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King David, the man after Gods own heart (Ac 13:22, Bible NIV), is

arguably the best known king of his time. He was the second king of Israel
succeeding King Saul after his death in war in 1004 B.C.E. He came to take
the throne as Gods anointed one at the age of thirty (2 Sam 5:4, Bible NIV)
and reigned as king for forty years. Seven of those years he reigned as the
King of the Tribe of Judah, and thirty-three as the King of Israel. For him to
become king of Israel, however, was no easy feat.
David, born in Bethlehem, a descendent of Ruth and youngest son to
Yishai (Jesse), was a member of the Tribe of Judah and a farmer with a large
family. He grew up and shepherded his fathers flocks alongside his older
brothers. Nobody, not even himself, thought that he would amount to
anything; David led a quiet life not making him noticed. However, people
always had an interest in him. They would come to him for advice or to just
talk to him because he was a boy of wisdom and integrity. God had seen
these qualities in him and had different plans for his life than for him to
simply be a herder in him fathers household. The Lord commanded the
prophet Samuel to privately anoint David to become king after the death of
the current king, Saul, who died an untimely death. And how it happened
was all quite unexpected.
It is stated in the book of 1 Samuel that David and his brothers were
sent by their father, Yishai (Jesse), to bring some supplies and help to the
battlefield where Israel was at war with the Philistines. David killed two

hundred of them, brought back their foreskins, and gave them to the king,
Saul, in hope that Saul may make him his son-in-law. Saul, in return gave his
daughter Michal to David as a wife.
Being a general in Sauls army and being around Sauls family, he
came to be best friends with one of Sauls sons, Jonathan. Such great friends,
actually, that Jonathan and David made a covenant (1 Sam. 18:3, Bible
NIV). However, the actual conflict between David and Saul arisen because of
Sauls own pride and insecurities. In 1 Samuel 18, verses five through nine, it
shows how patient David was with Saul and his commands for him. However,
when David is on his voyage back from the battlefield, women are singing
and dancing to meet King Saul. As talk goes around the cities of Israel, it is
said Saul slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands (1 Sam. 18:7,
Bible NIV). With Sauls own people saying that he became angry that the
people see that David had slain more men than him. Because of this, Saul
became jealous of David because he was not the one being praised by men.
However, this was not the only reason Saul was bitter. Saul knew he was
going to be replaced as king, as the prophet Samuel has told him the
LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel! (1Sam 15:26, Bible NIV)
Little did Saul know, God had anointed David, a man that Saul wanted to kill,
would be the man to replace him. King Saul was waiting for his time to be
removed from the throne, and that time came when he was killed in war
alongside all of his sons. After the deaths of Sauls family, there was only one
member that remained, his name was Mephibosheth, but because he was

lame in both feet, he was unsuitable to take over the throne. Since David had
married into Sauls family, he became the King, thus fulfilling the prophecy
by Samuel that he would become king after Sauls death.
Though Saul had committed great crime against David by trying to kill
him, he had David promise that he would treat his descendants with great
care. David agreed, and the death of Saul and his sons came soon after.
David, being a man of his word, did agree to take care of Sauls descendants.
However, once he and his sons had all been killed in battle, only one
grandson remained and his name was Mephibosheth, the son on Jonathan.
Mephibosheth, who was lame in both of his feet, came to David in belief that
he would be a servant. But David kept true to his word and invited him to sit
at his table and dine with him (2 Sam. 9, Bible NIV). In the days of King
David, it was almost unheard of that a man of Jonathans status would be
invited to eat at the table once, let alone for the rest of his life. The
compassion that David showed for the people who lived in his household and
his kingdom was a testimony to the way that David believed that God was
a living and righteous Being (Lockyer, 109-110).
David had multiple opportunities to kill King Saul, yet never took
advantage of it. One of those times being in a cave with Saul having his back
to Davids location. Yet, with David being the man of wisdom that he was, he
simply cut off a piece of Sauls cloak and later confronted him about the
rumors and efforts Saul had put in for wanting David dead. Saul admitted to

putting much effort into killing David and wept at Davids feet. Jonathan even
went so far as to make a promise with his father not to kill David, but that
promise was soon broken. Saul had tried multiple times to kill David, none of
which succeeded due to the help of Davids faithful followers and friends.
Through the opportunities that David had to kill Saul, yet never followed
through, influenced his people to be more peaceful and calm in situations
that would normally have caused arguments, fights, and at times, death. At
most times, David took the route in situations that were pleasing to God, and
God blessed him though his actions.
As King, David expanded the kingdom and it prospered under his
control. It was David who originally brought the tribes together as one,
encouraging them to settle in a fexed location and create a capital city. For
centuries before young David became king, Israel had been held together in
loose tribal confederacies (Britannica). But during Davids rule as King of the
Israelites, he united the tribes of Israel and brought them together as one
nation. They did so, putting Jerusalem as their capital city. The tribes lived in
and on the outskirts of the capital. Through many battles and trials, God
used him as a tool to expand the kingdom of Israel across the west. When
King David died at the age of seventy, after being the king, he passed the
crown to his eldest of eleven sons, Solomon (Shlomo), and the kingdom
flourished even more in his reign.

When Saul had confirmed to David that he was to be the next king of
Israel, earlier being told by the prophet Samuel that he would be relaced
because he has displeased the Lord, David continued to have a level head on
his shoulders. All David wanted to do was fulfill the will of the Lord, and to
know what He could do to further the kingdom of God. After all, he was the
man after Gods own heart. By anointing David as the next king of Israel, God
had him fight in many battles, each one gaining land and growing the
kingdom stronger one fight at a time.
However, some actions of his would not exactly be seen as
compassionate. One in particular involved that was Bathsheba and Uriah,
both Hittites. During the siege of Rabbah, David sees a young and beautiful
woman, Bathsheba, and sends for her. He brings her into his household and
sleeps with her. He is later told that she has conceived a child with him.
Unfortunately for king David and Bathsheba, there is no way to say it was her
husband, Uriah, reason being he is a soldier in Davids army, and at the time
of king David and Bathsheba sleeping together, he is fighting at the siege of
Rabbah. As king, David sends messengers to him and commands them have
him bought back to Jerusalem. His idea behind this is to have Uriah sleep
with her so that it will not be possible to tell that she had conceived by the
king. Unfortunately, his plan is foiled when Uriah refuses to return home and
enjoy the comforts of home while his men and comrades are still fighting on
the battlefield. Because he refuses to go home and sleep with his wife, David
sees no other option but to kill him. He, then, sends him back to the siege

and has Joab place him on the battlefield where he is sure to be killed. Joab
did as David had asked, and surely Uriah died in battle (2 Sam. 11, Bible
NIV). Now, once Uriah was dead, David took Bathsheba to be his wife, or one
of his wives, that is. Because David had done something that was displeasing
to the Lord and did not show compassion and care for those in his kingdom,
the Lord God was displeased with him. The lesson that David learned from
this, and a lesson that is significant throughout the ages, is relatable to the
old saying of two wrongs do not make a right. David had committed two
wrongs, committing adultery and then murdering a man, both displeasing in
the eyes of his God. He tried to correct his mistake, but it was already too
late and what had been done could not be fixed.
Though David made mistakes such as these throughout his lifetime, it
is only a reminder that he is human and humans have a tendency to sin.
However, through Davids faith in God, he was allowed to be forgiven for the
heinous acts that he had committed against Uriah and Bathsheba. Davids
faith and obedience to the Lord were two things that allowed him to be the
successful king he was. In the book of Psalms one hundred and fifty hymns,
approximately seventy-five of those can be related back to David and place
him as the author. Many of these psalms are praises to the Lord, saying:
Your lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;

Your judgments are like a great deep.


O LORD, You preserve man and beast.
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings
(Ps. 36:5-7, Bible NASB).
and
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples,
And I will sing praises to You among the nations.
For Your lovingkindness is great above the heavens,
and Your truth reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
And your glory above the earth. (Ps. 108:3-5, Bible NASB)
These two psalms are only a small testaments as to how great David
believed God was. In Psalm 36, David believed that Gods faithfulness alone
reached to the heavens; that his righteousness is as large as the mountains
that cover the earth; that his judgments are like the oceans deep. He
appreciated that God saved and appreciated everything, man or beast. He
found that Gods lovingkindness, or unfailing love (Bible, NIV), was so
precious that is cannot be taken for granted, and believed that in order to

find peace, we must take refuge in Gods protection under His wings. In the
second psalm above, Psalm 108, David mentions that he will praise God
among the nations, proclaiming His name and sharing his goodness, as well
as give thanks to him for the things that God has given to him. He again,
says that his unfailing love, or lovingkindness is far above the heavens at
an unreachable distance, implying that it only attainable by God to hold the
quality of a love that will never let him down.
The Psalms that are written by David himself repeatedly show Davids
faithfulness to God, a thing that many Christians today continue to strive
after day to day. But David, writing these hymns and poems was an
encouragement to the people in the tribes of the Israelites and still in the
modern day world.ing David will continue to be a man that is well recognized
in the Christian faith as well as in the western civilization to be a man
accepted fully by God for doing his will. People every day, in time of the
Israelites as well as today, strive to have the faith even close to that of
David, yet none have achieved it. David will continue to be one the most
recognized Kings in the history of Israel for generations to come, and his
though his decisions to create more a more permanent location has certainly
been an achievement of David that did not change in his reign.
As king, one of Davids greatest achievements was creating a nonnomadic environment. The encouragement to create a permanent location
for the tribe of Israel was the doing of King David. By creating a capital, he

created a center for trade, which led to an economy and the integration of
culture and invention.
David, a great king and a man to be remembered, had founding
contributions and ideas to the modern day west. He is a man to be named,
rightfully so, as a man who followed Gods will for his life, straying away at
times. David, throughout his lifetime was an encouragement to his people in
more aspects than one. He was a man of encouragement in faith, on the
battlefield, and in everyday life. He will continue to be remembered as a man
of honor and integrity, and a man allowing his flesh to take a backseat to the
will of the Lord for the majority of his life.

Bibliography

Commentary on II Samuel 22, The Anchor Bible, Vol. 9. II Samuel. P. Kyle


McCarter, Jr., 1984.
New York: Doubleday.

"David." Encyclopdia Britannica. Encyclopdia Britannica Online Academic


Edition.
Encyclopdia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.

Guzik, David. "1 Samuel 31 - The Death of Saul and His Sons." Enduring
Word Media. David
Guzik, Web. 13 Oct.
2012. <http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/0918.htm>.

Holy Bible, New International Version, NIV, by Biblica, Inc., 2012

Lockyer, Herbert. "Palestine and Jewish Monarchs." 1961. All the Kings
and Queens of the Bible.

Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing Hosue, 1961. Print.

The New Inductive Study Bible. Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2000.
Print

The Contributions of King David to


Western Civilization

Emma Schmeeckle