Part 54 - Lessons from the Shepherd-King

David: The Shepherd King of Israel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  48:18
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Let’s pray.


We need to learn from the experiences of others.
In 2003, a 27-year-old outdoorsman - Aron Ralston - embarked on a solo canyoneering adventure in Utah’s Blue John Canyon. His passion for adventure and his belief in his own abilities led him deep into the rugged wilderness, seeking the thrill of exploration. Unfortunately, he didn’t tell anyone where he was going, something that became a life-changing decision when a massive 800 pound dislodged boulder fell from above him and crushed his right forearm, leaving him pinned down, stranded, and helpless. For five grueling days, Ralston tried to free himself, struggling against the unforgiving landscape and harsh reality of isolation. Finally, faced with desperation and no other option, he chose to amputate his own arm to escape the life-threatening situation. Incredibly, he was able to climb out of the 65-foot canyon, and was eventually found and rescued.
In the years since, Ralston has written a book recounting his journey, which was turned into a movie in 2010. And, not surprisingly, he’s become an advocate for outdoor safety, sharing his experience to encourage others to learn from his mistakes and to prioritize caution, preparation, and communication when engaging in outdoor activities and risky adventures.
It seems obvious hearing stories like Aron Ralston that we need to learn from the experiences of others. Maybe its because stories like his are so close to our lived experience.
But sometimes when we read the Bible, we can disconnect our lives from the lives of the men and women we read about. They can seem so distant; so disconnected; so irrelevant. But what a tragedy that is! The Bible is full of real people with real strengths and real weaknesses. Real successes and real failures. And one of the reasons God has given us the Bible is so that we would learn from the experiences of others.
Romans 15:4 (ESV)
4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 (ESV)
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
This morning, we are finishing our sermon series on David, the Shepherd-King of Israel. Its been powerful to see the way the Bible tells the story of King David. And what I want to remind us as we close out this series is that just like we need to learn from the experiences of others in our lives, we also need to learn from the experiences of the men and women in the Bible. And specifically this morning,
Big Idea: We need to learn from David as we look to the Greater David.

Lessons from the Shepherd-King

So, what are the lessons that we need to learn from David’s life?
The first thing I think we learn from David’s life is

(1) David’s FAITH (Hebrews 11:32-34)

Hebrews 11:32–34 ESV
32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.
Explanation -
When the writer of Hebrews thinks about examples from the Bible who showed great faith, David’s name came to mind.
Not all the names on this list are equally great examples; some only had one or two moments of faith in a life overwhelmingly characterized by selfishness
But in David’s case, I think one of the clear lessons from David’s life is his life of FAITH
In the midst of terrible trials and suffering, David trusted God.
1. David and Goliath
1 Samuel 17:37 (ESV)
37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
1 Samuel 17:47 (ESV)
47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”
2. David Running from Saul
Psalm 56:3–4 (ESV)
3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
Psalm 57:1–2 (ESV)
1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.
2 I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
Psalm 57:5 (ESV)
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!
3. David the King and Conqueror
Psalm 60:12 (ESV)
12 With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes.
Psalm 18:1–3 (ESV)
1 I love you, O Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
4. David the King Running from His Son Absalom
Psalm 63:1 (ESV)
1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Psalm 63:3 (ESV)
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
Psalm 63:7 (ESV)
7 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
Psalm 3:3 (ESV)
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
Psalm 3:5 (ESV)
5 I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
Psalm 3:8 (ESV)
8 Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah
Time and time again, David’s actions flowed from a heart posture of FAITH in God, trusting God more than himself.
Faith was the FUEL for David’s Faithfulness.
Application -
Question: What area of your life is being fueled by something other than faith in God?
The next lesson we learn from David’s life is what His FAITH produced: FAITHFULNESS.

(2) David’s FAITHFULNESS (Acts 13:22, 36)

Acts 13:22 ESV
22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’
Acts 13:36 ESV
36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption,
In Paul’s sermon in Acts 13, Paul brings up David and mentions the fact that one of the reasons God chose David was so that David would “do all God’s will” and “serve the purpose of God in his own generation.”
One of the things Paul is highlighting here is that David’s life was full of FAITH-fueled FAITHFULNESS.
FAITH in God produces FAITHFULNESS for God.
1. David defeats Goliath (1 Sam. 17:50-51)
1 Samuel 17:50–51 ESV
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
2. David honors God while waiting to become King (1 Sam. 24:6; 1 Sam. 26:9-10)
1 Samuel 24:6 ESV
6 He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord’s anointed.”
1 Samuel 26:9–10 ESV
9 But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?” 10 And David said, “As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish.
He refuses to take matters into his own hands and kill Saul on multiple occasions, trusting that God will be the one to do that, not him
3. David is Loyal (most of his life) (1 Sam. 20:14-17; 2 Samuel 9:1)
One example of David’s loyalty is his commitment to keep his promises to Jonathan and Jonathan’s descendants.
1 Samuel 20:14–17 ESV
14 If I am still alive, show me the steadfast love of the Lord, that I may not die; 15 and do not cut off your steadfast love from my house forever, when the Lord cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” 16 And Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord take vengeance on David’s enemies.” 17 And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
2 Samuel 9:1 ESV
1 And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
4. David is an Agent of Peace as King (most of his life) (2 Samuel 3:37-39)
After Saul’s death, when there was a civil war, David did not endorse the political violence and bloodshed that some of the people with him were advocating.
David wanted to build a kingdom of peace, not unnecessary violence
2 Samuel 3:37–39 ESV
37 So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it had not been the king’s will to put to death Abner the son of Ner. 38 And the king said to his servants, “Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel? 39 And I was gentle today, though anointed king. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are more severe than I. The Lord repay the evildoer according to his wickedness!”
5. David conquers Israel’s enemies (2 Sam. 5, 8, 10)
David conquers:
[1] Philistines
[2] Moabites
[3] Ammonites
[4] Syrians
[5] Edomites
The text is clear that it is the LORD who gave David and his forces victory over God’s enemies as they were faithful to Him
6. David prepares for the Temple (1 Chronicles 28:11)
1 Chronicles 28:11 (ESV)
11 Then David gave Solomon his son the plan of the vestibule of the temple, and of its houses, its treasuries, its upper rooms, and its inner chambers, and of the room for the mercy seat;
As we have seen, David spent a lot of time making detailed preparations for the Temple building project, not only receiving the plan from God, but by organizing the Levites and priests and government officials to make the temple a fully functioning operation.
7. David writes many poems for the worship of God (2 Sam 23:1)
2 Samuel 23:1 ESV
1 Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel:
Time and time again, we see that David used his natural musical abilities and leveraged them for the worship of Yahweh, writing many “Psalms,” songs which were designed to be used in corporate worship expressing the whole range of human emotions and exalting God’s character and conduct.
The Bible is clear that David wrote these poems under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to be used and sung and cherished by all of God’s people since
FAITH in God produces FAITHFULNESS for God.
Illustration -
Faith is the fuel; Faithfulness is the engine.
Application -
The next lesson we learn from David’s life is David’s FAILURE

(3) David’s FAILURE (Matthew 1:6)

Matthew 1:6 ESV
6 and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,
Explanation -
David’s life was full of FAITH, leading to a life of FAITHFULNESS, but not without FAILURE.
In Matthew’s Gospel, Matthew highlights one particular episode in David’s life, beginning a section in these early verses that will lead the people of Israel into the exile.
1. David’s sin against Bathsheba and Uriah
At the moment of David’s greatest strength, he turned his eyes away from God and took Bathsheba for his own selfish purposes and then had her husband Uriah murdered.
2 Samuel 12:5–7 (ESV)
5 Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die,
6 and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
7 Nathan said to David, “You are the man!
And as the rest of the story made clear, it was this foundational sin that set the trajectory for the unraveling and the demise of the rest of David’s family
2. Amnon sins against Tamar (following David’s own example) (2 Sam. 13:1-22)
3. Absalom murders Amnon (following David’s own example) (2 Sam. 13:23-39)
In both cases, David’s sons followed David’s example
[Other failures in David’s life]
4. David Has Multiple Wives and Concubines (2 Sam. 3:2-5; 5:13)
2 Samuel 3:2–5 ESV
2 And sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam of Jezreel; 3 and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; 4 and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; 5 and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron.
2 Samuel 5:13 ESV
13 And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David.
5. David’s Failure of Anger and Rage with Nabal (1 Sam. 25:13)
1 Samuel 25:13 (ESV)
13 And David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every man of them strapped on his sword. David also strapped on his sword. And about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.
6. David Ran to the Philistines in Fear Instead of Faith (1 Sam. 27:1)
1 Samuel 27:1 ESV
1 Then David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of seeking me any longer within the borders of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand.”
7. David failed to discipline his sons (1 Kings 1:6)
1 Kings 1:6 ESV
6 His father had never at any time displeased him by asking, “Why have you done thus and so?” He was also a very handsome man, and he was born next after Absalom.
8. David Failed by Taking a Census of His Kingdom (2 Sam. 24:1-2)
2 Samuel 24:1–2 ESV
1 Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” 2 So the king said to Joab, the commander of the army, who was with him, “Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people.”
Illustration - We don’t do ourselves any favors by trying to gloss over the mistakes and failures of our heroes.
Illustration 1? -
Application -
What are the areas in your life that you are allowing the culture to shape your perception of right and wrong more than God’s Word? David thought it was fine to have multiple wives and concubines since that’s what everyone did, but he didn’t allow God’s commands to inform that one area of his life? What about you?
Application 1 - Materialism?
Application 2 - Sexual Immorality?
The next lesson we learn from David’s life is David’s FORGIVENESS

(4) David’s FORGIVENESS (Romans 4:6-8)

Explanation -
When the Apostle Paul is discussing the doctrine of justification by faith, listen to what aspect of David’s life he highlights:
Romans 4:6–8 ESV
6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
Though David FAILED big time, he also experienced God’s FORGIVENESS.
That’s really good news for us, because if David a man after God’s own heart fails big time but experiences forgiveness, that means that we can experience the same forgiveness when we fail, too.
But remember how David accesses that FORGIVENESS - through repentance
After Nathan confronts David for his sin against Bathsheba and Uriah, listen to what David says:
2 Samuel 12:13 (ESV)
13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Or recall the prayer that David prays famously in Psalm 51.
Psalm 51:1–4 ESV
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
Unlike Saul before him, David refuses to make excuses for his sin. He doesn’t shift the blame to someone else. He doesn’t explore his past and try to find someone else to blame for his sin. He takes responsibility for his, he owns up to it, and agrees with God about his sin.
And though God opposes the proud, He gives grace to the humble.
1 John 1:9 ESV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
And sure enough, God was gracious to forgive David’s sin.
2 Samuel 12:13 (ESV)
13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.
There were consequences for his sin. But in the end, David’s sin was forgiven.
And so, as he writes in Psalm 32 and is recorded in Romans 4.
Psalm 32:1–2 ESV
1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
Psalm 32:5 ESV
5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
David experienced God’s FORGIVENESS for his sin because he humbled himself before God.
And not only did he agree with God about his sin, he continued to accept the natural consequences that came with his sin, entrusting it to the Lord
So, after his child dies because of his sin,
2 Samuel 12:20 ESV
20 Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate.
2 Samuel 12:22–23 ESV
22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”
After he sins by taking the census of his kingdom, and when God is prepared to punish the people, David again agrees with God about his own sinfulness
2 Samuel 24:17 ESV
17 Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, “Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”
In the end, because of David’s humility, he experienced God’s forgiveness, by God’s amazing grace.
Application -
Application 1 - What are the areas in your life where you are not humbling yourself? What sins are you not taking ownership of and being honest before God about?
Application 2 - If you have been honest with God and have confessed your sin, are you holding to guilt that God says he has already forgiven? Romans 4 and Psalm 32 say that experiencing forgiveness should result in the experience of Blessedness! Fullness of joy. Peace.
The last lesson we learn from David’s life is David’s FULFILLMENT.

(5) David’s FULFILLMENT (Matthew 1:1)

Matthew 1:1 ESV
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Explanation -
The very first words of the New Testament serve as a the bridge that connects the Old and New Testaments
And in Matthew’s opening salvo, he connects Jesus Christ — a man in first century Palestine who really lived, really died, and really rose again — to David and to Abraham, claiming that Jesus Christ is the son of David, the long-awaited Messiah, who will bring about the fulfillment of all of God’s promises to Abraham. All that in one verse!
Jesus is the fulfillment of the promises to David.
Matthew 1:1 ESV
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
The vast majority of references to David in the Prophetic Books in the Old Testament and in the New Testament refer to the “House of David,” “the throne of David,” or the “Son of David,” all of which are references to God’s promise to establish David’s kingly rule over a kingdom that stretches over the whole world and brings about the promises to Abraham.
The writers of the New Testament all agree that those promises are coming to fulfillment in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
There are so many references to this in the New Testament, but here’s a sampling.
Luke 1:32 ESV
32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
Luke 1:69 ESV
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,
On the Day of Pentecost, when Peter spoke to the crowds, he quotes from Psalm 16 and then explains it to the people:
Acts 2:29–33 ESV
29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.
On another occasion, Paul makes similar connections in a sermon given at Antioch in Pisidia
Acts 13:36–39 ESV
36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. 38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.
At the Jerusalem Council, convened to discuss whether Gentile converts to Christianity were required to submit themselves to the regulations of the Law of Moses, James explains that the Prophets had mysteriously prophesied about that question.
Acts 15:13–21 ESV
13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 “ ‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, 17 that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old.’ 19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”
At the Jerusalem Council, James argues that it had long been prophesied in Amos and other places that when the Booth or Tent of David was rebuilt and restored — a reference to the dynasty and kingly rule of David’s family — then a remnant of all the nations would seek the Lord and would become part of God’s kingdom as Gentiles.
Since it was clear that Jesus was the fulfillment of the first part of those promises — Jesus was the Son of David who began his kingly rule in his ascension into heaven to sit at God’s right hand — James argued that now must also be the time that nations were coming into God’s kingdom as Gentiles.
In the end, the church agreed. Jesus was the greater King from David’s line that David was pointing to all along.
And now, in our day, everyone who turns from their sins and trusts in Jesus will receive the forgiveness of sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit , who is the down payment and the guarantee of our final inheritance, and a place among God’s people.
Colossians 1:13–14 ESV
13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
And so, on the last page of the Bible, Jesus says this
Revelation 22:16 ESV
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
Quote -
Listen to this quote from Thomas Schreiner, a New Testament scholar and biblical theologian:
“And yet David was not the king through whom the Lord would bless the whole world. Although his trust in and obedience to Yahweh were exemplary, the narrative also emphasizes his sin against Yahweh and the terrible consequences that were unleashed on the kingdom through his sin. David offered to atone for the nation’s sin, but a better offering was needed to atone for Israel. David points forward to a better king, a king who always did the will of the Lord, Jesus the Christ. Just as David was persecuted by Saul, so too Jesus was persecuted by his enemies. Just as David did not turn to evil when he was mistreated, so too Jesus “continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Pet. 2:23). “He is the True King, who rises like a sun and causes the vegetation of the land to flourish.” Finally, Jesus, unlike David, could offer himself for the forgiveness of sins because he was the sinless one, and therefore the blessing promised to the whole world through Abraham would become a reality through him. Jesus was not only the true king but also the “faithful priest” (1 Sam. 2:35).”
Thomas Schreiner (2013)
Application -
The most important way that we can learn from the life of David is to love the one David was pointing to all along — our Lord Jesus Christ, David’s Son and David’s Lord.
Big Idea: We need to learn from David as we look to the Greater David.


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