In the previous post I noted that, “Jesus didn’t just appear out of nowhere, according to the Scriptures He’s a part of the royal family of David, which makes him the promised Son of David!” King David is significant to the story of God’s redemptive plan and very special to the Jewish people.
David is considered Israel’s most famous king. Even today among Jews and Christians David’s name is known and remembered for all he accomplished in the name of God. David was influential in expanding Israel’s territory, he defeated the surrounding enemies of Israel, and brought peace to Israel’s borders. Under David’s leadership Israel’s economy grew as he built relationships with the neighboring countries. Most notably, David’s fame took Israel from a fledgling group of separated tribes to a unified nation.
What makes David so unique and astonishing was his faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. David’s faith in the Lord set him apart from every other king of Israel. The writers of Kings and Chronicles would often compare the kings of Israel and Judah to David, because he was the standard. Even more astounding is David understood that even though he carried the title “king” he was merely a representative of the true King of Israel – Yahweh God. I believe this is why God said David was, “a man after His own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14).
The Shepherd King
One of the very first titles given to David is shepherd. When the prophet Samuel found David he was tending to his father’s sheep (1 Sam. 16:11). David did not grow up in the world of Israelite politics, he was the youngest of eight brothers, and it was his job to protect, guide, and feed his father’s vulnerable sheep from potential harm. Even though David’s title went from shepherd to king his nurturing nature to spiritually protect, guide, and feed the people of Israel never disappeared. In fact, 2 Samuel 8:15 says, “So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered justice and righteousness for all his people.” This means King David treated all Israelites equally under the Law of God and did not show partiality when administering justice as he ruled.
David didn’t just shepherd his people politically, he also desired to shepherd his people toward knowing the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As a result David sought to build a permanent house for the Lord and to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem where the glory of the Lord may remain.
Please hear me I’m not advocating that David was perfect… we’re all familiar with David’s litany of sins (adultery, murder, etc.). However, because of his faithfulness to the Lord, he was given a promise by God that would ultimately find it’s fulfillment in King Jesus (2 Samuel 7:14).
The Good Shepherd
When the prophets predicted what the coming of Jesus would look like both Isaiah and Jeremiah highlighted the way Jesus would rule, which sounds similar to the way David ruled, with justice and righteousness.
When Isaiah the prophet prophesied about Jesus he said, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on his shoulders… To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.” (Isa. 9:6-7). Jeremiah said, “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.”
Here again our Good Shepherd (Jn. 10), the Lord Jesus, leads and guides His sheep without partiality. You could see this in the way He would show compassion and grace to those who were marginalized and criticize those religious leaders of Israel who withheld justice and righteousness to those who needed it the most.
Here’s a question… When Saul was pursuing David it’s said that men who were in distress, in debt, and discontent followed after David (1 Sam 22:2). Do you think there is any similarity between those who followed David and those who followed Jesus?