David: A Character Study

It would be difficult to do a character profile of important people in the Bible, and not mention David.  He was a key member in the ancestry of Jesus Christ.  He was also the greatest king that Israel ever had.

There wasn’t much about David that was impressive.  He was anointed king, but only after all of his other brothers had been passed over.  His father didn’t even think to call him to the meeting!  David?  How could he be a king?  He isn’t noble looking or incredibly smart.  He is just a shepherd.

But a shepherd is EXACTLY what God was looking for.  Israel had previously been led by a man named Saul.  While Saul seemed to fit the role of a king, he didn’t know how to listen.  God wanted a man who was strong enough to rule, but who was also weak enough to obey his voice.

David’s years as a shepherd served him well.  They taught him to care about the sheep and protect them.  It’s no wonder that the Bible calls him a man after God’s own heart.  That’s exactly how God is.  He wants to love us and protect us from the dangers of sin.  His years as a shepherd also taught him to trust in God.  He would need that trust for the years ahead.

David’s road to the kingship was brutal.  He was overlooked by his own father.  He killed a giant named Goliath, and the reward he got was the wrath and jealousy of Saul.  For years, Saul tried to hunt him down and kill him in the wilderness.  Even after Saul died in battle, David still had to fight against one of his relatives to become king.

Finally, David becomes king, and you might be tempted to think that everything went perfect from there.  It did not.  He had numerous successes and advanced the kingdom, but he also slept with a man’s wife and then had him killed.  David was not only an adulterer, but he was also a murderer.

Yet the Bible still refers to him as a man after God’s own heart.  How is that possible?  Because David knew how to humble himself.  Instead of becoming rigid against the word of God like Saul did, he embraced it and submitted to it.  That’s not easy for a king to do, but David knew that there was no way he could rule effectively without God.

David’s life teaches us a very important lesson.  You don’t have to be perfect.  None of us are.  You just have to be willing to humble yourself.  When the word of God comes to you let it convict you.  Instead of rebelling against the preacher because you don’t like what he is saying, learn to listen to instruction and discipline.

There aren’t many characters in the Bible greater than David.  Yet, he wasn’t even close to perfect.  But he had a servant’s heart.  Jesus said it best when he said that the way to become truly great in the kingdom of God is to become a servant.  David always saw himself as the lowly shepherd who no one but God wanted, and it made all the difference in his life.

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