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City Church

Historic Presbyterian Church built in 1756.

11 – Shepherd to King

The Story – Chapter 11: David – From Shepherd to King

This week we get back into The Story with a look at Israel’s second king, King David. We’ll start with the time after David was anointed king, but before he actually became king.

If you don’t have The Story book, you can read First Samuel 16-18, 24 and 31; Second Samuel 6 and 22; First Chronicles 17; and Psalm 59. (We’re looking at lots of different biblical books this week.) 

Chapter 11 - Shepherd to King - Class Notes


Chapter 11 - Shepherd to King - Reflection Paper


Summary of Chapter 11 – From Shepherd to King

Saul was a man’s man. He was tall, handsome, and impressive…a likely choice for a king. He was just what Israel wanted. But it turned out that Saul was not God’s man. Saul often ignored God’s commands, so God found Israel’s future king in the unlikeliest of places – in the house of Jesse in a small village called Bethlehem.

Although the prophet Samuel expected to anoint as king one of Jesse’s older sons, it was the youngest brother, David, out herding the family’s sheep, who God had chosen. David was anointed by Samuel to replace King Saul.

However, even though David had been anointed as Israel’s future king, Saul was still the acting king. We next see David as he goes to supply his brothers on the frontlines of a battle against the Philistine army. When he arrived, David saw what everyone else did not: an opportunity for God’s power to be displayed. Armed with a slingshot, five pebbles, and an extraordinary faith, David faced the giant Goliath…and won.

Saul noticed how God was with David, so he brought David into his court. David was well liked and successful in everything he did, eventually marrying Saul’s daughter and becoming best friends with Saul’s son, Jonathan. But David’s popularity and success planted a seed of jealousy in Saul, to the point where he repeatedly tried to murder David.

David fled for his life and hid in the wilderness while Saul’s fear and irrational behavior grew. Saul’s thirst for David’s blood quickly turned to obsession, and that obsession blinded him to the fact that the Philistine armies were once again on the attack. They prevailed and Saul and his sons were killed.

However, it was another seven years before David was recognized as king over all Israel. As king, David became the military, civil, and spiritual leader. He conquered the city of Jerusalem, made it his capital city, and then brought the Ark of the Covenant there with great fanfare.

David was home at last. His first desire was to build a house, a temple, for God. Instead, God told David, “The LORD will build a house for you” (p. 159). God made a covenant with David and promised him a house (an eternal dynasty), a throne (royal authority), and a kingdom (rule on earth). David responded with worship and gratitude, knowing that distant generations of his own family would welcome the King whose reign would never end.

Discussion Questions

As you read, remember there are discussion questions for each chapter beginning on page 473 of the book and also questions that can be found on The Story bookmark (which is also on our website). Also, feel free to consider some of the questions below:

  1. When Saul disobeyed God at the end of chapter ten (p. 143), Samuel told Saul that the LORD had sought out a man after God’s own heart and appointed him as the ruler for His people. What do you think it means to be a person after God’s own heart based on David’s example? How are you a person after God’s own heart?  
  2. When Samuel goes to anoint Israel’s next king, what does God tell Samuel not to consider (see 1 Samuel 16:7)? How do we tend to look at others? How does it differ from how God sees people? How would you say you are seen in the world’s eyes? How does God see you?
  3. David’s amazing faith gave him the courage to face Goliath when everyone else was afraid. Who or what are the giants in your life that need to be faced with courage? How can God equip you to do this?
  4. Even after David was anointed king, he had to wait a long time for it to actually happen. What does David’s story teach us about the importance of not only knowing whatGod wants, but also how God would have us bring it about?
  5. When the Ark of the Covenant returned to Jerusalem, David celebrated by dancing with everything he had. How does David’s exuberant worship challenge the “temperature” of your worship? Of your congregation’s worship?
  6. When David wanted to build God a temple, God redirected him, just as God sometimes constrains our best intentions because He wants us to serve Him in other ways. Can you think of times in your life when God has redirected you? Looking back, was this initially disappointing? What ultimately happened?
  7. Instead of having David build God a house, God promised to build David’s house (see 2 Samuel 7). Looking back through the lens of Jesus Christ, how do you read God’s promise to build David’s household? How do you think David understood this promise?
  8. What questions came up for you while you were reading this chapter?