The Kings of Israel
A Man after God's Heart
~ King David ~
Hello Folks of Little Cedar and Marshall Lutheran Churches!
Today we are looking at King David. As we read some stories about him, I want you to ask yourself the question, "when we select leaders and workers, should we select the most qualified, or those whose hearts are right with God?"
David is to be King…Really…?
Before we get into King David and his reign over the united monarchy, we should first go back and look a bit at how he was selected. This is because to Samuel, David didn’t seem to be the logical choice. However, sometimes we look for the wrong characteristics in a leader.
Take a look at 1 Samuel 16:1-13
When Samuel looked for the future leader of God's people, he was impressed with Jesse's sons, who were handsome, strong, and charismatic — perfect for the job. But the LORD rejected them in favor of someone too young and inexperienced to even be invited to the meeting.
Compared to Saul, David had a bit of a rough start
First off, you’ll remember that David was on the run from Saul. He feared for his life and had to go into hiding. After King Saul was killed, David slowly came back into the scene. At this time the Kingdom was a bit fractured and a mess.
Read 2 Samuel 2:4, 5:1 – 5
So there was actually fighting going on between Judah (Southern Kingdom) and Israel (Northern Kingdom). Initially David was only King over Judah, but after a few years Israel lost its leadership and decided to take David as their King. David's military prowess became legendary. By the end of his life, his empire was so powerful that there was peace, and his son Solomon never had to fight a war
Well…so what can we learn from David….
From here we will look at two things about David. First, was his famous self-inflicted trouble that he encountered with Bathsheba. From this we can learn about some potential pitfalls that leaders can fall into, and some necessary leadership skills. Second, we will look at the end of David’s reign. This can teach us a bit about leaving gracefully.
Oh King David, you fool!
So king David had a problem with romance. He often times, however, seemed to be blind to this problem. By the middle of his reign as King, he had at least 7 wives and 10 concubines, but likely more. Higher estimates for wives are well into the double digits. It’s hard to keep track. I’m guessing he even had trouble. You can read a list of his wives, concubines, and sons in 1 Chronicles 3. And then along comes Bathsheba and things only get worse for David.
~ Read 2 Samuel 11
At this point, David has done something terrible. He has let his own self-interest destroy himself. And not only that, but he has tried to cover it up. And not only that, but he has become so full of himself that he doesn’t even realize he has done something wrong. So God sends a prophet to King David. This was commonly the role of a prophet. They would instruct, give warnings, and speak God’s commands to the kings. Granted, that was a precarious job. You never know when a king may not be happy with what you have to say.
Nathan, the wise prophet comes to visit
~ Read 2 Samuel 12
So Nathan comes and reveals to David his sin. Now David, could have ignored Nathan, and even worse could have put Nathan to death. But instead, David took his words to heart and repented of his sin. Some have said that this was David’s finest moment. When he admitted his mistake and sin against God and asked to forgiveness.
A Psalm worth reading
~ Read Psalm 51
Psalm 51 is attributed to King David. It is the Psalm that was that written after the prophet Nathan came to him, after he had committed his sin against God, Bathsheba, and Uriah. Many of the Psalms are attributed to David; at least 73 of them. The Psalms then can be a rich view into the life of David.
David’s Demise has begun…
Up to this point in his reign, David had handled himself with reasonable maturity, courage and wisdom. However, this incidence seemed to be his undoing. From this point on he continues to make some terrible mistakes in judgement. After David's sin, he let one of his sons get away with rape, and another with murder. One son publicly planned to overthrow him, lobbying for public support on the platform of justice reform, thereby showing how badly the courts were managed in David's administration.
Take a look at 1 Kings 1-2
. Don’t need to read the whole thing, but browse a bit
The End of David’s Rule
So David’s end isn’t the greatest. He starts going a bit crazy, and no longer knows what’s going on. But yet, he is still the king. His son’s struggle against each other to be the next king. In the end David, name’s Solomon as the next king.
So what would you say you can learn from David?
David certainly had a few times of greatness. In fact, he is typically upheld as the greatest of the kings. He also made terrible mistakes that we can learn from as well.
So what say you, what can we learn from David about leaders,
their potential pitfalls, and necessary characteristics?
Have a great rest of your day!