David, man after God’s own heart, was God’s chosen man at a crucial time in Israel’s history. We can learn from him.
Of all the leaders in ancient Israel, the greatest are Moses, whom we have already discussed, and David, who is the subject of this article. David’s father was Jesse, the son of Obed and descendant of Boaz, a wealthy landowner. His ancestral lineage was through the line of Judah, a ruler among his people. David was Jesse’s youngest son, a shepherd boy, without the obvious potential of his older brothers. Nonetheless, David had a heart after God, and that enabled him to become the greatest king of Israel.
Israel had been ruled by judges for hundreds of years since conquering the Promised Land. Eventually, the people grew tired of local government and wanted a king to rule over them. Their choice was Saul, a man of the central tribe of Benjamin who was remarkable primarily for his good looks and his height (1 Samuel 9:2). The story of his rise to power in 1st Samuel is somewhat bizarre, but God gave him every chance to succeed. Unfortunately he had major flaws as a king and the Lord rejected him (1 Samuel 15:22-28). God sent Samuel to anoint a new king of His own choosing, sent him to Bethlehem to the house of Jesse, and here David, the unlikely leader, entered the stage.