What I have learned from the life of David

Last night during our Wednesday evening service, I finished a series on the life of David.  Over a period of several months, I covered all the major events in his life as recorded in scripture.  Like every preacher, I had preached some messages on some key events in David’s life, but I had never looked at it in depth and preached its entirety. I have enjoyed preparing and preaching this series as much as any in some time.  It impacted me personally in profound ways.  There is much more to David’s life than the victory over Goliath and the incident with Bathsheba.  Here are some of the most important lessons I learned from the life of David…

1)    Have courage to do what God wants you to do.

David was certainly a very gifted man, but many gifted men have lived and died without accomplishing much.  David had a deep faith, but he took courage and did what God had for him to do.  It took courage to face Goliath.  It took courage to conquer Jerusalem and unite the kingdom.  It took courage win battles and greatly expand the kingdom. It took courage to “keep on keeping on” after terrible sin, humiliation, and trouble in his own family. It takes courage to live for the Lord today. It takes courage to stay married. It takes courage to raise children. It takes courage to grow old. It takes courage to endure grief and loss. David is a great example of one who had a courageous faith.

2)   We choose to sin, but we do not get to choose the consequences. 

David sinned terribly with Bathsheba and then sinned more terribly by trying to cover it up.  Those were his choices.  However, the consequences were God’s choices. David paid a heavy price in his family for years to come in ways that he never dreamed.

3)   Accept the fact that you will die with unfulfilled dreams.

For all of the great things that David accomplished, there was one great dream he did not get to accomplish: building God’s temple.  Why?  The Lord himself would not allow David to do it. David went to his grave with no temple for the Lord. It was an unfulfilled dream, but David did not get bitter about it. One of Satan’s favorite strategies is to make us bitter over one or two things that did not go our way and overlook hundreds of great blessings!  How did David keep from bitterness?  Rather than focusing on what God did not let him do, David focused on what God had enabled him to do!

4)   Stay humble and appreciative of God’s grace.

Even though he was a wealthy, powerful king, David always remembered that he was simply a shepherd boy that God had chosen.  David expresses his absolute amazement that the Lord had chosen one like him to be king and rule the people of God.

5)   Help the next generation succeed.

In the last recorded words of David found in scripture (1 Chronicles 28-29) a powerful exchange takes place. David recognizes the Lord has chosen his son Solomon to succeed him and be the one who would get to build the temple.  David spends exactly one verse talking about his kingship and then quickly turns his attention to Solomon – encouraging him and instructing him.  David actually helped the next generation succeed.

6)   Determine to point people to the Lord until your last breath.

As David came to the end of his life, he gave glory to God and reiterated that everything was the Lord’s!  Even with all he had been through, David did not die bitter. He died praising the Lord.

7)   The plan of God is awesome!

There are tons of great things to know about the life of David, but the most important one is that God’s covenant with David (to establish his throne forever) was ultimately fulfilled in Christ.  Read Matthew 1:1 and see how it ties together David and our Lord Jesus Christ.

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