“And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.
– 1 Samuel 16:11-13
The Old Testament – A Brief Overview
David, The Rightful King
Like Jesus, David was from Bethlehem. He grew up as a shepherd and was skilful in music and courageous. Samuel secretly anointed him as king and God openly showed Israel His chosen by his singlehandedly slaying of the giant, Goliath of Gath.
1 Samuel 17:43-50 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. “Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’S, and He will give you into our hands.”
So it was when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hastened and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone, and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him.
But Saul began to hate David more and more. David had served at Saul’s court, had been married to his younger daughter, and had gone to battle numerous times at Saul’s command, and Saul began to hope that David would die in battle. When Saul openly tried to murder him was when David took to the hills.
For some 20 years, David hid in the wilderness from Saul where he gathered an army from the outcasts of Israel. David wrote most of the Psalms at this time and God called him, “a man after My own heart.” Finally, 7 years after Saul died, the tribes crowned David king at Hebron. (about 1000 BC). He brought the Ark of the covenant (gold box containing the 10 commandments and symbolizing the throne of God) to Jerusalem, which he established as the capital (2 Samuel 1-5).
David was Israel’s greatest and truly ideal king. He was a great warrior and a man who loved God. He brought great peace and prosperity to the land. But David also had his weaknesses. He took many wives, like other kings, and this was forbidden by God. He even arranged the murder of one of his soldiers so that he could marry the man’s wife who he had already seduced. David was a great sinner, but he was also very remorseful and repentant. David also took a census (headcount) of his army, showing a lack of trust in God. God punished David and Israel for his sins. The good qualities found in David are a picture of Christ who would be a descendant of David.
Like David, in his old age, looked back on his life and pondered on how God had delivered him from all of his enemies he sang:
2 Samuel 22:4 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.
2 Samuel 23:1-2 Now these are the last words of David. Thus says David the son of Jesse; thus says the man raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel: “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue. . .”
The next king was Solomon.