David - A Man After God's Own Heart

Recommended Reading:

There have been a several good studies of David written.  Two of the best are by: 
Arthur W. Pink and
Alan Redpath

Statue of King David by Nicolas Cordier in the Borghese Chapel of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Saul and David - A Struggle For Power (16:1-31:13)

The search for a new king had to begin.  In spite of Saul's failure as a king, the question of returning to the confederacy wasn't even considered.  The factors which called the monarchy into being were still in place.  The call was not for a change of government but rather a new leader.  In response to God's command, Samuel went to Bethlehem to find who would succeed him as the new king.

The details of the selection of choosing David were of a familiar biblical pattern.  An older brother was bypassed in favor of the younger:  Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over the other ten.  Rather than accidental, this pattern focuses these events as turning points in God's plan of redemption.  God breaks into the standard practices of the time and culture and does something entirely different.

These choices are not based on the laws of authority, or inheritance but rather on God's sovereign will and power.  Consequently the great accomplishments of these individuals are of God and not man.

David Favored - (16:1-20:42)

David's anointing followed Saul's departure (16:14).  An evil spirit from the Lord descended upon Saul.  This spirit coming from the Lord is said to be part of God's judgment on Saul.  Everything is under the sovereign control of God -- even evil.

Saul apparently began to experience severe bouts of depression which could only be relieved by music.  It is this unusual situation which permitted the paths of David and Saul to pass (vss. 18-23).

Saul's servant gives as good a description of the future king's character (vs. 18).  "He was skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord was with him".


LESSON TWO – Overcoming Life’s Challenges

Overcoming Grief

  1. 1 Sa 16:1  And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.

What do people mourn/grieve over and how does it keep them from moving forward in life?

  • Death or a loved one
  • Loss of job/income
  • Loss of health
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of home through repossession, fire, or other natural disaster
  • Failed expectations such as children’s unacceptable behavior
  • Loosing in a conflict
  • Recognition of personal sinful behavior

Grief/mourning is part of the process of becoming more like Christ and overcoming life’s challenges.  Here are a few steps from God’s Word that will help to overcome grief.

  1. Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
  2. Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
  3. Jas 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
  4. Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

God told Samuel to “fill his horn with oil.”  Samuel was about to anoint David for position of leadership as King. 

The first in scripture of anointing one for spiritual leadership is found in Ex. 28:41.

And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office.

Eph 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is essential to overcoming grief for the Christian.

Samuel had used oil before in confirming spiritual leadership. (Saul)

1Sa 10:1  Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?

Saul was rejected by God because of his disobedience.

Just because one goes through the ritual of recognition of leadership, doesn’t guarantee that one will be successful in that position.

The Prophet Samuel had a soft spot in his heart for Saul, but God had a different plan for a leader of His people.

Overcoming Fear

2. 1 Sa 16:2  And Samuel said, How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take a heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.
  • 1 Sa 16:2 How can I go? — This shows the weakness of Samuel in not trusting God for protection. Since God had sent him on this mission, He would protect him in the execution.  Where God guides, He provides.
I am come to sacrifice — It seems to have been customary with Samuel to do this in the different circuits to which he went, that he might encourage the worship of God.

Overcoming Faithlessness

Develop Trust in God’s Word
3. 1 Sa 16:3  And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.
  • 1 Sa 16:3  call Jesse to the sacrifice — that is, the social feast that followed the peace offering. Samuel, being the offerer, had a right to invite any guest he pleased.
4. 1 Sa 16:4  And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?
  • 1 Sa 16:4 The elders of the town trembled at his coming — Bethlehem was an obscure town, and not within the usual circuit of the judge. The elders were naturally apprehensive, therefore, that his arrival was occasioned by some extraordinary reason, and that it might entail evil upon their town, in consequence of the estrangement between Samuel and the king.
5. 1 Sa 16:5  And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
  • 1 Sa 16:5  sanctify yourselves — by the preparations described (Exo_19:14, Exo_19:15). The elders were to sanctify themselves. Samuel himself took the greatest care in the sanctification of Jesse’s family. Some, however, think that the former were invited only to join in the sacrifice, while the family of Jesse was invited by themselves to the subsequent feast.
6. 1 Sa 16:6  And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him.
  • * 1 Sa 16:6-10  Samuel said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him — Here Samuel, in consequence of taking his impressions from the external appearance, falls into the same error as formerly (1Sa_10:24).
7. 1 Sa 16:7  But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
  • Don’t go by outward appearance.  Only God can look inside a person to determine one’s heart condition.
8. 1 Sam. 16:8  Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.

9. 1 Sam. 16:9  Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.

10. 1 Sam. 16:10  Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.

11. 1 Sam. 16:11  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.
  • 1 Sam.16:11-14. Samuel anoints David.
There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep — Jesse having evidently no idea of David’s wisdom and bravery, spoke of him as the most unfit. God, in His providence, so ordered it, that the appointment of David might the more clearly appear to be a divine purpose, and not the design either of Samuel or Jesse. David having not been sanctified with the rest of his family, it is probable that he returned to his pastoral duties the moment the special business on which he had been summoned was done.

12. 1 Sam. 16:12  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.

 1 Sam. 16:13  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. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

14.  1 Sam. 16:14  But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
  •  1 Sam. 16:14-18 The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him — His own gloomy reflections, the consciousness that he had not acted up to the character of an Israelitish king, the loss of his throne, and the extinction of his royal house, made him jealous, irritable, vindictive, and subject to fits of morbid melancholy.
15.  1 Sam. 16:15  And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

16.  1 Sam. 16:16  Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.

17. 1 Sa 16:17  And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me.

Develop Godly Character

18.  1 Sam. 16:18  Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him.

Be Skillful (time, dedication, practice)

  • They got more than a wonderful musician, they got the complete package.
  • He was a mighty valiant man.
  • A prudent man (see note below)
  • A good-looking man
  • A godly man with whom the Lord was present

Be Faithful in One’s Responsibilities

19. 1 Sa 16:19 Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.

  •  1 Sam. 16:19  Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David — In the East the command of a king is imperative; and Jesse, however reluctant and alarmed, had no alternative but to comply.
20.  1 Sam. 16:20  And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul.
  •  1 Sam. 16:20  Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them ... unto Saul — as a token of homage and respect.
21.  1 Sam. 16:21  And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armor bearer.
  • 1 Sam. 16:21  David came to Saul — Providence thus prepared David for his destiny, by placing him in a way to become acquainted with the manners of the court, the business of government, and the general state of the kingdom.
  • became his armor-bearer — This choice, as being an expression of the king’s partiality, shows how honorable the office was held to be.
    • 1 Sam. 16:22-23 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favor in my sight.   And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.  David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well — the ancients believed that music had a mysterious influence in healing mental disorders.

Anoint; Anointed

  • a-noint´, a-noint´ed: Refers to a very general practice in the East. It originated from the relief from the effect of the sun that was experienced in rubbing the body with oil or grease. Among rude people the common vegetable or animal fat was used.
  • As society advanced and refinement became a part of civilization, delicately perfumed ointments were used for this purpose. Other reasons soon obtained for this practice than that stated above.
  • Persons were anointed for health (Mar_6:13), because of the widespread belief in the healing power of oil.
  • It was often employed as a mark of hospitality (Luk_7:46); as a mark of special honor (Joh_11:2); in preparation for social occasions (Rth_3:3; 2Sa_14:2; Isa_61:3).
  • The figurative use of this word (chrio?) has reference strictly to the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the individual (Luk_4:18; Act_4:27; Act_10:38). In this sense it is God who anoints (Heb 19; 2Co_1:21).
  • The thought is to appoint, or qualify for a special dignity, function or privilege. It is in this sense that the word is applied to Christ (Joh_1:41 m; Act_4:27; Act_10:38; Heb_1:9; compare Psa_2:2; Dan_9:25).

Be Prudent

Get knowledge

  • Pro 18:15  The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.

Deal with knowledge

  • Pro 13:16 Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.

Look well to one’s goings

  • Pro 14:15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

Understand the ways of God

  • Hos 14:9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? For the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.

Understand their own ways

  • Pro 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.

Crowned with knowledge

  • Pro 14:18 The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

Not ostentatious of knowledge

  • Pro 12:23  A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.

Foresee and avoid evil

  • Pro 22:3 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

Are preserved by it

  • Pro 2:11  Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

Suppress covers shame & angry feelings

  • Pro 12:16  A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.
  • Pro 19:11  The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

Regard reproof

  • Pro 15:5  A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

Keep silence in the evil time

  • Amo 5:13  Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.

Prudence guides one’s affairs in life

  • Psa 112:5  A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.
  • Mat 10:16  Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
  • Eph 5:15  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
  • Col 4:5  Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
  • Pro 31:26  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
  • Mat 11:25  At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
  • 2 Ch 2:12  Huram said moreover, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.

A Friend, an Enemy and a Saint

1 Samuel 19:1-17

  • 1Sa 19:1 And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David.

Not all leaders have God's heart. Saul's jealousy clouded his thinking.

  • How do we handle a situation when we are asked to do something that we know is wrong?
  • 1Sa 19:2 But Jonathan Saul's son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself:

Warn the person and suggest what they should do to protect themselves and stay out of their way. The sinful nature wants to yell and scream and stand for what's right and fight against evil. There are times when taking a stand is necessary, but in this instance Jonathan councils David to hide himself for a time in a secret place.

  • Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
  • Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
  • Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
  • 1 Sa 19:3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee; and what I see, that I will tell thee.

Be informed by people who you trust.

  • 1Sa 19:4 And Jonathan spoke good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good:

Have people on your side interceding for you? These are people who are benefiting from your ministry.

  • 1Sa 19:5 For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?

Be able to specify how you have been blessed by God.

Who has been used by God to bless your life and how have you been benefited by their ministry?

If it is beneficial, why then would you change if there is no reason? If it ain't broke, don't fix it! If it's broke, fix it!  David was beneficial to Saul. Therefore, why kill him? It doesn't make sense.

Sometimes the greatest criticism comes from those who are uninformed. Leaders who are not walking in the Spirit of the Lord can cause great heartache. Saul had the position, but not God's wisdom or power. He was operating under "fleshly power and reasoning."

  • 1Sa 19:6 And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul swore, As the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain.

A wise leader listens to and heeds sound council.

  • 1Sa 19:7 And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan showed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as in times past.

David was restored to his former place of ministry through the Godly friendship of Jonathan. A wise man surrounds himself with Godly people.

  • 1Sa 19:8-10 And there was war again: and David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter; and they fled from him.  And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.  And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night.

Even though Saul had made a right decision, his heart was still evil and he reverted back to his sinful tendencies. A weapon in the hands of an evil heart will do great harm.

Once a nail is driven into a board, the hole it makes will always remain. We offend, we confess, we are forgiven, but people remember.

However, we have a God who has the ability to deal with our sins as if they never happened.

  • Mic 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
  • Heb 10:16-19 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
  • Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
  • 1Sa 19:11-17 Saul also sent messengers unto David's house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David's wife told him, saying, if thou save not thy life to night, tomorrow thou shalt be slain.  So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.   And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth.  And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick.   And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him.  And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster.  And Saul said unto Michal, Why hast thou deceived me so, and sent away mine enemy, that he is escaped? And Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go; why should I kill thee?

What are my family character traits?

Lies, deception, idolatry, anger, hostility, laziness, spiritual lethargy or

  • Gal 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit.   Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. 
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