King David is a towering figure in Jewish and Christian history. A young shepherd boy who rose to be a great king, a songwriter and poet, a military strategist and warrior, a passionate worshipper of God, and a person who made big mistakes.
This week at NightChurch we begin a teaching series on David’s life and seek to discover how to live a life of worship that is deeply spiritual, but also fully integrated into our daily lives and lived experience. If you want to get a head start, read through 1 & 2 Samuel. Here’s a summary of David’s life from one commentator:
“As he is presented in the Bible, David was ideally suited to the tasks of kingship that came to him. His popular following, his victories over the Philistines and others, and his establishment of a powerful kingdom show him to have been a shrewd military strategist and motivator. His successful courting of the factions in Israel and Judah, and his forging of a united Israel that retained its identity for close to 80 years, showed his political skills; and his descendants were able to retain their position on the throne in Jerusalem for centuries afterward. Administratively, his establishment of the military, civil, and religious bureaucracies displayed yet another dimension of his talents.
David’s skills as a poet, musician, and sponsor of music were renowned as well. His compositions in 2 Samuel and the Davidic psalms demonstrate a poetic genius. His sponsorship of, and involvement in, religious celebrations in connection with the ark show his musical talents and interests. We even read of “instruments of David” that he created or that were associated with him (2 Chr 29:26; Neh 12:36; cf. Amos 6:5).
David displayed a fine religious sensitivity [and] the Davidic psalms demonstrate this…[and] David’s relationship with his God, his concern for others’ welfare, his ready repentance when confronted with his sin, and his concerns for the religious matters pertaining to the temple and the cult all evidence this as well.
Ultimately, however, David’s lasting significance lay in his position as the LORD’s chosen king for Israel and as the father of the royal dynasty that the LORD chose to bless. He occupied a midpoint between his great ancestor Abraham and his great descendant Jesus. The promises made to David stood in continuity with those to Abraham, and they pointed to a messianic ideal of great promise for the world, an ideal that, so Christians have affirmed, found its expression in Jesus, the Christ.”
David M. Howard Jr., “David (Person),” The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992).