Portraits of Kingdom Living – Lesson Three
David: A Man After God’s Heart (Part II)
I. DAY ONE
A. Focus: Psalm 63 is moving prayer by one who has learned that the Lord is his life. Have you learned that yet? Meditate on this psalm this week and allow God’s Word to mold your thinking by His truth. Start with Psalm 63:1-3.
1. What if you had to give a title to place at the bottom of a portrait of King David?
What would it say? How could you put in to just a few words something that would give a true picture of this man after God’s own heart? Just to help us remember last week and tie it into this week in the life of David, let’s make a play on words to give a title to our current portrait; How about:
A Handsome Harpist who was a Humble Hero
A Faithful Friend who becomes a Forgiven Failure
Can you think of another? Maybe you will by the end of the week–be creative!
2. We are going to see another side to David, and perhaps a part of him that we can relate to a little more than killing giants, or hiding from angry kings.
Read II Samuel 7:1-17. David is now the ruling king. Read what the Lord says to him from this passage (this is known as the Davidic covenant). Nathan was a prophet advising David, just as Samuel advised Saul.
a. What was David’s concern from verse 2?
b. That night, Nathan receives a revelation from the Lord. What is God’s initial response to David’s desire to build Him a house (vv.5-7)?
c. Read through God’s message slowly (vv. 5-17). Take a pencil and underline how many times God say, “I WILL”.
d. How many did you underline? What will the Lord do?
e. Who is in control? What do you learn about God and His relationship to the king from this covenant passage?
f. Does David accomplish anything in his own strength? Read Psalm 21:1-7. What do you hear from David’s words?
g. Are all the promises from the Davidic covenant to be realized in David’s lifetime? What does God promise David concerning David’s future son?
h. What did God remind David of in verse 8?
i. Do you ever stop and think about what God has done for you? Why is it important to meditate on God’s divine providence in our own lives?
j. We have a tendency to want to manipulate and control our future and the future of our children, don’t we? Although planning is important; it’s even more crucial we realize the sovereignty of God in our lives.
3. Although we don’t have personal prophets revealing our future to us, we do have God’s word and His promises to us and our children just the same. Read Daniel 4:34-35 (this is what God teaches a prideful king). What do you learn about God from this passage? How does this truth line up with Matthew 6:33?
C. Fill: End your study today by meditating on Isaiah 40:21-31. Is there anything in your life God can’t handle? He’s waiting for you to trust Him. Use this passage to guide your prayer as you surrender all control to Him.
D. Follow: We are going to memorize Psalm 63. Start working on verse 1. If you can’t memorize word for word, just work on ‘learning it by heart.’ Ask God to help you. He wants us to hide His word in our hearts (Psalm 119:11).
II. DAY TWO
A. Focus: Psalm 63:3-5
B. Feed: David’s heartfelt response to God’s Word spoken through Nathan is one of the most moving prayers in Scripture. Let’s study it one paragraph at a time and observe the man after God’s own heart as he prays. Begin by slowly reading the whole prayer in II Samuel 7:18-19.
- David probably entered the tent that he had set up for the ark, and then sat himself in front of the ark (symbolic throne of God). Read verses 18-19 again. What phrases does David use that gives you the sense he is overwhelmed by God’s goodness?
- With what title does he address God? How many times does he call out this title to God in this prayer alone? What is he acknowledging in his first few words of prayer?
- David made an effort to go to prayer. He went to a certain place and took on a specific posture. It’s okay to ‘pray on the fly,’ but why do you think it is important to initiate purposeful, private prayer times?
- Read verses 20-21. David is communicating with the Almighty, but he knows he is talking to his Father who knows him intimately. What does he acknowledge in these verses as the purpose for God’s actions toward him and his family?
- How does he know what the word of the Lord is and what His will is? (See II Samuel 7:5.)
- Today, we have God’s written word. He still fulfills His promises for the sake of His Word and according to His will. Can we, like David pray according to God’s will by knowing His Word? How might this effect our prayer times?
- Read verses 22-24. David reflects on the greatness of God verbally, in God’s presence. Do you think he prayed this way to flatter God? What does focusing on God’s character in prayer do for us?
- Read verses 25-26. What was the motive for David wanting God to keep His promise? What would men be saying forever?
- It’s hard to pray seeking God’s glory over our own comfort and selfishness. David prayed seeking first the Kingdom of God! To pray this way, we need to have an understanding of how God’s Kingdom works. Do you think getting to know God’s Word will change your prayer life? In what way?
- Read verses 27-29. David’s confidence in God is strengthened as he stands upon the promises God made to him. What gives him the courage now?
- We too can approach God with courage. What does Hebrews 10:23 say?
C. Fill: The New Testament is full of promises for us to stand on as we pray. Read I Corinthians 1:4-9. Can you use these verses to claim some promises of God toward you? Do these promises build your confidence in your relationship with God? Do you see evidence of God being the SOVEREIGN LORD in these verses? Think about how David prayed again. Try praying, not asking for anything, but just acknowledging what God has already done for you.
D. Follow: You may want to write out your prayer in your journal. Do you have a specific place you can go and pray in private? What posture do you take in prayer? Is it one that helps to focus your mind on WHO it is you’re relating to? Keep memorizing Psalm 63:1.
III. DAY THREE
A. Focus: Psalm 63:6-8
B. Feed: David was an excellent king who enjoyed victory after victory for his nation. II Samuel 8:14 says, “The Lord gave David victory wherever he went. David was victorious because of God’s power alone. II Samuel 8:15 says, “David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people.” God made a covenant to David and kept His promises.
1. Read II Samuel 11:1-5. Here is the story of David and Bathsheba. Although God warned against it (see Deuteronomy 17:17), David took for himself many wives. He seems to struggle in the area of self-control, especially in the area of sexual lust (II Samuel 5:13). Ask God to open your eyes to what he wants you to learn through this account. What are your first impressions? What does Deuteronomy 17:17 say?
2. The time of year was spring, which in the Middle East meant the rainy season was over, and the roads were dry. It was again, time for war. Verse one clearly states that this was the time when “kings go off to war.” Leading his troops into battle was expected to be the major external activity of an ancient Near Eastern ruler. Was David where he was ‘supposed’ to be?
a. What does this simple fact teach you about making oneself vulnerable to sin?
b. At this point, it seems that David was accountable to no one (no one even asked why he wasn’t going to battle). He was used to wanting and getting anything and everything he desired. Why is it important to have people in our lives that are willing to offend us if necessary to keep us from sin?
c. This time David went too far. What did he take that did not belong to him? (II Sam. 11:4)
d. It seems David has isolated himself. You may have heard the phrase, “it’s lonely at the top.” Dave Edwards (a Christian speaker) says, “all rebellion begins in isolation.” Would you agree? Why do you think that may be the case here? How about for you?
e. What was the first physical consequence of David’s sin?
3. What do the following versed teach us?
a. Numbers 15:39
b. Matthew 5:29
c. James 1:13-15
d. Where does sin begin?
1. Unless we are honest with God, we will never experience intimacy with Him. Do you struggle with lust (being consumed by wanting something or someone that does not belong to you)? Are you involved in sexual sin? Notice the mistakes David made:
a. He avoided his responsibilities (He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.)
b. He was accountable to no one.
c. He isolated himself. (In isolation, the thought life can go wild).
2. These three dangerous components made him very vulnerable to sin(plus the fact that he was disobedient in this area before). Do you find yourself in the wrong place at times?
3. Do you have anyone you can be honest with and ask for help? Are you isolating yourself which is leading to even more rebellion in you? What is your thought life like most of the time? What changes do you need to make? Don’t avoid God with this. He loves you and wants to restore you. We will see how God restores David in our study tomorrow, but right now, if you do struggle, be honest and talk to God openly about your sin.
D. Follow: Keep learning Psalm 63:1
IV. DAY FOUR
A. Focus: Psalm 63:9-11
B. Feed: Refresh your memory of II Samuel 11:1-5
1. As is common with most sin, sometimes the cover-up job is messier than the sin; and always leads to more sin. Read Samuel ll:6-17. (Joab was the leader of the king’s army.) What was David’s solution to the problem?
a. How did Joab get the news to put Uriah on the front lines? (v.14)
b. Can you believe this? Is this any kind of solution? How does sin blind us from doing what’s right?
2. It gets worse. Read II Samuel 11:16-15. What was David’s response to Joab in response to the news of Uriah (v. 25)? Isn’t that just like us? “Don’t be upset…these things happen.” Again, David takes NO responsibility for what has happened. Why is rationalizing sin so dangerous?
3. Read the sad end found in verses 26-27. What does it say?
4. Almost one year later God sends Nathan to confront the king. Read II Samuel 12:1-14. Nathan gives David a word picture. What was the point of the story?
a. Did David immediately recognize himself in the analogy?
b. When Nathan tells it to him straight, how does David react? (v.13)
c. David thought his sins were kept secret, but Nathan points out the truth. What does verse 9 say?
5. How did David describe his experience of hiding in his sin in Psalm 32:3-5?
a. What does God do for David upon his confession? (Psalm 32:5)
b. Did God’s forgiveness take away all negative consequences of his sin?
c. What is David’s conclusion in Psalm 32:1-2? Can you relate to that blessing?
6. Psalm 51 is David’s confession. Read verses 1-10 slowly. What phrases stand out to you? Why did you pick these?
a. What does David acknowledge about God? (1-3 things)
b. What does he acknowledge about himself?
c. What does God desire according to verse 6?
d. Does it make any sense to withhold confession from God? Who suffers for it?
e. What is David’s heartfelt request found in verse 10?
B. Fill: Obviously, we could spend much more time studying the life of David. What has God taught you through him? David was restored to the Lord through confession and repentance. You may want to slowly read through Psalm 51 in an attitude of prayer with the Father. Use it to offer thanks for His forgiveness and/or to restore your own relationship with Him (along with Psalm 32).
C. Follow: Read some thoughts about David below. Record in your journal anything you want to remember about this “man after God’s own heart.” Keep memorizing Psalm 63:1.
David was called “a man after God’s own heart.” That was the caliber of the man, the height to which he had risen. He had become king of all Israel, and he defeated all his enemies. He had risen now to the peak of his life and career-when suddenly the devil tripped him up.
Some words written about David:
Oh, from what heights of blessing it is possible for a man to fall!
To what depths of sin a man can descend, even with all that spiritual background! The higher the pinnacle of blessing, authority, and publicity he has attained by grace, the deeper and more staggering can be his collapse. There is never a day in any man’s life but that he is dependent upon the grace of God for power and the blood of Jesus for cleansing.
— Alan Redpath, The Making of a Man of God (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Fleming H. Rebell, 1962).
One brief spell of passionate indulgence, and then-his character ablasted irretrievably; his peace vanished; the foundations of his kingdom imperiled; the Lord displeased; and great occasion given to his enemies to blaspheme!
–F.B. Meyer, David: Shepherd, Psalmist, King (Fort Washington, Penn.; Christian Literature Crusade, 1977).
When we read this terrible story (David and Bathsheba) we instinctively think of the offence as David’s sin, but this attractive woman cannot be entirely excused. Bathsheba was careless and foolish, lacking in the usual Hebrew modesty, or she certainly would not have washed in a place where she knew she could be overlooked. From her floor top she would often have looked out to the royal palace and must have known that she could be seen. It is not enough merely to avoid sin ourselves. The New Testament insists that Christians must ensure that they do not become a stumbling block to others (Romans. 14:12-21). If David had gone to war he would not have seen Bathsheba that night. If she had thought out seriously her actions she would not have put temptation in his path.
–Raymond Brown, Skillful Hands: A Biography of David (Fort Washington, Penn.; Christian Literature Crusade, 1972).
Crumbling is not an instant’s act,
A fundamental pause;
Are organized decays.
‘Tis first a cobweb on the soul,
A cuticle of dust
A borer in the axis,
An element of rust.
Ruin is formal, devil’s work,
Consecutive and slow–
Fail in an instant no man did,
Slipping is crash’s law.
–Emily Dickinson, New Oxford Book of American Verse (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1976).
V. DAY FIVE
Create in me a pure heart, O god, and renew a
steadfast spirit within me.
I Samuel 13:14
A. Focus: Jesus said that we build a strong foundation as we put His word into practice (Matthew 7:24). This part of the lesson is a little more abstract than Days 1 – 4. There are no right or wrong answers. The goal of this day is to solidify in your mind and heart what you are learning from God’s word.
1. Look back over your lesson for this week. For each day’s lesson, write one or two key points:
2. What verses seem to stand out to you from your study?
3. Why did you pick these verses?
4. What is one lesson or principle you want to remember from your study?
5. How will you apply this lesson to your everyday life?
B. Summary: David’s Portrait of Kingdom Living, Part II
- What did David’s life teach you about living with the Kingdom of God as your primary concern?
- Conclude this lesson by discussing what you’ve written above with your Father.
- Write out your memory verse(s) below:
About the author
I've been a Bible Study teacher for years! I LOVE God's word and am thrilled when others fall in love with it too. However, I've noticed that too many of us stop at the 'information' part of study and don't take the time for the 'transformational' power of lingering with the Living Word. I hope you will journey with me as we listen to what the Spirit in us longs to teach us as we pay attention to His Voice. May God richly bless you with deep roots in Him.View all articles by: Grace Cabalka
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