Notes for a class on King David (1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Chronicles) by John Oakes Spring, 2009


Lessons From the Life of David

Life of David:

Born in Bethlehem, the son of Jesse during the reign of Saul.

The last of eight sons.

Ruddy, handsome  Russel Crowe, Clint Eastwood.

As a teen?  Annointed king of Israel.  1 Samuel 16:1-13

What did David do?  He tended sheep.   v. 11.

A humble profession.

Church stained glass windows.  Jesus or David a sort of effeminate, wimpy sheep herder.

What do you think he learned from tending sheep?   He learned about our relationship with God.  He learned to contemplate God.

1 Samuel 17:34-37.  David was a good shepherd.  A very good shepherd.

Psalms 23:1-6  

David felt protected by God’s Rod and staff.

In 1849, Dr. Duff was traveling near Simla, under the shadow of the Himalaya mountains. One day his way led to a narrow bridle path cut out on the face of a steep ridge. Along this narrow path, that ran so near a great precipice, he saw a shepherd leading his flock. Now and then, the shepherd stopped and looked back. If he saw a sheep creeping up to far on the one hand, or going too near the edge of the dangerous precipice on the other, he would at once turn back, and go to it, gently pulling it back.

He had a long rod, as tall as himself, around the lower half of which was twisted a band of iron. There was a crook at one end of the rod, and it was with this the shepherd took hold of one of the hind legs of the wandering sheep to pull it back. The thick band of iron at the other end of the rod was really a staff, and was ready for use whenever the saw a hyena, or wolf, or some other troublesome animal, come near the sheep; for, especially at night, these creatures prowled about the flock. With the iron part of the rod he could give a good blow when any attack was threatened.

"Thy rod and Thy staff." There is meaning in both, and distinct meaning. God’s "rod" draws us back, kindly and lovingly, if we go aside from His path. God’s "staff" protects us against the onset of our enemies, whether they be men or devils. –Life Of Dr. Duff

Why did God choose David?   1 Samuel 13:7b-14

As a shepherd, I think David really understood God as most people do not.

What qualities did David have which show he was a man after God’s own heart?

Trust, Zeal, Straightforwardness, Simpleheartedness, capable of powerful emotions and strong friendships.   In touch with the heart/emotions of God.   Ready to repent with a godly repentance.

What is God’s heart like, anyway?

What can we do in order to have a heart more like that?  What are some qualities of David you would like to imitate?

1 Samuel 17  David and Goliath.

Read the story.

What qualities do you see in David here?

Wait a minute!!  This is not the Christianity I hear about in the Bible!!!  Don’t you guys have a problem with this situation?

David’s passion was the honor of God (and indirectly of his people).

v. 45-47  The Lord will hand you over to me.  The battle is the Lord’s.

David’s radical trust in God is illustrated by Psalm 18:25-29.

David and Jonathan

1 Sam 18:1-4  Jonathan loved David.  Why do you think?

1 Sam 20  whole thing.  Esp  20:42-43.

Loyalty, devotion, trust.  Jonathan was a bit naïve, but he totally trusted David’s heart.

2 Sam 1:17-27.   Look at how David loved Jonathan.   Great loyalty and doing great deeds together and humility are the seeds of a great relationship.

David and Saul

1 Sam 18:5-16  David’s victories and Saul’s jealousy.

v. 16  Why did the people love David?

Also:  18:20-30    Saul tries to get David killed trying to get 100 Philistine foreskins.  Instead, he came with 200.   Saul forced to give Michal.  V. 26-29

v. 30    David was very successful.

What might this have done to him?

But it did not.


How might we come across this kind of thing in our Christian life, and how ought we to deal with it?

19:1-10   David had every right to fear and to rebel against Saul.  After all, had he not been anointed by Samuel?  Yet he did not.  How different this was than the actions of his son Absalom!!!

1 Sam 20  Jonathan protects David.  (ex.  v. 30-34)

1 Sam 21Saul pursues him, killing the priests of Nob out of insane jealousy.

David at his absolute lowest:  1 Samuel 21:10-15

How is God’s plan to put David on the throne going?

What do we learn about what might happen to a person "after God’s own heart?

David gathered a group of disenchanted and disenfranchised men.

David goes and fights the Philistines.  Rather than being thankful, Saul takes the opportunity to try to kill him.


Q:   Why did God allow all these things to happen to David?

24  David hides in a cave and Saul goes in to relieve himself.

v. 4  His worldly friends say "go for it" David cut off a piece of cloth and spared Saul’s life.  Why?

v. 5-8    David was supportive of God’s leader, even when he was not godly.

Q:  Why could he do this?    v. 8  calls him "My Lord the king."

Q:  What can we learn from this?

26  Saul takes 3000 men to pursue David into the desert.  He is totally obsessed with killing him.  26:5-12.  David spares Saul’s life one more time.

David fled to Philistia.

Saul and Jonathan die.   David’s reaction 2 Sam 1:1-16.

A Tale of Two Kings

David even forgives Abner, the general of Saul  2 Samuel 3

Other good qualities of David:

1.  He could really inspire men (and women) to do great things FOR GOD.

     1 Chron 11:10-25.  Q:  What qualities in David produced this effect?

(his loyalty, his amazing faith in the providence of God, his courage,…)

2.  He accepted responsibility for his sins and accepted discipline from God

     without complaining.

Read 2 Sam 11:1-27    "Does this look like a Man after God’s own heart?"

2 Samuel 12:1-13

v. 13.  I have sinned.    Duuuhhhh…    but notice he made no excuses.

Notice, he did not plead with God to lessen the extent of his penalty on himself.

                             (hold you place in 2 Sam 12, but..

Psalm 51:1-13    What do you see about David’s heart and his response to his own sin.

2 Sam 12:14-17

Notice David’s faith in his God.  He had the nerve to pray for his son.

12:18-23   How can we explain David’s actions here?   (He trusted in God, both for good and for evil.  He accepted God’s punishment without bitterness.  He accepted the Lord’s will. 

David’s world view:   God is in control.   I am not.

3.  No matter how much God gave him, he always acknowledged his good things came from God.  Success did not go to his head.   

1 Chron 29:1-9  summarize.  A great work to build the Temple.  David gave the great majority of all his wealth to the work, inspiring others to give.

v. 10-22.    David:  Nothing I have or did comes from me.  Everything good comes from my God.

(also note 1 Chron 17:16-27)

Q:  What do you see about David’s heart here that we can emulate?

1 Cor 4:7  What do you have that you did not receive from the Lord?

4.  He really knew how to worship God. 

a.  Bringing the ark into Jerusalem  2 Sam 6:1-11  (the interesting story of Uzzah)

Q:  What can we learn from the story of what happened to Uzzah?

2 Sam 6:12-22

What was Michal’s problem?  How might we be like that?

What is David’s attitude and how can we imitate him?

(1 Chron 15:25-29)

David unabashed, emotional, zealous in worshipping God.

David created the Sons of Asaph to sing, write songs, and to worship God.

b.  Writing psalms, appointing Asaph, etc…  1 Chron 16  1 Chron 25:1

Read 1 Chron 16:7-38

Lesson #2  The bad qualities of David.

1.  He struggled to make people be unified   Joab murders Abner, etc.  Although he was relatively humble, he was not a "relationship" guy.

Q:  Why do you feel David failed to create unity among those under him (other than unity based on loyalty to him)?

2.  He was a bad husband and a worse father.  (At least five wives)

a.  Ch 11,12  Adultery with Bathsheba

In the end, three of David’s sons met violent deaths  Amnon, Absalom and Adonijah

1 Kings 1:5-6   Adonijah  What do we see about David as a father here?  What happened?

2 Sam 13  Amnon rapes his half-sister Tamar and Absalom kills him.

David was clueless.

2 Samuel 15:1-4  What is going on here?

Tell the story of Absalom

An interesting side story:  Shimei  2 Samuel 16:5-14

The end of the story:  2 Sam 18:1f  Read highlights.

3. David was passionate, but at times he could not control his passion.

Ex:  David wanted to kill Nabal, husband of Abigail 1 Sam 25:15  Put on your swords!!!

You know what they say, your biggest strength is your biggest weakness.

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