King David is written about more than any other person in the Old Testament. The account of David’s journey from a shepherd boy to becoming king over all Israel points forward to our ultimate King – Jesus the Son of David. Like Jesus, David’s life was characterised by a deep passionate commitment to God and a willingness to face every obstacle he faced with God breathed courage. He was a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14; 16:7 and Acts 13:22).
David’s story also shows frailty and human failure. When we immerse ourselves in his stories, our own lives can be transformed as we discover someone who continually turns to God to overcome limitations. David continually chooses to follow God whole-heartedly in every circumstance of life, even when it requires personal cost, sacrifice and heart-felt repentance. Again and again he is willing to take the risk, leap over a wall, run through a troop and follow God passionately and creatively wherever he leads.
Like all of us David was a flawed hero. We have all sinned and come short of God’s glory. But whatever our challenges, limitations, faults and failures, we can always turn to God and discover meaning, purpose, courage and hope.
In no particular order, below are some suggested guidelines, themes and discussion questions you may utilize in this series:David and Samuel: “An Ordinary Life”
Theme 1: “David was just an ordinary shepherd boy but he was called by God to do extra-ordinary things.”
Key Scriptures: 1 Samuel 16:12-13; 1 Cor. 1:26-31
David was not an extraordinary superhero, but someone whose stories show us how we, as ordinary people, can engage with God. When we sense our own ordinariness, we can find courage in the example of David who was given a task for which he had no seeming qualification except a heart after God.David and Goliath: “Whose Armour are We Wearing?”
Theme 2: David’s confidence was in God. He did not try and wear someone else’s armour, but he trusted in the gifts God had given him and the lessons God had taught him.
Key Scriptures: 1 Samuel 17; Eph. 6:10-20
When faced with an intimidating enemy, David knew what it was to trust in God. Rather than taking on someone else’s identity, or pretending to be someone he wasn’t, he trusted that God had already given him everything he needed to win a significant victory.David in the Wilderness: “In the Wilderness”
Theme 3: David learned some of his greatest life lessons in the wilderness. From Moses to Jesus, wilderness experiences are times and places of testing which seem to prepare God’s people for what is to follow.
Key Scriptures: 1 Samuel 23-26; Psalm 57; Exodus 3; Matthew 4:1-11
Wilderness experiences sharpen our senses, clarify our focus, and filter our priorities. They can be a time and place of overcoming our enemies and also a profound meeting place with God. Many men and women of God have experienced times of great turmoil and heart-ache which could be described as a wilderness. Often the first question asked is why God? At times there is no answer. Perhaps the question that eventually proves the most helpful is – God what can I learn and how are you shaping me in this wilderness experience?David at Ziklag: “Encouragement”
Theme 4: David knew how to first encourage himself in God, then instil that confidence and courage in others to overcome their mutual enemies.
Key Scriptures: 1 Samuel 30; 2 Cor. 1:4; Heb. 12:1-12
Life’s battle can sometimes seem overwhelming. We know we have a limitless resource of courage and strength to draw on in God. However, the capacity to turn to God for that courage and strength when we are under pressure is not developed in an instant. It emerges slowly as we practice turning towards God in our trials. As we learn to exercise our faith day by day in the ordinary pressures of life, we develop the inner capacity to overcome greater obstacles with greater faith. Like an athlete in training, we develop spiritual muscles (Heb. 12:1-12), and then we are able to equip and encourage others to do the same (2 Cor. 1:4). Discussion Questions
1. What can we learn about David and his character in this series?
2. Compare and contrast the major characters in this series. How would you describe each person’s relationship to David?
3. David went through many hardships before he became a king. Have you ever felt your life was in the same place? Feel free to share it with your Life Groups.
4. ow often do you seek God in prayer during times of trouble, like David does? How are you listening closely enough to hear God through your circumstances?
5. David knew God’s will was for him to be king. Here David is being tested to take the shortcut to become king. How are you sometimes tested or tempted to take the shortcut to bring about God’s will in your life?
6. David finds courage and strength by looking back on God’s past faithfulness as assurance of his future faithfulness (e.g. defeating lions and bears). Share a specific example when God has been faithful to you in the past and a way it can cause you to trust God more in a present struggle?
7. What lesson can be learned from the David’s life which is applicable to you in this season. Feel free to share it with your Life Group.
8. Read Isaiah 53:2-6. What similarities do you see between God’s choice of David as king and God’s choice of Jesus as King?