Focal Passages: 1
Samuel 22:17-20; 23:1-6, 9-13
The first images that
come into your mind when you think about David are probably shepherd boy, giant
killer, and king of Israel. But a closer look reveals two aspects of David’s
life that paint a richer and even deeper portrait of his true character.
In both the Old
Testament and the New Testament he is called “a man after God’s own heart” (1
Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). And as the author of more than 70 psalms, David is
known as a mighty man of prayer.
This lesson focuses on
the power and the importance of seeking God’s guidance in every aspect and in
every decision of your life.
The scripture passages
stress how critical it is to seek God’s will first and to follow His leading —
not to make your own plans and then expect God’s blessings upon your
Before fighting the
Philistines at Keilah, David “inquired of the Lord” and “the Lord answered him”
When his men confessed
how afraid they were, “once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord
answered him” (23:4).
Upon learning that Saul
was pursuing him in Keilah, David twice inquired of the Lord about what his
plans should be.
Each time David
petitioned God, God answered and David obeyed.
It is important to
note, however, that David was human — just like the rest of us. He sinned many
times and had to live with the consequences of those sins.
The lie he told to
Ahimelech the priest (21:2) eventually led to the death of 85 priests and to
the destruction of the town of Nob with all “its men and women, its children
and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep” (22:19).
David did, however,
take full responsibility for his actions (22:22-23).
The book of Psalms
contains several “penitential” psalms that record David pouring out his heart
to God and asking for forgiveness and cleansing from his sins: Psalm 6, 32, 38,
The book of Psalms is
also full of David’s petitions for God to shelter him (Psalm 11); to deliver
him (Psalm 34); to protect him (Psalm 52); to be merciful to him (Psalm 56,
57); to help him (Psalm 70, 101); and to hear him (Psalm 86, 141, 142, 143).
David truly was a man
of prayer — fully expecting God to hear and answer his petitions and cries for
And he truly was “a man
after God’s own heart” — fully trusting God to meet his every need. Is the same
true for you?