St. David the King — The Spirit of the Lord Rushed Upon Him

“Then all the elders of Israel came to the King in Hebron, and at Hebron King David made a covenant with them in the presence of the LORD; and they anointed him king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.” —2 Samuel 5:3-4

Arent de Gelder, “Ahimelech Giving the Sword of Goliath to David,” 1680s
Arent de Gelder, “Ahimelech Giving the Sword of Goliath to David,” 1680s (photo: Public Domain)

It is fascinating to consider that King David was raised as a shepherd, was the great-grandson of Ruth, and became the greatest king of the Old Testament and an ancestor to the greatest king of the New Testament — Jesus.

As King Saul fell into disfavor with God, the Lord instructed the last judge of Israel, Samuel, to anoint David as a young shepherd of Bethlehem as a replacement king of Israel. David’s kingship was not publicly understood at first. Initially, he was actually called upon to serve at Saul’s court as a harpist and armor-bearer. It was near this time frame that David had his legendary battle with the Philistine giant, Goliath.

Before long, David’s popularity grew, causing King Saul to become jealous. The king’s increasing envy forced David to flee, and he spent years hiding from the emotionally plagued king. Astoundingly, David had two opportunities to kill Saul but out of respect and hope opted not to. Finally, during a skirmish with the Philistines, Saul was cornered and deliberately fell upon his sword. David then became the outwardly recognized king of Israel.

For a short time, Saul’s son Ishbaal ruled the northern tribes, but upon Ishbaal’s death, David became king of the whole nation of Israel. King David often turned to God for guidance and became very successful at expanding and strengthening Israel. He established Jerusalem as the capital and had the Ark of the Covenant holding the tablets of the Law brought there.

Sadly, David’s personal life was not as spectacular. He had an affair with a married woman, Bathsheba, and had her husband deliberately put in harm’s way, causing his death; this act brought about a deep anguish within the king’s heart. Another time, one of David’s own sons, Absalom, tried to overthrow his father, causing great sorrow for the king.

Many of the Psalms are believed to have been composed by St. King David. These writings beautifully illustrate his great love of and trust in God.


A Biblical Novena to St. David the King

The feast of St. David the King is the last of the Bible Saint memorials of the year — Dec. 29. He is recognized as the patron saint of poets due to his rich, soul-inspiring Psalms. Though St. David had his fair share of sin, his example of repentance is striking and persuasive. Perhaps you would be interested in grabbing a notebook and your Bible for nine successive days to pray about and take notes on the passages below. See if St. David can inspire a new dimension of faith in your heart. 

  • Day 1) Matthew 1:5–6
  • Day 2) 1 Samuel 16:1–23
  • Day 3) 1 Samuel 17:32–58
  • Day 4) 1 Samuel 18:6–9
  • Day 5) 1 Samuel 24:8–11
  • Day 6) 2 Samuel 6:11–19
  • Day 7) 2 Samuel 11:1–27
  • Day 8) 2 Samuel 12:1–25
  • Day 9) Psalm 139
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