David won the battle against the giant Goliath, became part of the King Saul’s household and part of his army. David did so well in battle that he rose to a high rank and was liked by all the other soldiers. He was also best friends with King Saul’s son, Jonathan. He never went back to being a shepherd of his father’s sheep.
This all sounds like this story is headed for a ‘happy ever after’ doesn’t it? But the trouble is sometimes, when people do really well, other people get jealous! King Saul became very jealous of David, especially when he heard the praise of the people when the army came back from fighting their enemies, “Saul kills by the thousand and David kills by the tens of thousands!” Saul was both jealous and angry and made several attempts to kill David. David had to run away and spent a few years being chased by King Saul. Despite opportunities to kill King Saul, David always spared him as he saw Saul as ‘God’s anointed King’. David trusted God. God would raise up a King to rule Israel.
Samuel the prophet died and soon after, King Saul died a gruesome death.
David becomes King of Israel
At first everything went really well. David fought battles that reclaimed the Israelites’ country back for themselves; their Promised Land. King David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.
Jerusalem, initially an insignificant place, became the political and spiritual capital of Israel under David’s rule. David wanted to build a magnificent temple at Jerusalem to house the Ark and drew up elaborate temple plans. He even spent a lot of his vast wealth gathering materials for it to be built. He was passionate about people worshipping God and providing a place and a way for them to do this. However, God told David building the temple was not to be his job.
Throughout all of this we see David’s courage, honesty, compassion, and faithfulness to God. But he was by no means perfect! He made some terrible mistakes. Whilst he said sorry to God for the terrible things he had done, and he was truly sorry, he still had to suffer the consequences and so did his family.
The story of David, as written in the Bible, is quite a complicated, although an exciting one. It shows us how we can all be both good and bad. It seems to me that the most important thing about David was that he thought more about what God thought of him than what other people thought of him. Although he made bad choices he was quick to admit when he was wrong and felt terrible when he had let God down. He also trusted God and knew that God was ultimately in charge.