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Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 20: David Becomes King

This entry is part 20 of 52 in the series

"Bible Narratives Devotional"

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Week 20: David Becomes King

Weekly memory verse:

Psalm 20:7 – “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

Weekly hymn:

“Rejoice, the Lord is King” (free download)

Weekly catechism:

Why must the Redeemer be a true and righteous human?
The Redeemer must be a true and righteous human because the justice of God requires that only one with a human nature who has not sinned may pay for my sin.

Day 96: The Death of Saul

Reading: 1 Samuel 31:1–13; Psalm 76


1 Samuel 31, Verse 2. Sons. Saul had four sons, three of which were killed in battle on this day.

Verse 4. Fell upon it. Saul’s suicide was not an act of courage, but rather the ultimate evidence that he did not trust in the Lord.

Verse 6. All his men. It is unlikely this means that all 3,000 of Saul’s men died on that day, especially considering 2 Samuel 2:8 indicates that Saul’s own general, Abner, survived; more likely, this is a general sentiment that communicates the horrendous nature of the slaughter by the Philistines.


Saul displayed his ultimate self-interest and lack of trust in the Lord by committing suicide when he realized the battle against the Philistines was lost. This ended what was an almost universally disastrous reign, which God had promised when the people begged for a king. Now the stage is set for God’s chosen one to take his rightful place.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why should Saul have trusted in the Lord rather than take his own life, even when he feared mistreatment by the Philistines?
  2. Why do you think God allowed for such a terrible defeat?
  3. How had God protected David by not allowing him to be part of this battle?

Day 97: David Anointed King of Judah

Reading: 2 Samuel 1:1–2:32; Psalm 110


2 Samuel 2:4. Anointed. Saul had already anointed David in a private ceremony (1 Sam 16:3), but now he is officially recognized as king in Judah.

Verse 11. Seven years. Since Ish-bosheth reigned only for two years over the rest of Israel, it must have taken him five years to consolidate his power there.

Psalm 110. This Messianic psalm is the most quoted psalm in the New Testament. It refers to the future reign of Christ on earth.


With Saul dead, David begins to establish his reign over Israel. Yet this does not happen immediately. David first gains control only over the southern portion of Judah, while Saul’s only surviving son, Ish-bosheth, establishes his rule over the rest of Israel. One day, the Messianic descendent of David will rule the whole earth from the same region.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did David grieve over the death of Saul, despite the fact that Saul had wanted to kill him?
  2. How did David’s inquiry of the Lord contrast with Saul’s?
  3. How did David try to persuade the people to follow him rather than force them?

Day 98: David Anointed King of Israel

Reading: 2 Samuel 3:1–5:4


Chapter 3, Verse 1. Long war. The transfer of power lasted at least as long as the two year reign of Ish-bosheth.

Verse 13. Michal. Not only did Michal rightly belong as David’s wife, but bringing her to him, David would further gain sympathy with those within Saul’s household.

Chapter 4, Verse 4. Mephibosheth. This brief introduction is included to indicate that Jonathan’s son was not able to rule and thus not a threat to David.

Chapter 5, Verse 3. Anointed. This is David’s third anointing and the one by which he establishes his rule over the entire nation.


After several years of war and consolidation of power, God finally establishes his chosen king over all of Israel. God had promised this would happen, but God often works through human means and in ways that might not seem to make sense to human observers. Yet God’s plan is always right, and the way in which David takes power only helps to unify the nation under his reign.

Discussion Questions

  1. How did David show character and nobility in how he gradually gained rule over Israel?
  2. Why did David request that Michal be brought to him?
  3. What reasons do the elders of Israel give for why they have chosen to submit to David’s rule?

Day 99: David Becomes King in Jerusalem

Reading: 1 Chronicles 11:1–23; Psalm 20


1 Chronicles 11, Verse 4. Jerusalem. Jerusalem was an ideal place for David to establish has his capital both politically and defensively. Politically it helped to unite the northern and southern tribes. The city was also easily defensible as it was surrounded on three sides by deep valleys.

Psalm 20. This psalm commemorates Israelite war, where God was considered the king, and the human king was his mediatorial general fighting on his behalf.


God finally fulfills his promises to David and establishes him king over all the tribes of Israel. David wisely chooses Jerusalem as his capital city and begins his reign.

Discussion Questions

  1. Was it good for David to make the criterion for choosing his general whomever killed the Jebusites?
  2. Why was David’s choice of Jerusalem as his capital wise?
  3. Why was every battle in Israel considered holy? Can the same be said of war today?

Day 100: David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem

Reading: 1 Chronicles 13, 15:1–16


Chapter 13, Verse 3. Ark. The ark had been stored in Kiriath-Jearim for twenty years.

Verse 7. New cart. The Law required that the ark be carried by sons of Kohath using prescribed poles.

Chapter 15, Verse 16. Musical instruments. David carefully prescribed the musical instruments for the return of the ark, a large lyre, a small lyre (translated “harp”) and set of hand cymbals that the musical leaders would use to keep the musicians together. These would later become the instruments prescribed for use in temple worship.


While David’s motivation for bringing the ark to Jerusalem was noble, the fact that he did not consult the Lord or his Word first led to Uzzah’s tragic death. It was not until David followed the Lord’s clearly prescribed instructions for transporting the ark that God blessed his endeavor. God cares both about an individual’s pure motives and obedience to his commands.

Discussion Questions

  1. What was David’s motivation for bringing the ark to Jerusalem?
  2. Was it harsh for God to kill Uzzah?
  3. How did David demonstrate more care and commitment to God’s commands the second time he brought the ark to Jerusalem?
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About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.