Bible Characters – David
Bible Characters – David
King David – poet, soldier, shepherd, lover, musician, statesman – is a central figure in the history of Israel.
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100 Stand Alone Bible Studies

Bible passage – 2 Samuel 18:33 – 19:8

The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you – O Absalom, my son, my son!” Joab was told, “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” And for the whole army the victory that day was turned into mourning, because on that day the troops heard it said, “The king is grieving for his son.” The men stole into the city that day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle. The king covered his face and cried aloud, “O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!” Then Joab went into the house to the king and said, “Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines. You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come on you from your youth till now.” So the king got up and took his seat in the gateway. When the men were told, “The king is sitting in the gateway,” they all came before him. Meanwhile, the Israelites had fled to their homes.


King David – poet, soldier, shepherd, lover, musician, statesman – is a central figure in the history of Israel, so important that Jesus is sometimes called the Son of David and his kingdom likened to a perfecting and fulfilling of the golden era of King David’s reign.

In this story we see David’s strength of character and sense of responsibility in turning aside from heart-rending personal grief to attend to the affairs of state. We might notice his willingness to listen to his advisors and to put first the well-being of his people, his self-control, and his sense of priorities – but also the passion and depth of the love he brought to his personal relationships.


For more wonderful stories about David’s passionate nature and colourful life, you might like to look at 2 Samuel 11:1 – 12:24 (David and Bathsheba), 2 Samuel 6:12–22 (David dancing before the Lord), 1 Samuel 16:23 (David’s gift of music), 1 Samuel 24 (David spares Saul’s life), and 1 Samuel 17 (David and Goliath), or read one of his songs – perhaps Psalm 51, 55, or 139.


Examine us, O God, and look deeply into our hearts and minds. What do you find there? If we are half-hearted, breathe upon the flame of life ebbing and guttering within us, and kindle it again. If we have been selfish, always putting our own interests above those of our family or community, ignite in us your vision of what it means to serve and to belong to the whole people of God, the household of faith. In this, our time on earth, may we grasp and appreciate the opportunity we have been given to really live and really love; for we ask it in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.