David: King, Shepherd, Poet, Giant-Killer


King David

When we think of David, we think: shepherd, poet, giant-killer, king, ancestor of Jesus – in short, one of the greatest men in the Old Testament. But alongside that list stands another: betrayer, liar, adulterer, murderer. The first list gives qualities we all might  like to have; the second, qualities that might be true of any one of us. The Bible makes no effort to hide David’s failures. Yet he is remembered and respected for his heart for God. Knowing how much more we share in David’s failures than in his greatness, we should be curious to find out what made God refer to David as “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22)

David, more than anything else, had an unchangeable belief in the faithful and forgiving nature of God. He was a man who lived with great zest. He sinned many times, but he was quick to confess his sins. His confessions were from the heart, and his repentance was genuine. David never took God’s forgiveness lightly or his blessing for granted. In return, God never held back from David either his forgiveness even when he had to suffer the consequences of his sins.

We tend to get these two reversed. Too often we would rather avoid the consequences than experience forgiveness. Another big difference between us and David is that while he sinned greatly, he did not sin repeatedly. He learned from his mistakes because he accepted the suffering they brought. Often we don’t seem to learn from our mistakes or the consequences that result from those mistakes. What changes would it take for God to find this kind of obedience in you?

Strengths and Accomplishments

  • Greatest king of Israel
  • Ancestor of Jesus Christ
  • Listed in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11
  • A man described by God himself as a man after his own heart

Weaknesses and Mistakes

  • Committed adultery with Bathsheba
  • Arranged the murder of Uriah,  Bathsheba’s husband
  • Directly disobeyed God in taking a census of the people
  • Did not deal decisively with the sins of his children

Lessons From His Life

  • Willingness to honestly admit our mistakes is the first step in dealing with them
  • Forgiveness does not remove the consequences of sin
  • God greatly desires our complete trust and worship

Vital Statistics for David

  • Where: Bethlehem, Jerusalem
  • Occupations: Shepherd, musician, poet, soldier, king
  • Relatives: Father: Jesse. Wives: included Michal, Ahinoam, Bathsheba, Abigail. Sons: included Absalom, Amnon, Solomon, Adonijah. Daughters: included Tamar, seven brothers
  • Contemporaries: Saul, Jonathan, Samuel, Nathan

Key Verses for David

O Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your words are trustworthy and you have promised these good things to your servant. Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, O Sovereign Lord, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever” (2 Samuel 7:28,29).

His story is told in 1 Samuel 16 – 1 Kings 2. He is also mentioned in Amos 6:5; Matthew 1:1, 6; 22:43-45; Luke 1:32; Acts 13:22; Romans 1:3; Hebrews 11:32.

Scripture Study Resources

ESV Study BibleStudy Bibles give you a deeper understanding of God’s Word with tools for life application like commentary, maps, charts, concordance, and study notes. Search our popular translations- NIV, ESV, NKJV, KJV and more!

Believer’s Bible Commentary: Second Edition – A Bible commentary is a written, systematic series of explanations and interpretations of Scripture. Commentaries often analyze or expound on individual books of the Bible, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Some commentary works provide analysis of the whole of Scripture.

The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible – The best concordance for word study! This exclusive new edition of a legendary classic puts generations of biblical research at your fingertips. A valuable tool for pastors, teachers, and students of the Bible. 

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – This classic word study resource allows you to study the meaning of biblical words in the original languages without spending years learning Greek or Hebrew. A great resource for students, seasoned pastors, and anyone who enjoys biblical word studies–even if they have little to no formal training in Hebrew or Greek.

Halley’s Bible Handbook – The beloved and classic Bible companion has been thoroughly updated, while retaining its time-honored features and Dr. Halley’s highly personal style, to offer even greater clarity, insight, and usefulness.

Click here to print or download the scripture character study on “David: King, Shepherd, Poet, Giant-Killer


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