05 July 2006

David, a man after God's own heart (WWDD?)

It would be hard to find anyone in the bible that God liked more than David.

He was directly selected by God to be king, and "the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward."

And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. 1 Sam.16:10-13

His heart "was perfect with the Lord" and "the Lord God of hosts was with him."

David ... grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him. 2 Sam.5:10

His [Solomon's] heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. 1 Kg.11:4, 15:3

He walked in God's ways and kept his statutes.

And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. 1 Kg.3:14

And (with the exception of the matter of Uriah the Hitite) he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord in his every act throughout his lifetime.

Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 1 Kg.15:5
He was, according to Acts, a man after God's own heart.
And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the [son] of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Acts 13:22 (See also 1 Sam.13:14)

So if we want to know what type of person God likes, we need only look at David. Those who believe in the bible should try hard to imitate David, to always ask themselves "What would David Do?" in any particular situation.

With that in mind, then, let's look at some of David's godly acts.

  • He kills Goliath with his sling, beheads him, and carries the head back to Jerusalem. 1 Sam.17:51-57

  • He and Saul have a contest to see who can kill the most people for God, and the women act as cheerleaders saying, "Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." 1 Sam.18:6-7

  • He kills 200 Philistines and brings their foreskins to Saul to buy his first wife (Saul's daughter Michal). 1 Sam.18:25-27

  • He acts like he's crazy, scribbles on the gates of Gath, and lets spit run down his beard. All this he did in front of Israel's enemies in the hopes that they would take him in and protect him from Saul. 1 Sam.21:12

  • He "inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the Lord said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines ... So David smote them with a great slaughter." 1 Sam.23:2-5

  • He vows to kill "any that pisseth against the wall." 1 Sam.25:22, 34

  • He "smote the land and left neither man nor woman alive." 1 Sam.27:8-11

  • He had many (like Joseph Smith, no one knows how many) wives. 1 Sam.30:5

  • He tells one of his "young men" to kill the Amalekite messenger who claimed to have mercifully killed Saul at Saul's own request. 2 Sam.1:15

  • When Joab (David's captain) kills Abner, David says that he and his kingdom are not responsible. The blame, he says, lays with Joab. So David curses Joab, his family, and their descendants forever. Let them all be plagued with venereal diseases and leprosy, starve to death, commit suicide, or lean on staves. 2 Sam.3:27-29

  • Some of David's men kill Saul's son and bring his head to David, thinking that he'll be pleased. But he wasn't. David has the assassins killed, their hands and feet chopped off, and their bodies hung up (for decorations?) over the pool in Hebron. 2 Sam.4:6-7

  • He says that whoever kills the lame and the blind will be his "chief and captain." 2 Sam.5:8

  • He asks God if he should kill some more Philistines. God says yes, and he'll even help. So David and God "smote the Philistines" again. 2 Sam.5:19, 25

  • He dances nearly naked in front of God and everybody. Michal criticizes him for it and Godpunishes her by having "no child unto the day of her death." 2 Sam.6:14, 20-22

  • He kills two thirds of the Moabites and makes the rest slaves. He also cripples the captured horses. 2 Sam.8:2-4

  • He kills and tortures thousands of people, "and the Lord preserved David withersoever he went." 2 Sam.8:6, 14

  • He sees a woman (Bathsheba) bathing and likes what he sees. so he sends for her and commits adultery with her "for she was purified from her uncleanness." She conceives and bears a son (which God later kills to punish David). 2 Sam.11:2-5

  • He tells Joab (his captain) to send Bathseba's husband (Uriah) to "the forefront of the hottest battle ... that he may be smitten and die." In this way, David gets another wife. 2 Sam.11:15, 17, 27 (This is the only thing he ever did wrong. Everything else was "right in the eyes of the Lord.")

  • He tortured or enslaved (depending on translation) the inhabitants of several cities. 2 Sam.12:31, 1 Chr.20:1-3

  • He shows unusual restraint and "went not in unto his concubines." Instead, he imprisons them as a punishment for being raped by David's son, Absalom. 2 Sam.20:3

  • To appease God and end the famine that was caused by his predecessor (Saul), David agrees to have seven of Saul's sons killed and hung up "unto the Lord." 2 Sam.21:6-9

  • Old King David tries to get some heat by having a beautiful virgin minister unto him. 1 Kg.1:1-4

  • In David's last words, he commands his son Solomon to murder Joab. 1 Kg.2:5-9

So if you believe and trust in the Bible, you should try to follow the example of David in everything you do. Just ask yourself in any situation, "What would David do?", and then do likewise. That way you can be sure to do (just like David did) "that which is right in the eyes of the Lord."


Anonymous said...

And then he asked for forgiveness. He wrote a psalm about it. Create in me a clean heart o' God, and renew a right spirit in me. God forgave him and he had faith. He was found to be a man after God's own heart. It proves no matter how bad you do he will still forgive you if you come to him and call on his name.

Anonymous said...

Forgiveness for what, exactly? The Bible says that David never did anything wrong except for the whole Uriah episode.
All the other Hitleresque escapades were not only approved, but often commanded, by God.

Anonymous said...

I can understand how it is difficult for the casual observer of the events especially of the Old Testament to understand the essence of what is being communicated. The problem is the viewing of completely different eras of human existence and development through a present day "western" paradigm. We all know that the world view that exists today and that you all speak from (one that came about because of the gradual entrenchment of a Judeo-Christian mentality) is appalled by the callousness of societies of the past. God is not only all powerful but also all knowing and understands the entire story from the end to the beginning. He knows the full process that man (individually and as societies and nations) must go through to begin to adopt positions of true civilization (value for human life and the environment we must all live in).

The most important thing to God (in both an individual and a society) is your internal heart position (the core person that only you and Him know) being attuned to love and obey Him first and to wanting to be compassionate, fair and just to everyone else. If you read properly the thought processes that David went through (see the Psalms and the stories) you will see an inner core position that was that way(even with all the dreadful missteps he makes).

One of the real undeniable actions of David that shows this was his attitude and response when God informed him he was not allowed to build the Temple (ignore God's reason for the time being); David's response was disappointment but obedience and after having planned and collected material and finery for years he steps down from the throne (while still well able to rule) and installs the son who God had said would build and then provides all the material and plans for the most glorious construction in that era and area. I don't think that sounds like the self obsessed despot that you all are trying to make him out to be. Read the stories of David again and the Psalms and try (honestly) to see the thoughts running through his mind.

Drew said...

re: above

I think the point is for those who think the bible is the word of god and should be followed as such in this day and age. Many people say that the bible should be followed word for word, yet they forget about things like this.

Building Foundations 1x1 said...

in spite of our unbelief, inspite of sin, wrongdoing ie: a lie, to steal, to kill. God still loves us, loves you. and wants to know you. david did many many aweful things, God still loved him. thing is david knew where to turn, a real God who has life in His hands. a real God who wants a relationship with all of us. believe it or not.

Paul said...

don't forget that David was operating not simply as an individual but as leader of a government. While the Bible teaches individuals to "turn the other cheek" persay, it also teaches that the government does not wield the sword for nothing (Romans 13). Consider the police officer as a parallel: As an individual, he is not allowed to kill, but he has authority to kill as a representative of the government/people within certain situation otherwise considered wrong for the average citizen.

Unknown said...

What boggles the mind is that people are STILL trying to justify this. There is no justification for either the behavior of David. If you don't like it then you read it wrong. It's the readers fault for not being able to jump through hoops. Not the author, who justifies rape, murder, torture, genocide...

C'mon people... you really want to excuse that behavior as being acceptable of the times and still trying to say it's ok? It either is ok (and you've got serious issues if that's the case) or it's not ok (and you need to reconsider how much faith you put in the rest of the book if it glorifies that).

Anonymous said...

I don't have time to address all of this post, but the issue of 2 Samuel 12:31 was linked to here from the SAB. This is a perfect example of why ones study of the Bible should involve the consideration of various translations and an examination of the original language. Especially when the study begins with the King James Version.

Regarding 2 Samuel 12:31; 1 Chronicles 20:3 consider The Anchor Bible, which says: “David is setting up work crews of captives for the economic exploitation of the conquered territory, evidently standard practice for victorious kings.” Adam Clarke says: “He made people slaves, and employed them in sawing, making iron harrows, or mining . . . . And in hewing of wood, and making of brick. Sawing asunder, hacking, chipping, and hewing human beings, have no place in this text, no more than they had in David’s conduct towards the Ammonites.”

The following translations convey the correct meaning. NKJ; NIV; CEV; ESV.

Steve Wells said...


I agree that the KJV differs from some other translations on 2 Samuel 12:31 and 1 Chronicles 20:3. Some translations say David tortured the inhabitants, others say he enslaved them. I've changed my comments at the SAB and DIU to reflect that.

I'm not nearly as convinced as you are, however, that you know which translations "convey the correct meaning." Bit it is obvious which meaning you'd prefer to believe.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I want to believe the truth. If David tortured people I would want to know that is how it happened, just as I would want to know about Uriah the Hittite.

I think of the Bible as evidence. Most of the translations differ from what the KJV says on this matter, and you can look at it and determine that those other translations are most likely more accurate, but the KJV said what it said and I wouldn't have removed it's testimony from the record.

I recommend you put it back.

Steve Wells said...


You recommend that I put it back? Why? So you will have something to complain about?

Anonymous said...


Complain about what? You? You did nothing wrong. You only rightly reported what the KJV said. It rather than you were in error, why should you back down? You were right.

I have only that to complain about. Well . . . for now, anyway. ;~)

Unknown said...

I'm far from a casual reader of the Bible. I've been bunkered down for weeks reading it. I've got three different versions.
You can't say that it's all in the translation.. because there's only so many ways in which you can interpret/translate rape, murder, torture. I have noticed that the more modern versions of the Bible use nicer words (eg. Servant vs Slave). This is wrong and I'm pretty sure those that do such are condemned to death (by the bible - I'm thinking Paul).

The problem with trying to justify David's actions is that he's not the only one, of the Biblical heroes, to be outrageously immoral. You can't justify it all unless you're hopelessly lost in love to a book.

To use the excuse that times have changed doesn't gel with me mainly because if there was a god, no matter the age, he'd know right from wrong and teach his followers such. Just because times have changed, that doesn't change our sense of (in)justice.

It's a strange thing to see people try so hard to justify these stories. It's sad.
If it were me, I'd be asking myself 'but what if I'm wrong and this book is merely a book?'

It's not perfect, but flawed. It's flawed in every sense of the word. I've really tried to accept it for something greater than it is, but the problem is that I'm reading it day by day, week by week, month by month (it's getting to that). The stories of David (atrocities) are but a drop in a pool of unspeakable cruelty.
It's one after another, continuously, through each book.. I would have thought that today's world is actually far more morally bankrupt.
There's so many wonderful writers, that shit all over the Bible. Read Seneca.. and you'll see that he was ahead of Jesus.

Unknown said...

I usually try to just follow Jesus. He's the one we're called to follow. I don't believe anywhere in the Bible it says "Try to be exactly like David." That wouldn't work, because David was human. He was imperfect just like me, and just like you. Jesus, however was God and man in one, he was tempted by Satan and resisted, and he was perfect. I know that I can't be perfect, but when I am walking in the light as He is in the light (that is, Jesus, not David) Jesus's blood is continually cleansing me and making me perfect in God's sight. David was a man after God's own heart because he was continually seeking God, and did what the Lord commanded,usually no questions asked. I can prove to you that the Bible is historically reliable if you want. :)

HowToHugHitler said...

As a Christian and a woman I find it very hard to understand most of what happens in the Bible. But the fact remains that God is no more or no less God because of what we understand and what we don't. It isn't morality that gives God his power. It isn't adherence to a moral code that makes you a true Christian. It is a relationship and devotion. It is a willingness to sacrifice anything that you are called to sacrifice.
God is not a teddy bear. He is the Almighty. And He has the authority to choose what He wishes to.

Aldonis said...

Well - he's another perspective. David was a man - just like us - full of flaws, sins, lusts, ambitions, fears, etc. Because of Sin - we all have it. It's part of our makeup. What David also had - and I think the key of David's story - was FAITH. He had Faith in God. Faith in his promises. Faith that God was with him. When the Sin's got the better of him - with Bathseba, Uriah, his fear of Saul, etc - he came back to Faith. He knew that God NEVER gave up on him. That to me is what the David story is about - he's a man - like me - who messed up (in his case pretty bad at times) but always came back to Faith in his ultimate Father.

That's a good news story I think.

Jeffery McDowell said...

Interesting posts.... I think the point is that David was flawed and yet always came back in faith to not only his Creator but more importantly to his Redeemer! "as the deer pants for the water... so my soul thirsts after you, O God!" (Ps. 42:1-2). Context is everything... and in light of that and considering the evil in the world (and yes at times David succumbed to such evil himself) I find that David was a warrior and followed God in battle and proved to be quite faithful... that isn't wishful thinking on my part nor bending Scriptures to paint a pretty picture... but simple and trusting faith in a God that worked through an imperfect yet faithful warrior like King David. The stories actually make perfectly good sense to me and countless thousands if not millions of others like me too! (which isn't an argument simply an observation that is worthy of consideration along with other observations as you consider the Bible and the claims within it)... Because of Christ! :)

Kat Martin said...

Interesting. Where Jeffery sees God working through an "imperfect yet faithful warrior" I see an imperfect and possibly clinically insane God with a viscous frat-boy side-kick.

ingrid said...

The bible states the facts it is historical whether it is pretty or not. They are there I believe so we can look back perceive and not make the same mistakes ourselves. David was imperfect aren't we all? WWDD? Christians follow Jesus not David. For reasons stated so clearly in the other posts. When the people wanted to stone Mary magdalene Jesus said whoever is without sin cast the first stone. No one touched her. It is much easier to point the finger than look at yourself. God must be pretty amazing to create us all so complex and all so individual and different and love us all for the good that is in us. In judges6 he sends his angel to Gideon who calls him "mighty warrior"....... Gideon replies my clan is the weakest and I am the least in my family(paraphrased) God does not see things the way humans do 1corinthians 13:12 "now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face". We will never perceive the nature of god to it's fullest extent not until we enter his presence. We have to have some faith that is why it says without faith we will never please god.

Klay said...

What a joke! This whole post is worthless!

Who in their right mind would ever listen to someone throwing out misquoted single verses, adding a micro commentary, and speaking condemnation accordingly?

If you think that single phrases can communicate the whole message than you need to grow to a point where someone other than the simple will respond to your posts.

A true searcher of truth will discover the true meaning of a phrase in context and original language.

An example would be modern law.

Could a person off the street take a single phrase from an English translation of a law in another language and present it with any authority concerning the subject? Never.

What would actually happen?

Qualified translators would be brought in, the actual intent of the law would be discovered in the original language, and the equivalent intent would be translated into English with cross references, educated commentary, and cross reference.

Your feeble attempts at research and argument are comical child's play. When it comes to the meaning of life... I would expect a little more effort on your part.

All the best in your journey and may you learn to ask the right questions.

Job ogles said...

Unbelivers will jump to conclusions and become judge-mental they have to look at their own lives and their own heart. over 50 million babies have been sacrificed to the god of conveinence in america, christians are the most out spoken movement condeming these sacrifices, and the unbelievers are the majority proponents for the sacrifices

Anonymous said...

What most of y'all don't seem to understand is the the people David was killing and making slaves ( except Uriah) were wicked pagans who insulted the Lord God Almighty and afflicted his people the Israelites. God used Daved to purge wickedness from the land. Also, how can you expect David to be absolutely perfect and blameless when no man can be. He definately did some evil things like committing adultery with Bathsheba and killing her husband Uriah, but after he was made aware of his sin he immediately plead to God for forgiveness in Psalm 51, in fact so many of his Psalms are asking for forgiveness, but also for deliverance from enemies and praising the Lord. You see in all the evil he did he never hardened his heart to God and always consulted him in everything he did and that is why he was a man after God's own heart.

Jeffery McDowell said...

May I have the heart like David as the LORD forgives me my sins and I cry out to Him!

Unknown said...

If God its powerfull and mighty, He should have known from the very start that this action that David committed were wrong and He had to disprove everything regardless on what century happen or biblical wrong translation. David was send by his god to kill other people who believe in a different god or was born in a family with different believes. These action are still done today but differently, where you have religion discrimination against homosexuals or different religions believes, in fact Christians fights with in them self on who is right or wrong, does this means we have to turn like David and kill anyone else because a different believes? Common sense tell us its wrong, where was God common sense back then? Just because you got powers it doesn't mean that all your action are correct otherwise we have to agree that Hitler did nothing wrong. Bottom line is, if your god wants to destroy anyone because their believes differed from yours, my friend you got the wrong god and that's basics believes in every religion, my god its going to destroy you for believing differently.

Unknown said...

On one hand, we should give David a little leeway in saving his own hide, since God was compelling Seth to murder him.

On the other hand, David was an adulterer and murderer. According to the law handed down by God, David should have been stoned to death. Certainly up to that point, one of the reasons God was so furious with his chosen people was their lack of following Gods laws.

Instead, God kills David's first born as punishment for David; then grants him another child with Bathsheba. How is it just and right for God to kill children for the sins of their parents? Only to turn around and reward them with another child.

Anonymous said...

Archaeology has revealed that the kingdom of David and Solomon was nothing like it was described as in the bible. Modern Archaeology has failed to find any great structures from the time of David or Solomon. This should be extremely disappointing for bible believers if you consider that Solomon ruled over the greatest kingdom of all time. The reality is the biblical accounts of David and Solomon is pure bull. Its just some stupid tribal people with small wankers trying to postulate themselves as something they never were. Instead they are a disgraceful people who lied their way to meaning in society.

enlightenedmind said...

I understand this perspective because I was there for a time. What you have to realize is you have been conditioned to rely on what you feel is right and wrong.By doing so you put yourself in the place of God. Evil without God's guidance can get tricky it morphs into things. Isn't It possible that you don't know everything? Therefore this bible could be the ultimate truth and you just don't understand because you don't have the holy spirit to help you? I'm just sayin.

Unknown said...

Enlightend Mind,

I presume you have the holy sprit talking to you about good and evil. If the holy spirit tells you to murder someone, would you do it?

I'm not "just sayin" -- I'd really like to know your answer.

Curtis said...

Enlightenedmind-- the Koran could also be the good and perfect word of god and you could have it all backwards and not know it. How much sleep have you lost over that consideration? Just askin'

MommaJC said...

Jesus said, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye" etc. David in the Old Testament lived by those principles. The Philistines were enemies and it was a cut-throat world back then. They were not living under the Sermon on the Mount teachings (which chronologically were far in the future)... To ask WWDD is stupid. Did you know God's mercy was shown in sending his Son to DIE so that the awful penalty for your sin could be paid. People think that the judgement of God is so horrible (or UNFAIR), but if the debt with a righteous, holy God (and God by definition is a HIGHER AUTHORITY) is never settled (and people like to pick and choose Jesus' teachings to say that God is bad to act in a certain way) and sin is never eradicated, then we will always have the agonies on earth that we suffer today -- and no matter how we try, humanity cannot reform itself -- if you were in paradise, you'd mess it up eventually! There must be an outside goodness to change us. And again, even if from this day on you never did anything wrong, the penalty for wrong we have done in the past (lying, stealing, lusting, coveting) MUST BE PAID. Either you can do it yourself (permanent eradication, so you don't mess up the coming paradise, in a place reserved for the devil - SUPREME EVIL - and his angels), or you can find a substitute, which God graciously provided.

James said...

I believe, The Bible does not "sugar coat" humanities faults and failings, even in "heroes". I believe, it is truthful about how frail and how easily we stray, stumble and fall. I believe, we were given the gift of choosing how we behave, we have been given detailed instructions and examples of good (godly or righteous) and bad (sinful, evil, unrighteous) behaviour both from a study of The Bible, our own history and the natural world. None of us can claim it has not been made perfectly clear.

I reason, God, better than a "good father", has given us vivid and perfect instructions on how to live best for the part of His creation He has given each of us to look after. Our own continued rebellion serves only to show the consequences of putting ourselves first(from those before us, those of us now and those to follow us).

I believe, like a "good and reasonable father", he knows we are not perfect and He does not expect perfect obedience from us all the time (that was Jesus's role). He gave Jesus (His Son and therefore Himself) as the perfect example to follow.

I think, God does ask us to try our best up to the level we are at, to look to His instructions for guidance and most importantly to recognize and admit to our own failings and ask for and receive His free, unearned (that is, not earned by us) gift of forgiveness (earned by the work, life, blood, death and the new life of Jesus - that's why He is my Saviour and could be yours too).

Knowing a Father like this, good, fair, loving, forgiving, lowering Himself to our level, in the human form of His Son Jesus Christ, to take the punishment for our rebellion and ongoing mess, so that He can graciously forgive us (yet remain perfectly just) when we recognize and admit our part, rather than us denying our part and thereby not accepting His pardon but instead insisting on standing trial before Him, based on our own efforts and thereby bringing upon ourselves the only other option of a perfectly just God - perfect judgment and perfect justice.

So, rather than to blame Him for our own mistakes and mess, draw nearer to Him and get to know Him better.

pekingduck said...

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the oath I put into those ashers Poles

pekingduck said...

Them that curses David's. To those that hold David's name evil and wicked. Of course he was evil and wicked in his way but then Jesus Christ died for his sins Fool

pekingduck said...

how can anything be wrong when Godhas made the sky set on the horizon perfectly unless I pOlute it with a lie. all should remain blameless until I shame it. so if you don't like a clear sky renewal reconciliate and revive

pekingduck said...

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