Kings & Prophets

Few Christians have a deep understanding of the Old Testament kings of Israel, or the prophets and their messages. The purpose of this series is to allow anybody to quickly gain a better understanding of those things, as well as an appreciation of how that information is relevant today. The Old Testament prophets were real people who proclaimed important messages from God that have stayed true for thousands of years. Jesus and the apostles thought the kings and prophets were important, so we should, too.

It is no wonder that few Christians have deep familiarity of the kings and prophets. Christians tend to read the New Testament, while the kings and prophets are in the Old Testament. The books of the kings and prophets  are not arranged in chronological order, the history of ancient Israel and its neighbors is complex, and the geography of the region is an ever-shifting jigsaw puzzle. The language of the prophets is often symbolic or metaphorical, and the intended messages seem to be shrouded in mystery. Lastly, many people assume that Old Testament prophecies have mostly been fulfilled, so they must not still be very important.

Perhaps our attitudes would change if we thought of prophets as truth tellers, not fortune tellers. Their truths stand important today. Besides, it may be that a number of their prophecies of the future have not yet been fulfilled.

Shepherd Poet King Sinner

Perhaps it might be helpful to think about David’s life in four segments: youth, early adulthood before becoming king, first half of kingship, and second half of kingship.

David’s first occupation is as a shepherd. He probably starts before he is ten years old, likely as an apprentice. For the next several years, he spends time in solitude protecting the sheep and enjoying nature. It is during this time that he learns to use a sling and staff, play a harp, and compose songs and poems. It is also during this time that he is secretly anointed to be a future king, and the Spirit of God comes upon him powerfully…and stays upon him.

Although the timing of events is uncertain, the second segment of David’s life starts when he takes his brothers some lunch. Before the trip is over, he kills Goliath and takes the giant’s bloody head to Jerusalem. He goes into the service of Saul, where he becomes a mighty warrior. As Saul becomes more and more paranoid, David is forced to run for his life. He lives in the countryside and forms a small army. He avoids Saul, gathers support from the common people, and lives among the Philistines long enough to learn about them and their methods of warfare. This part of his life ends when Saul and Jonathan are killed and David becomes the second king of Israel.

King David and Nathan
Primary Scriptures:
1 Samuel 16 – 2 Samuel 12, 1 Chronicles 11-19
Story Summary:
David and Goliath, David as king, Bathsheba
Kingdom of Israel
Circa 1050-970 BC