Journey Through The Scriptures

David, Part I

Lesson 1: Life Anointed as Israel’s King

(Scripture to Read: Ruth 4:13–22; 1 Samuel 13:14; 15:27–28; 16:1–23)

King David is a monumental figure in the Bible and the history of Israel. The youngest son of Jesse of Bethlehem overcame incredible obstacles and opposition to unite the tribes of Israel into a kingdom that stretched from the eastern side of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. David’s story is unique in many ways. His name was revealed in the book of Ruth before he was born in the eleventh century BCE. And yet, the first two references to David are in 1 Samuel 13 and 15, and do not even mention his name! However, what Samuel said about David was the key to David’s greatness. In David, God found “a man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).

In chapters 14–15 of 1 Samuel, Saul continued his spiritual self-destruction to the point that God commanded Samuel to travel to Bethlehem and anoint a son of Jesse as Israel’s next king. The choice of David is a wonderful story of God making a sovereign choice based on His criteria, not human opinion or ideas. But even though David was God’s choice, it would be some years and many dangers and adventures later before David would even be safe to come out of hiding, much less rule over Israel. In the meantime, David’s talents as a musician brought him to the royal court, serving King Saul whom David had been anointed to succeed.

Study Questions

  1. Why does the book of Ruth end with the mention of David’s name?
  2. How does David’s heart for the Lord contrast to Saul’s attitude toward obeying God? (Hint: Read 1 Samuel 15:13–14.)
  3. Why was Samuel fearful of going to Bethlehem to anoint David?
  4. How do you think David’s older brothers felt as they watched his anointing after being rejected themselves?

Something to Think About

Even though God said no Moabite male would be allowed in the assembly of Israel “to the tenth generation” (Deuteronomy 23:3), Ruth’s devotion to God placed her in the ancestry of David—and ultimately, of the Messiah! This story teaches that no one is too estranged from God, or too far from Him, to return. Share this encouraging news with someone who may need to hear it.