The Old Testament is full of stories about kings—from Ahaz to Hezekiah, Solomon to Jehoshaphat. But of all the kings of Israel and Judah, David is the king most people recognize. And for good reason. He slew a giant, gathered a loyal army and sought God’s guidance (most of the time).
David wasn’t a perfect king. He had an affair with Bathsheba and conducted a census against God’s direction. But despite these mishaps, one of the highest words of praise for subsequent kings was that they followed in the footsteps of David.
So what made David such a great king? Here are just a few reasons.
- David showed mercy. After David became a king, the former king’s relatives were scared that David would take revenge on them. But David showed mercy to his predecessor’s family mercy. In fact, he sought Mephibosheth, a surviving member of Saul’s family, gave him his family land and welcomed him at his own dinner table.
Read the whole story: 2 Samuel 9
- David admitted when he was wrong. David made mistakes. Big ones. After he had an affair with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his army officers, he had her husband killed in battle. But when the prophet Nathan confronted David with his error, David admitted, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Read the whole story: 2 Samuel 12
- David recognized wise people. While David was wandering in the desert with his band of followers, he had a run in with a man named Nabal. The only thing that prevented a conflict between David and Nabal was Nabal’s wife Abigail. David recognized what a wise woman Abigail was and married her after Nabal died.
Read the whole story: 1 Samuel 25
- David trusted God. Although David wasn’t perfect, he sought God throughout his life. He faced many obstacles that required him to place his faith in God, because the situation at hand looked bleak. The most famous of these encounters was the fight with Goliath, when David famously declared, "The Lord has saved me from lions and bears; he will save me from this Philistine.” And against all human odds, David defeated Goliath and began his long career serving his people and his God.
Read the whole story: 1 Samuel 17
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