David – King, Shepherd, Patriarch, Prophet, Poet… Shall I Continue???

What role did have for David, the Hebrew monarch who lived close to 1000 B.C.?

a) King

b) Shepherd

c) Patriarch

d) Prophet

e) Poet

f) All of the above.    Are you sure??

To cite David as an illustration in a sermon preached by a Jew (Apostle Peter) to Jews, is like an America preacher citing Abraham Lincoln or a British preacher quoting Henry VIII. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter references David as he proclaims the good news about David’s greatest Son, Jesus–who is called the Christ.

Notice the highlighted words (my choice) as I quote Acts 2:29-31

“Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But we was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that He would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay.”


c) Patriarch – “The word is used in its primary sense, as meaning the founder of a family or dynasty.” (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers)

d) Prophet – “a foreteller” “a forth teller” God had revealed to David much truth about the Messiah. Woven into the Messianic psalms are predictions that would not be fulfilled for hundreds of years. Even Psalm 72:8 “He shall have dominion from sea to sea…”, (a portion of this verse is emblazoned in Latin on the Canadian coat of arms) though penned by David’s son Solomon finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

Read the historical books portion describing David’s life and fine tune your understanding by studying the covenant God made with David.  Or read the prophetical books (including ‘For unto us a child is born….’) where the prophet Isaiah anticipates the ever increasing governance of this special ‘son’ who will ‘reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom…’

David is a king, a shepherd, a poet, yet so much more as God assigns him a task in redemptive history that will prepare the people of God for the King of kings, the Shepherd of shepherds, the Patriarch of patriarchs and the Prophet of prophets.

What may we learn from David’s life?

  1. The will of God for him and for us is good, acceptable and perfect. Though David was clearly a sinner in need of forgiveness and restoration, God accomplished what He desired through His life. We may well pray for our lives, ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’
  2. Build your life on the promises of God. ‘Every promise in the Book is mine…’ was a chorus my parents some times sang. Ultimately the promises of God, according to Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, find their fulfillment in Jesus Christ. David tracked the promises of God, paid attention to them and wrote them down. Here we are three thousand years later still studying them.
  3. Seek to use all of your abilities in a Christ-centred way. David’s poetry was Christ-centred. His life pointed to Christ and since his day preachers have like Spurgeon preached from the writings of David yet made a ‘bee-line’ for the Cross. (Spurgeon’s quote – “I take my text and make a beeline for the cross.”)

In whatever role God has assigned to you, to accomplish His will while you have life and breath, follow these Davidic guidelines – Think of Christ, write of Christ, speak of Christ, and ultimately acknowledge your desperate need for Christ! Is it any wonder that David, though sinful, is spoken of as “a man after God’s own heart?”


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