart.
David’s life was a whirlwind of events, emotions, and crises that he always bounced back from. He maintained his trust in God despite his sins and imperfections. Yet David from the Bible was completely, passionately alive. Whatever he did, right or wrong, he did with his whole heart. In his love for God, David held nothing back.
We have just studied in 1 Samuel David’s youth and exile. In 2 Samuel, we’ll see David as king, leading, uniting, inspiring his people.
Healing Israel’s Wounds
However, Israel is in tatters. Southern Israel recognizes David as king but Saul’s son launches a civil war for the throne. Ugly infighting ensues, with intrigue, murder, and treachery.
David in the Bible wins, but his authority remains shaky in the Israelites’ eyes. He needed to heal the wounds of war. David won the Northerns over by:
- Showing decisive action
- Punishing murderers justly
- Mourning his enemies’ deaths
David conquered Jerusalem when everyone said it couldn’t be done. He defeated the Philistines once and for all. Israel was safe. Trade expanded and Israel’s economy boomed.
David in the Bible is Israel’s Greatest King
- David was never vengeful with his enemies
- David took full responsibility for his mistakes
- David always remembered he began as a shepherd boy
- David knew he held power only by God’s grace
- David knew God had every right to remove him from power
- David had great strength of character
Israel thrived because of who David was and not just because of what David did.
Living a Passionate Life
- Live with God at the center of your life
- Live every moment — don’t live in the past nor the future
- Admit your mistakes
- Take responsibility
- Learn and grow every day
- “What would Jesus do” is your mantra for daily living
Samuel, Saul, and David.
Three pillars of the Old Testament. But what did they do? Why are they in the Bible?
Raising a Leader
The period of Judges (about 100 years after the death of Joshua) was not working. Sin after sin the Israelites committed. God realized He had to do something else. And fast.
Enter the rise of kings for Israel. This is not something God had ever intended for the Israelites, but it was needed. The Philistines, Israel’s nemesis for centuries, was pressing in, threatening all of the tribes of Israel for territory. They boasted of chariots and a better organizational structure. What was Israel to do?
The Story of Hannah
God had a plan. Using the pain of not having a child, Hannah prays to God for a son whom she’ll dedicate to the Lord. This son is Samuel who would grow into one of the greatest leaders Israel ever had. He had three roles to play:
- Prophet–discerning God’s will
- Priest–led Israel in worship
- Military leader–led Israel against enemies in battle
He and God chose Israel’s first two kings.
From Hannah’s bitter pain comes great promise. Despite being made fun of and taunted for having no children, she had one of the greatest leaders of all time. She definitely got the last laugh. The Israelites followed the same path: from pain comes promise.
The Best Leaders are God’s Leaders
- Samuel was chosen over Eli’s sons to lead Israel because he listened to God.
- David, a poor shepherd boy, was chosen to lead Israel because he listened to God.
Samuel: A Transition between Judges and Kings
Samuel unites Israel for the first time in over a century, bringing the Israelites close to being a nation again. He anoints Israel’s first two kings and deposes one who doesn’t measure up (Saul). He delivered both good and bad news and had God’s ear. He settled disputes as a judge and prayed consistently. His life ended with not one black mark on his record, and the people loved him.