Biblical Character Analysis
The Bible serves as a spiritual guide for us to live by. It tells the story of the creation of the world and shares God’s plan for our lives. Over time there were individuals that God chose for leadership and those individuals rose to the challenge of leading nations through both victory and failure. This literary analysis will tell the story of one of the most fearless leaders in the Old Testament, King David. We will look at his life and follow his time line as a leader. Focusing on the successes of his reign as well as the failures he experienced. We will also discuss how King David handled his failures and if his decisions where pleasing unto God’s plan for his life. The goal of leadership is to improve the quality of life for those you lead. This literary analysis will also tell of the amazing grace and mercy God had upon King David. Despite his wrong doings, King David was still able to receive forgiveness and blessings with the amazing favor of God.
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Preparation for The Throne
In order to get a clear view of David’s life, we must begin at the beginning. David was born in Judah and he was the youngest son of Jesse and a descendent of Ruth. David would tend to the sheep for his father and is well known for amazing courage when he slayed the Philistine giant Goliath with one smooth stone and his slingshot. David was a childhood hero but as an adult he would be faced with challenges. When David fought God’s battles, God fought David’s battles. When David fought God’s battles, God stood with him and protected him, and he was blessed. But when David decided to fight his own battles in his own way, David paid the price for those decisions.
David was a skilled musician and King Saul requested that he play for him to help calm his mind and his thoughts. God had a plan for David’s life and it was being put in motion. David and Jonathan, King Saul’s son became very close. They had a very strong bond with one another and King Saul became jealous and thought David was after his position as king. King Saul sought to have David killed and even though Jonathan’s position as future king was at stake, he still protected David. David was chosen to be a warrior in King Saul’s army. During his time serving, they defeated the Philistines and the people were pleased and chanted “David has slain tens of thousands” which made King Saul jealous. Because of this, David fled to Judah in the maintains. While in hiding, his location was shared by two of King Saul’s men. King Saul went looking for David to kill him. Once David was found, he could have killed King Saul twice, but he chose to spare his life and touch not God’s anointed one (1 Chronicles 16:22, The New King James Version.) King Saul fled and never tried to kill David again.
Later, David hears of the death of both King Saul and his so Jonathan. They were killed in a battle with the Philistines. David emerged from hiding and during this period the people of Judah chose him as king. David became king at the age of 30 and was honest, wise, swift, and God fearing.
King David’s Successes and Failures
As king, David had a huge army of men each representing the 12 tribes of Israel. He had nearly 200,000 men serving in his army. He knew that for his people to have real peace, he had to subdue the enemies around them, and that’s just what he did. He defeated the Philistines, invaded Moab and defeated the army of Hadadezer, King of Zoba in Syria. David made Jerusalem the capitol city and recovered the Ark of the covenant from the Philistines and brought it to Jerusalem. He also wrote the book of Psalms and several hymns. He sought wise counsel to help him rule and he listened to the prophets of God. Because of his numerous victories David soon became known as the most powerful ruler of the East. Though David had much success but he also as king, experience failure.
Becoming prideful and pursuing a battle that was not needed, he was punished by God for doing so. He fell in love with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. Uriah was a solder in David’s army. David wanted to marry Bathsheba, so he sent her husband Uriah to fight in the front lines knowing that he would be killed. Once David heard that Uriah had been killed, he took Bathsheba as his wife. Because of his actions, his first-born child with Bathsheba died. The second child that was born became ill. David prayed, and fasted hoping God would heal his son, but God did not. The child passed away. David and Bathsheba try again, and they are blessed with a son whom they name Solomon. He was destined to rule over Israel. David goes on to have two more sons named, Absalom and Adoniah. The bible states that Amnon, the son of David, rapes his half-sister Tamar, the daughter of David. Absalom kills his brother Amnon at a feast he had invited his brothers to attend. Absalom goes into battle and is killed. David dies a sad man and the throne is passed on to his son Solomon. David advises him to obey God’s commands in order to become a successful king.
Leadership and The Bible
When our minds are on God and we ask him, Lord, where do you want me? What will you have me do? If we are in his will, we are blessed. When we become greedy with leadership and its all about what the leader wants and not those you serve, it is at that moment that the leader will likely fall. As I have shared the story of King David, he was destined for greatness. God chose David because of heart, not his outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7, The New King James Version). Because of David’s love for God, he went on to become one of the greatest Kings in Israel. God had a plan for his life as a child and through the successes and failures God’s plan still came forth. Though David’s life or his reign were not without disappointments and pain, Gods plan still came forth. As leaders, sometimes our families suffer from our disobedience. Look at how David’s decisions affected his children and their actions. But even in the mist of the disappointment and failure, David still trusted God.
Blackaby (2011), stated simply possessing a title does not guarantee respect. Character dictates the kind of leader you become. Position, power and personality can only take you but so far. At some point an individual must give quality and effective leadership to those they are leading. To influence individuals to follow, a leader must be able to communicate effectively and serve the community in which they live. David was truly a Christian leader. His actions were centered around protecting his people and doing what God required
Van Brummelen (2009), stated that it is in Christ that all the treasures and wisdom and knowledge are hidden. Because of this, Christian leaders during biblical times and leaders during the current age, can fulfill the duties of the positions that they hold and held. They were and are effective when executing the plans that God have given them.
As Christian leaders we must use wisdom. We must let our position honor God and others. We must also apply ethical practice to our lives and our position. This will motivate us to do well and live well. This will evoke decisions that are timely to fit the situation at that time. We must saturate the mind and heart with the word of God. Knowing truth and how to apply it. We must also imitate Christ in our daily actions and decisions (Ephesians 5:1, The New King James Version). The goal of educational leaders should be to end well. Allowing our actions to imitate the actions of Jesus Christ. Leadership can be overwhelming. Having wisdom gives direction. Applying strong work ethics lead to ending well.
- Blackaby, H., & Blackaby, R. (2011). Spiritual leadership (Rev. ed.). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Pub. ISBN: 9781433669187.
- David. (2018, September 14). Retrieved November 19, 2018, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/David
- Van Brummelen, H. (2009). Walking with God in the classroom (3rd ed.).
- Colorado Springs, CO: Association of Christian Schools International.