Chronicled in I and II Samuel, I Kings, and I Chronicles; authored much of Psalms
David was one of the most beloved and prominent characters in the Bible; yet, he was a man who endured great hardship (much of it by his own hand). Through it all, he still danced before the Lord. He triumphed through times of defeat. He kept his joy through times of sorrow. Sounds like a contradiction. I believe it sounds like God at work.
Let’s examine the life of David in a few snapshots. God repented of anointing Saul as king and sent the prophet Samuel to the house of Jesse to anoint a future ruler. David, the youngest and least likely candidate among the sons (a ruddy little shepherd boy), was called out by God and anointed by Samuel. He may not have looked like much, but he had signs of valor even then, as he had killed a lion and a bear, both attempting to devour his sheep.
An evil spirit tormented King Saul. David, famed for his bravery and harp-playing ability, became a royal armor-bearer and played his harp in Saul’s court when the king became overwhelmed by the spirit. The Philistines challenged the Israelites to send their “champion” to face Goliath, a hulking figure of mythological proportions. David stepped up to the plate with a sling and a stone, taking out the giant in one throw. Saul was so impressed that he made David a commander of his armies and gave him his daughter as a wife. But, the story takes a turn.
David was so blessed in battle that he became more beloved in the kingdom that Saul himself. Saul became jealous and sought to kill David. Saul’s son Jonathon (David’s best friend) warned David of the plan to have him killed. David fled for his life. After Saul and Jonathon were killed in battle, David came back to mourn the passing of his dear friend. David eventually became king over Israel and Judah. It is then that God promised the house of David that its throne would be established forever. It gets more sinister from here.
As a warrior king, David went with his armies into battle; however, on one occasion, David chose to stay home. This proved to be a mistake that would haunt him for the rest of his days. David saw Bathsheba (wife of soldier Uriah) bathing on her roof. David had Bathsheba brought to him, one thing led to another, she became pregnant, and David eventually had Uriah killed in battle so he could marry her. David suffered grave consequences for this series of events. The baby died, David’s son rose up against him, and there was deceit and animosity in his house for years. He is a walking testimony that what we sow we will also reap.
David lived a life of both great victory and great distress. However, he remained a man after God’s own heart through it all. He was quick to repent and he always gave God glory, even in the midst of calamity. I know we can relate to David’s fallible humanity. I pray we can relate to his repentant spirit as well. He made mistakes, but he also made amends.
So, how can we triumph in the midst of trial? Seek a heart after God and glorify Him at all times.