STUDY Hebrews 11:32-34
E (click here for notes)
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength, and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. (NIV)
After listing four judges-Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah-the author of Hebrews cites David as an example of a person of faith. David is one of the most significant people in the history of Israel and in the Messianic line. He is the only person in the Bible with his name, a fact which foreshadows his unique role as a shadow and forerunner of Jesus. He, the second king of Israel, is the person the Jews honor as the one who established their kingdom, not the first king, Saul. Jesus is often called the Son of David, and He is the one who will forever sit, as promised to David, on David's throne.
David was a man after God's own heart, yet his life was stained by tragedy and heinous sin. His sin against Uriah the Hittite resulted in violent consequences that lasted for generations. David was a gifted warrior, leader, musician and writer, and 73 of the Psalms are attributed to David. Several of his Psalms found fulfillment in Jesus.
The story of David is recorded between 1 Samuel 15 and 1 Kings 2.
1. What circumstances with Saul, then king of Israel, finally caused God to reject him as the nation's ruler? (1 Samuel 15)
2. Who was David? (see 1 Samuel 16:1, 11-13)
3. After his private anointing by Samuel, what part-time circumstances did God bring into David's life that began to prepare him for royal life and also led to his recognition and respect by Saul's household? (see 1 Samuel 16:14-23)
4. What event during this period of David's life launched him into the public eye and earned him a permanent place in court? (see 1 Samuel 17:4-58-18:5)
5. To what privileges did David's victory over Goliath entitle him and his family, and with what devious methods did Saul attempt to use this reward to destroy David? (see 1 Samuel 17:25; 18:17-29)
Preparing Israel's Heart
Taking the monarchy out of Saul's family and giving it to another would not happen without opposition. God began to prepare Israel for this transition.
6. What unlikely alliances did God ordain that kept Saul's family from destroying their father's (and their own) rival? (see 1Samuel 18: 20, 28-29; 19:11-17; 18:1-4; 20:12-42)
7. How did God prepare Israel to be loyal to David? (see 1 Samuel 18:6-7; 26-27; 30)
Fleeing for His Life
After Jonathan warned David of Saul's intent to kill him, David spent the next period of his life hiding and fleeing from Saul who was thoroughly consumed by his rage and by the evil spirit that harassed him. During this time David formed the "Adullam band" which eventually became organized and provided protection of crops and flocks from foreign invaders for Israelite settlements in the outlying districts. Some well-known events in David's life transpired during this time, all before he was 30 years old.
8. What re-interpretation of ceremonial law did David exercise to which Jesus referred when he was discussing the Sabbath with the Pharisees? (see 1 Samuel 21:1-6; Matthew 12:3-4)
9. How did David honor God's sovereign appointments in a way that led to Saul's acknowledging God's appointments as well? (1 Samuel 24 and 26
10. How did David obtain his third wife, Abigail? (1 Samuel 25)
11. What "fair practice statute" did David establish after his battle with the Amalekites that became standard practice for Israel? (1 Samuel 30:17-25)
David the King
The Philistines fought against Israel again, and Saul and his sons Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malki-Shua went to war on Mount Gilboa. The three sons were killed, and Saul was critically wounded. Saul fell on his sword to avoid the enemy abusing him further. David mourned deeply for Saul and Jonathan, and then, at God's direction, he went to Hebron where the men of Judah anointed him "king over the house of Judah" and reigned 7 1/2 years. Saul's son Ish-Bosheth was king over Israel, the northern part of the kingdom, for two years. After the political opposition was squelched, he became king over all 12 tribes. He was 30 and ruled for forty years.
12. Two years of civil war followed the death of Saul fueled by the old supporters of Saul. What two events ended the civil war and led to David's being anointed king over a united Israel? (see 2 Samuel 2:6-39; 4:1-12)
13. When the Philistines heard that David was king, they mustered their forces and proceeded to search for him. David asked God what to do, and God said, "Go, for I will surely hand the Philistines over to you." (2 Sam. 5:19) What happened in the battle, and of whom and/or what was the battle reminiscent? (see 2 Samuel 5:17-25; Judges 6:1-21; 4:14-24; 7:1-25; 11:32-33; 16:23-31)
14. What was one of David's first conquests as king of Israel? (2 Samuel 5:1-9)
15. Where did David establish his capital city, and what did he do there in his personal life that symbolized his prospering and becoming established? (2 Samuel 5:9-15)
16. What did David do that established the City of David as the religious center of Israel? (see 2 Samuel 6:1-15)
17. What did God promise David after he became king? (see 2 Samuel 7:5-16)
18. In the middle of David's most successful period of his reign, what sin did he indulge, and what sins did it lead to? (2 Samuel 11)
19. What penalty did the law demand for David and Bathsheba's behavior? (see Leviticus 20:10; Deut. 22:22)
20. Besides breaking God's commandments, what other divine trust did David violate by his relationship with Bathsheba and his arranged killing of Uriah? (see 2 Samuel 5:2; 7:7-8)
21. God sent Nathan the prophet to confront David with his sin and violation of trust. To emphasize the selfishness and greed implicit in David's liaison with Bathsheba, Nathan reminds David that God had "delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms." (2 Sam. 12:7-8) Who are the wives to whom Nathan refers? (see 1 Sam. 14:50; 2 Sam. 3:7; 21:8)
22. Because of David's killing of Uriah and his selfish manipulation to have Uriah's one wife, Nathan pronounces a three-part prophecy of doom upon David and his house. What was this prophecy? (see 2 Sam. 12:9-14)
23. The prophecy was irrevocable. In spite of it and of the heinousness of David's sin, what miracle was at the core of this dreadful time of David's life? (see 2 Samuel 12:13)
24. What redemptive blessing did God bring to David and Bathsheba even while they suffered the consequences of their sin? (2 Samuel 12:24-25)
25. Why do you think that God held David more responsible for this sin than Bathsheba? (see also Luke 12: 47-48; James 3:1)
The Prophecy Plays Out
26. What sordid saga of lust and murder began the fulfillment of Nathan's prophecy that "the sword will never depart from your house" and infected two of David's sons with his own sins of immorality and murder? (see 2 Samuel 13)
27. Absalom, now next in line for the throne, fled. David mourned for him and finally sent for him to return to Jerusalem but refused to see him. After two years Absalom manipulated an audience with David who broke down and kissed him. How might David's welcoming Absalom back into the royal court have contributed to the fulfillment of Nathan's prophecy?
28. Absalom begged David's permission to fulfill a vow to worship in Hebron, but worship was not the real reason Absalom left. What did Absalom really leave to do? (see 2 Samuel 15:1-5, 10-13)
29. To strengthen his conspiracy, whom did Absalom request to join ranks with him? (see 2 Sam. 15:12; 11:3; 23:34)
30. How did Absalom fulfill the second part of Nathan's curse, and what was his political motivation for this act? (2 Sam. 16:20-23)
31. How did Absalom's uprising end? (2 Sam. 18:6-33)
32. Why did David's grief over Absalom anger his trusted men? (2 Sam. 19:1-8)
33. What other serious rebellion did David face? (2 Samuel 20)
34. Just before David's death, what family struggle threatened God's and David's choice for the royal succession? (1 Kings 1)
35. How did the prophecy of the sword being in David's house continue right after David's death? (see 1 Kings 2:23-25)
36. What can we deduce about the kind of father David was? (see 1 Kings 1:6; 2 Samuel 13:23-27; 14:33)
37. What do you think may have contributed to Michal's despising David when she had loved him so passionately at first? (see 1 Samuel 18:20, 27-28; 25:44; 2 Samuel 2:12-16; 6:16-23)
38. How do you explain that "an evil spirit from the Lord tormented" Saul after the Spirit of the Lord left him? (see 1 Samuel 16:14; 16:23; 18:10-12; Judges 9:22-24; 1 Kings 19:22-23; Job 1:6-12; 2 Samuel 24:1; 1 Chron. 21:1)
39. David's grief for Absalom is much greater than was his grief over Amnon, even though Absalom was more treacherous to him. What do you think contributed to this excess of grief?
40. In what ways did David foreshadow Jesus? (see 2 Samuel 5:6-7, 12; 7:14-16; 8:1-2, 14; Psalm 110:1-4; 2:7-9; 16:10; 22; Isaiah 55:3-5; Romans 1:1-4)
41. What was unique about David's foreshadowing of Jesus as compared with Abraham, Moses, and Joshua?
42. What made David a man after God's own heart?
43. With what characteristics or events in David's life do you most relate?
44. Of what deep sins has God forgiven you?
45. What consequences are you still experiencing from your sins?
46. How has God brought redemption to your life where you bore the wounds of sin?
47. With what temptation or sin are you struggling?
48. What is there in your life that you cherish but fear God wants you to relinquish to him?
49. Ask Jesus to break the hard, self-protective places in your heart and melt away your fear of loss and pain with his love. Let Him come into the places where you protect your secrets and your desires, and ask Him to fill you and to replace your sins and fantasies with Himself. Ask Jesus to make you a person after His own heart and to teach you to trust Him with your life.
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Studio, Redlands, CA USA. All rights reserved. Revised August 11, 2001.