Studies in the Life of David:

1. Samuel Anoints David (1 Samuel 16)One of the most famous personalities of the Old Testament began his life in obscurity, the youngest son of a rancher in Bethlehem. His life changed, however, when the famous prophet and judge of Israel, Samuel, arrived and anointed David for enrollment into his prestigious school, telling David privately at the same time that David would someday succeed to the throne of Israel. Over the next several years David received a highly valued education, and was eventually drafted to be a court musician under King Saul.Play Audio Play Video
2. David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)In one of the most famous stories in all the Bible, David stepped onto to the battlefield to challenge in single combat the giant from Gath, Goliath. Though the odds seemed stacked against him, David defeated the Philistine, and led the armies of Israel against their enemies in a rout that catapulted the young warrior into international fame, and set the tone for one of the most extraordinary careers of any person in history.Play Audio Play Video
3. David, Jonathan, and Saul (1 Samuel 18 - 20)David's conspicuous victories against the enemies of Israel fueled growing resentment in the heart of Saul, who found himself increasingly upstaged by the young warrior in the world of public opinion. Saul's son, Jonathan, did his best to heal the rift, but in the final analysis, bitterness got the best of the king as David was finally forced to flee from his presence, and enter the life of a fugitive. Play Audio Play Video
4. David Escapes to Gath (1 Sam. 20:18 - 21:15)When David failed to appear for the feast of the New Moon, the true designs of Saul became clear, and David was forced to escape from the Court, and from Israel itself. The touching scene of the farewell of David and Jonathan has long been regarded as one of the most striking expression of true friendship in all of recorded history. David fled to Philistine territory, ironically to the city of Gath, the home of the giant he had famously killed only a few years earlier. For some time to come, David's life would be that of a fugitive. Play Audio Play Video
05. David and Saul Finally Meet (1 Samuel 22 - 24)David returns to Judah from Gath, but eventually winds up in a lush region near the Dead Sea call En Gedi. While there, God brought King Saul within David's grasp, and many thought this was David's opportunity to get rid of his sworn enemy for good. David, however, refused such pressure, and instead left his fate in the hands of God.Play Audio Play Video
6. David meets Abigail (1 Samuel 25)David's powerful speech to King Saul had brought about the desired effect - a moment of reprieve from Saul's unrelenting hostility. But now it was David's turn to hear a powerful speech, and this time the speaker was a woman whose gentle but firm persuasion prevented David from committing an act of violence that would have branded him as little better than Saul, and that certainly would have blackened his reputation forever. Here then is the story of David's memorable encounter with Abigail.Play Audio Play Video
7. David with a Philistine and Saul with a Witch (1 Samuel 26-28)With Saul's renewed attempt to capture and kill David, it seemed clear to the future king that he must escape to the land of the Philistines. While there, David was forced into a life of ambiguity and duplicity, but for Saul, the progress of events was even worse, as he finally desperately sought out guidance from the woman commonly known as the 'Witch of En Dor.' Play Audio Play Video
8. David is renewed while Saul is destroyed (1 Samuel 29 - 31)The ambiguity of David's loyalties while in the land of the Philistines reached its breaking point when Achish, king of Gath, conscripted David to join in the war against Israel. David probably had in mind to turn against the Philistines in the heat of the battle, but was relieved of the problem when he was summarily dismissed by the Philistine overlords. His return to Ziklag brought David to the lowest and loneliest moment of his career. Play Audio Play Video
9. David returns to Judah (2 Samuel 1 - 3)With the death of Saul, David decided the time had come to return to Judah, and with the confirmation of the Hebrew Oracle, took up residence with his followers at Hebron. Soon thereafter he was anointed king over his own tribe, but he faced much thornier problems with respect to the rest of the nation. His troubles were only complicated by the rivalry between Abner and Joab, and David's own dubious tactics in dealing with those challenges. Play Audio Play Video
10. David Rules All Israel (2 Samuel 4 - 5)With the death of Abner and Ishbosheth, the tribes of Israel waited, expecting that David would eventually invade and beat them into submission. But the invasion never happened, and finally the tribes began to recognize that David was a better man than that. Finally, after five long years, the tribes came to David and asked him to take the position of their king, and with that David became undisputed ruler of all Israel, and established a model that would echo through all of subsequent history.Play Audio Play Video
11. A Young King Faces Hard Decisions (2 Samuel 6, 21)Early in David's reign, he faced the sad effects of King Saul's illegal attack on the Gibeonites, and was forced to a hard decision as a result. He faced another unexpected challenge when he undertook the project of moving the Ark of the Covenant from its location of some decades to the central sanctuary in Jerusalem. In both cases, the young king learned lessons requiring a new and clearer vision of the God he worshipped. Play Audio Play Video
12. The Davidic CovenantHaving found himself in a time of peace, with the Ark of the Covenant safely placed in the tabernacle in Jerusalem, David proposed to Nathan the prophet the next phase of his plan to establish a central sanctuary. Though Nathan gave his initial approval, he later returned to deliver an extraordinary and staggering message to David, a message that has come to be called, "The Davidic Covenant." The message emphasized that God had not, and could not, be tied down to a specific location, that God had always been 'on the move' with his people. The message also granted, however, that a central sanctuary would be built by David's son Solomon, but only as a provisional anticipation of an even greater temple that would also be characterized, not by a permanent location, but by even greater mobility.Play Audio Play Video
13. David and Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 8, 9)Following the great promises of the 'Davidic Covenant,' the author of 2 Samuel paints a picture of David at the peak of his career as ruler of Israel, highlighting both the severity of David in his dealings with enemies of Israel, but also the kindness of David in extending lavish benefits to Mephibosheth, the surviving son of Jonathan. These two sides to David's character are highlighted in the two chapters summarized in this presentation.Play Audio Play Video
14. David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 10 - 11)David's remarkable rise to power, prestige, and prominence had come based on God's blessing and protection. It seems, however, that great success blinded David a bit to the risks associated with his fame and achievement, and in a moment of vulnerability, he gave in to temptation in connection with a beautiful woman named Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Compounding the crime with other crimes, a web of deceit and misery closed in on the great ruler, leading to bondage that would only be broken when confronted with the brutal message of Nathan the prophet. Play Audio Play Video
15. Thou art the man! (2 Samuel 12)Months passed after David's crimes against Uriah, his marriage to Bathsheba, and it seemed that all was forgotten. But then one fateful day, the prophet Nathan showed up, and confronted David with the truth of his actions. David was given grace, yet the unavoidable consequences of his actions would dominate the story of his life from this point on.Play Audio Play Video
16. Amnon and Tamar (2 Samuel 13)David's regrettable experience with Bathsheba and her husband seems to have set a standard for the conduct of David's oldest son, Amnon, who in a fit of outrageous lust, attacked and humiliated his half sister Tamar. David's failure to act decisively following the crime provoked the rage of Absalom, the older brother of Tamar, and led finally to his execution of Amnon two years later. Play Audio Play Video
17. Absalom returns to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 14)After Absalom had been three years in exile, Joab realized that the conflicted David was needed to reconcile with his son, partly for the sake of David, and partly for the sake of his kingdom. Joab hatched a plan to induce David to bring Absalom back to Jerusalem, but the plan, while superficially successful, failed to reach the most important level of the rift between father and son. The half repentance and half forgiveness only aggravated the tension, leading to catastrophic consequences and the greatest crisis of David's career as a ruler of God's people. Play Audio Play Video
18. Absalom Rebels (2 Samuel 15 - 16)After his public reconciliation with his father, Absalom began orchestrating a rebellion that would eventually become the single greatest test of David and his rule. As he ingratiated himself to the popular sympathies, he at the same time organized a widespread following of loyal supporters who would launch their coup with such suddenness, that David would be forced to flee Jerusalem seeking refuge wherever he could find it. In the desperate circumstances that unfolded, David once again turned to his only hope, the mercy of God.Play Audio Play Video
19. David Escapes while Absalom Hesitates (2 Samuel 16-17)As David was escaping from Jerusalem east toward the Jordan River, his son Absalom entered the city with the forces that had rallied to his cause. David was vulnerable and had Absalom taken the sound advice of Ahithophel, David's trusted counselor, turned traitor, it would probably have spelled doom for the exiled king. But in God's providence, another of David's trust advisors, Hushai, persuaded Absalom to wait, and by so doing Absalom paved the way to his own eventual destruction.Play Audio Play Video
20. The Defeat of Absalom (2 Samuel 18)While Absalom took time to assemble an army from across Israel, and to have himself anointed and installed as king in Jerusalem, David prepared his experienced fighting men, along with others who joined his cause, in anticipation of the inevitable battle for the throne. Joab picked the battlefield, and surprising the opposing forces, launched an attack the resulted in a rout of Absalom's military. David, who should have rejoiced at the remarkable victory, plunged instead into a lament that threatened his reign and his kingdom more than Absalom had. Only the intervention of Joab saved the day.Play Audio Play Video
21. David Returns to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 19:9-43)In a delicate balance of competing political interests, the people of Israel and Judah invited David to return to his position as king. Play Audio Play Video
22. David's Song of PraiseIn this concluding presentation on the life of King David, we examine one of his best loved psalms, recorded in 2 Samuel 22, and reproduced as Psalm 18. Here David celebrates the faithfulness of God in the face of the many challenges and threats that he experienced, and attributes his remarkable success to the one who strengthened him throughout his career. Play Audio Play Video