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David the great, King of Israel – Part 6

By Austen C. Ukachi
24 October 2021   |   3:11 am
“So David went on and became great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him” (II Samuel‬

“So David went on and became great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him” (II Samuel‬

Our series on attaining greatness in God will not be complete without discussing David, who was no doubt the greatest king of Israel that ever lived. He is best known as “a man after God’s own heart.”

His greatness was due to a combination of factors, namely: providence, courage, divine anointing, his leadership skills, his exploits as a warrior, his psalms that re-echoes humanities emotional struggles, his unparalleled quest for God and his statesmanship as a king.

David’s resume is summarised thus, “a skilful musician, a mighty man of valour, a warrior, one prudent in speech, a handsome man,” and the LORD was with him” (I Samuel 16:18).

David was young when Samuel found him. His father had sent him to the fields to watch over the family flock. He spent time alone tending sheep and learned how to survive in the wilderness. He learned to endure the change of seasons and weather the elements. All these were God’s grooming for him to be a king.

The story of David and Goliath has been told so many times over in literature and the arts. Their confrontation has become cliched symbols for underdogs, and stories of overcoming impossible odds. David’s faith would become one of his defining characteristics, and it led him to overcome countless enemies after Goliath.

David’s courage stood him out and shot him to the limelight. “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him.” (I Samuel 17:34-35). His historic duel with Goliath was perhaps the climax of his achievements and fame. By defeating Goliath, he restored Israel’s dignity before the Philistines.

What makes David such a significant biblical figure is his role in establishing God’s earthly headquarters in Jerusalem. When David became king, he established Jerusalem as the nation’s capital and God’s headquarters, permanently altering Judah’s importance in Jewish life and culture. David’s line ruled in Jerusalem for about 400 years, until King Nebuchadnezzar captured the city and broke the line of kings. David’s faith and zeal made him the standard against which all Israel’s future kings would be measured.

David was far from being perfect. His life history is not complete without the blot caused by his adultery with Bathsheba and his wilful killing of Uriah. His life points to the fact that great men have flaws, but that despite their flaws, they only become great by God’s grace and mercy. His rise from being the last son of Jesse; sequestered in the wilderness, to prominence as the king of Israel is a testimony of the place of Providence in determining greatness.

It’s encouraging that despite his travails in the hand of King Saul, and from the hand of the Philistines, the rebellion of his son, Absalom and the conspiracies of his commanders like Joab, he overcame them all to be the king of Israel. Those destined for greatness would always overcome the vicissitudes of life.

Acts 13:36 is a befitting epitaph of David’s life and indirectly point to his greatness, “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption.”

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