There are many pages in the Old Testament devoted to the life of David (1st and 2nd Samuel, 1st Kings, 1st and 2nd Chronicles; and many Psalms), so we will have to give a brief summary of who David was. We will see that David was “many things,” for he was a Shepherd, a Psalmist, a Musician, a Warrior and a King. He was also a true Man who loved God and God called him “a man after His own heart” (see 1st Samuel 13:13-14 and Acts 13:22).

1) David was a SHEPHERD. The first mention of this is in 1st Samuel 16:11 where Samuel said to a man named Jesse (David’s father), “’Are all the young men here?’ Then he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, and there he is KEEPING THE SHEEP. And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.’” Samuel was looking for the one the Lord had chosen to be Israel’s king and we learn here that God had chosen the young shepherd David. David loved and cared for his sheep, but he was soon to “love and care for God’s sheep, the Israelites.”

2) David was a PSALMIST, which means he “wrote SONGS.” It is said that David wrote 73-85 out of the 150 Psalms in the “Book of Psalm.” He wrote about many of his experiences as a Shepherd, as a King, as a Warrior, and as a “man after God’s own heart” who sometimes honored God and at other times failed Him. Perhaps most people know Psalm 23 where David starts out by saying, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters” (verses 1-2). David’s love and care for his sheep paled in comparison to God’s love and care for him and thus he considered the Lord to be “his Shepherd.”

3) David was a MUSICIAN. We read in 1st Samuel 16:23, “And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would TAKE A HARP AND PLAY IT WITH HIS HAND. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.” So, David not only “wrote songs” but he “played the harp.” Yet he didn’t play to entertain the world and receive its praises; he played for God’s glory and man’s blessing. In this case he would play for Israel’s first king (Saul) who had rebelled against the Lord, causing an “evil spirit to torment him” (1st Samuel 16:14). David was used of the Lord to soothe Saul’s mind and cause the evil spirt to depart.

4) David was a WARRIOR. Perhaps everyone knows the story of “David and Goliath” where David used a sling and a stone to fell the giant and then he cut off his head with his own sword (1st Samuel 17:1-54). This was the beginning of David’s life as a Warrior and he became the greatest warrior in Saul’s army. “So David went out wherever Saul sent him…and Saul set him over the men of war” (1st Samuel 18:5). He was so great that when he came home from a battle with the Philistines “the women sang as they danced, and said: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (verse 7).

5) David was a KING. David had actually been “anointed by Samuel as king when he was young” (1st Samuel 6-13), but it wasn’t until Saul’s death that he was officially anointed as king by the tribe of Judah (2nd Samuel 2:1-4).  Later, he was anointed as king over all of Israel and he reigned forty years (2nd Samuel 5:3-4). It is precious to see that David, at the end of his life, was given a promise that he would one day have a son who would sit on his throne forever. “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish his kingdom forever” (2nd Samuel 7:12-13). That “son” was Jesus Christ, as we see in Matthew 1:1, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David.” Jesus Christ IS the king of Israel, for even though “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:11), the day is coming when He will return in power and glory and His kingdom will be established forever (see Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 24:29-30; 25:31 and Revelation 19:11-20:6).

6) Davis was a true MAN. As we said, David was “a man after God’s own heart” in that he loved God and lived for the glory of God. Yet he was born in sin and failed to honor God at times. His greatest failure is seen in committing adultery with Bathsheba and then having her husband killed so he could marry her (2nd Samuel chapter 11). But to David’s credit, when Nathan the prophet came to him to rebuke him for these sins, he repented immediately and prayed the most heart-felt prayer of repentance recorded in Scripture (see 2nd Samuel 12:1-13 with Psalm 51). This, dear friend, is one of the traits of David that made him “a man after God’s own heart.” Even though he failed God at times, when the Word of God was brought to him in convicting power, he always repented and was restored to the Lord. We often say, “I can identify with David, for I often fail as he did.” But are our hearts open to being convicted by the Word which leads to true repentance? May God’s grace cause us to be like David in this way too!   (DO)  (548.5)