What Did David Do In The Bible

Early Life of David

David was born in Bethlehem of Judah to Jesse, the son of Obed. The information about his early life is provided largely in the Book of Samuel, which narrates his destiny as the one chosen by God to be the king of Israel. Few indications of authentic information exist that can help in reconstructing his childhood and life. Through that scant tome and later context, it can be understood that he grew up as a shepherd until he was called upon to go and outwardly serve King Saul.
David had at least eight siblings, the eldest of whom was Eliab. Eliab’s physical strength, grace and stature captivated the attention of the prophet Samuel, who thought him to be the chosen one of God. To Samuel’s surprise it was, David who was anointed by God for the position.
According to the Book of Samuel, David was trained in his youth to handle several weapons like swords, bows and slings. It was this training that proved to be crucial in enabling him to win the fight against Goliath. The fact that he was a skilled musician is also mentioned in the books.

David Becomes an Ally of Saul

David was handed over to the court of King Saul who, at first, was not very happy to have him around. By impressing the court with his music and later by bringing down Goliath with his sling, he earned his place in the court. David’s skills with the sling and his courage earned him supporters and vice versa. Saul’s son Jonathan in particular, formed a close friendship with him.
However, following Saul’s suspicion that David was an indirect threat to his power, he tried to kill David on multiple occasions but eventually gave up. In one incident, after David had proved his loyalty to Saul by willingly exposing himself to Goliath’s javelin even after Saul had forbidden it. The attempt proved that Saul should not have feared David in the first place.

David Rises to Power

Following Saul’s death, David rose to power at the age of 30. David’s power as a leader was quickly felt. He secured many victories for the nation in wars against neighbouring powers, especially the Philistines. Through his victories, the non-Jewish Kingdoms of Zobah, Ammon and Edom, were joined to the Kingdom of Israel. During his reign, he also lifted the blockade of the Jebusite city of Jerusalem, conquered it and made it the capital of Israel.
David greatly expanded the borders of the nation of Israel and improved its internal power and stability.During his reign, he also instituted a highly efficient system of taxation, built the first permanent army, established strict laws and regulations, and reformed the government and judiciary structures of the country.

David’s Repentance and Prayer

David was not above sinning and making mistakes. In one incident, after he committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, he also murdered Uriah by sending him to a doomed battle as punishment. It was after this incident, that David expresses his repentance to God and pleads for forgiveness. His repentance is recorded in the book of Psalms, which narrates his struggles after making such a grave mistake and his efforts to become a better repentant.
The book of Psalms also conveys David’s efforts to stay committed to God and the trust that he puts in God alone. It throws light on the religious and spiritual aspects of David’s life. Many of the psalms are prayers of gratitude or prayers for repentance. Through these psalms, David frequently expressed his faith in God and his gratitude for the divine help that he felt was given to him.

David’s Role in the Jewish Religion

David’s life and the works of his reign are highly significant in the Jewish faith and culture. To this day, his example of greatness and piety is held up high for many Jews to emulate. Furthermore, it is believed that the Messiah would come forth from his line, which legitimises his role even more so in modern Judaism.
It is believed David himself also authored and put together many sacred liturgies and hymns, which are still used in Jewish worship today. David’s leadership and commitment to justice, his watchful care for the faith and his intense longing for peace, have all become symbols of authentic and time-enduring Jewish values up until this day.

David’s Impact on Western Culture

David has left a deep mark in the Western culture. His portrayal in the bible and by later artists, as an ideal king and a servant of God, has enabled him to become an important figure in the Christian tradition.
The strong appeal that David’s attitude and actions have had throughout the centuries can be easily seen in literature, film and music. Many popular authors, playwrights, musicians and movie makers have used the story of David in their works. David and his struggles have also been used by some contemporary religions.

Political Legacy of David

The political legacy of David has been studied by scholars and political theorists in order to gain a better understanding of his leadership, his political ideology and his approach to power. He is seen, by some, to be the first judge-prophet and the first to codify written law.
David has also been seen as the first to bring the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah together, in an attempt to thwart the efforts of the Assyrians. His ambition of unifying the Jewish Nation, to prevent them from being slaves of other Empires, was also seen as an important factor.
It is widely accepted that it was during David’s reign that the primitive, mainly tribal, nation of Israel, was united into a single political unit, with a well-executed judicial, war and tax system.

Transition in the Line of David

Though David was acknowledged as the rightful King of Israel and Judah, neither of these territories was actually his while he lived. When he died, he was succeeded by his son, Solomon.
Solomon greatly expanded the boundaries of the newly unified nation and greatly fortified his rule. However, after Solomon died, discords quickly arose in his line and Israel was fragmented into two Kingdoms: the Kingdom of Israel and the more powerful Kingdom of Judah.
The division was mainly political in nature, with the religious and spiritual aspects being preserved in Jerusalem.Different national identities were created in both Kingdoms, with Jerusalem as the Holy city for the Jews.

Legacy of David in The Persecution of Jews

The persecution that the Jews have endured for centuries has been largely attributed to the legacy of David. Jews were subjected to many horrible acts of cruelty in the Diasporas and beyond, under the pretext of being David’s people and representatives.
Many nationalistic movements have also been inspired by the legacy of David. These early nationalist movements have eventually evolved into more humane views, such as Zionism. The slow process of modernisation and reform that Jewish people have come to achieve, due to the legacy of David, is an inspiring story in itself.

Conclusion of David’s Impact in The Bible

Through his character, his reign and his faith, King David has left an indelible mark in history. His life and its lessons are still being studied and taught. His example is still seen as an ideal; an ideal approaching of piety and righteousness, and of government and rule. And while David himself may have been far from perfect, his legacy remains strong and solemn in the memory of mankind.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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