The Man who Pleased God
The greatest king of Israel, David, lived about 1000 years before Christ. The Holy Scriptures indicate that he was “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14), and that because he had a heart which pleased God, he wrote many songs to God. These were called “Psalms”, because they were played on the psaltery (like a flute).
Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah.... Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. (Matthew 1:2-6)
God Chose David to Rule the People
God said to Samuel, "I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king." Samuel did what God said. Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “God has not chosen these.” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” Then God said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one." (1 Samuel 16:1-12)
Q : What do we learn from God choosing David, the youngest of his family?
We learn that God doesn't use our limited judgment when He chooses His men and prophets.
King Saul in Trouble
Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war. Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped. A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him. Goliath stood and shouted, "Choose a man and have him come down to me!" Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. (1 Samuel 17:1-11)
Q : Why was Goliath armed with the heavy armour?
Because he trusted its protection.
Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded up and set out. He ran to the battle lines and greeted his brothers. David asked the men standing near him, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” David said to Saul, “Your servant will go and fight him.” Saul said to David, “Go, and God be with you.” Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. "I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, and approached the Philistine. He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome. And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of God Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel." As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. (1Samuel 17:20-51)
Q : How did David overcome Goliath?
By using the weapon of his faith, trusting and obeying God.
David Praises God
David said: "Ascribe to God, O mighty ones, ascribe to God glory and strength. I love you, O GOD, my strength. God is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. I call to God, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. In my distress I called to God; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. God is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. Who am I, O Sovereign GOD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? How great you are, O Sovereign GOD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you."
....and you'll find many more of these praises to God in David's book of Psalms.
Q : How can our praise and thanksgiving to God be practical and not only in words?
By loving the people around us, wishing the best for them, and not repaying evil for evil, but meeting evil with good.
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. She came to him, and he slept with her. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.” In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, “Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest." When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased God. (2 Samuel 11:2-26)
Condemnation and Repentance
Then David said, “I have sinned against God. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love. Cleanse me from my sin. Create in me a pure heart, O God. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." (2 Samuel 12:1-13 and in Psalm 51)
Q : What does it mean to admit our sins and to repent of them?
It means true regret, and having a complete turn around, being willing to pay the price of our mistakes.
David’s Desire for Everyone to come to know God
David said, “Make known among the nations what he has done. Tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name. Ascribe to God, O families of nations, ascribe to God glory and strength.” (1 Chronicles 16:8-28)