Lessons from the Life of David – Foundations of Character

December 30 – January 5, 2019

Key Text

“The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Study Help:  Patriarchs and Prophets, 637–642; The Signs of the Times, June 8, 1888.


“David was susceptible to the influence of the Holy Spirit, and the Lord in His providence trained him for His service, preparing him to carry out His purposes. Christ was the Master-builder of his character.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1018.



  • At the beginning where did God place our first parents? Genesis 2:8.

Note: “It was under the trees of Eden that the first dwellers on earth had chosen their sanctuary. There Christ had communed with the father of mankind. When banished from Paradise, our first parents still worshiped in the fields and groves, and there Christ met them with the gospel of His grace. It was Christ who spoke with Abraham under the oaks at Mamre; with Isaac as he went out to pray in the fields at the eventide; with Jacob on the hillside at Bethel; with Moses among the mountains of Midian; and with the boy David as he watched his flocks.’’ The Desire of Ages, 290, 291.

  • How can people today benefit from an early education similar to David’s? Psalm 19:1, 7–14.

Note: “The psalmist connects the law of God in the natural world with the laws given to His created intelligences. [Psalm 19:7–14 quoted.]” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1144.



  • How did David utilize his artistic gifts? Psalms 66:1, 2, 16, 17; 105:1, 2.

Note: “The simple shepherd boy sang the songs of his own composing, and the music of his harp made a sweet accompaniment to the melody of his fresh young voice. The Lord had chosen David, and had ordered his life that he might have an opportunity to train his voice, and cultivate his talent for music and poetry. The Lord was preparing him in his solitary life with his flocks, for the work He designed to commit to his trust in afteryears.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1018.

  • What affirmation did David make as he sang? Psalm 66:18–20.

Note: “Who can measure the results of those years of toil and wandering among the lonely hills? The communion with nature and with God, the care of his flocks, the perils and deliverances, the griefs and joys, of his lowly lot, were not only to mold the character of David and to influence his future life, but through the psalms of Israel’s sweet singer they were in all coming ages to kindle love and faith in the hearts of God’s people, bringing them nearer to the ever-loving heart of Him in whom all His creatures live.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 642.

  • How can appropriate singing be well utilized today? Psalm 100:2.

Note: “With patient calmness He [Christ] met the sneers, the taunts, and the ridicule of His fellow workers at the carpenter’s bench. Instead of retorting angrily, He would begin to sing one of David’s beautiful psalms; and His companions, before realizing what they were doing, would unite with Him in the hymn.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 936.



  • What was Samuel’s dilemma when God sent him to anoint one of the sons of Jesse? 1 Samuel 16:1–6.

Note: “As Samuel looked upon his princely bearing, he thought, ‘This is indeed the man whom God has chosen as successor to Saul,’ and he waited for the divine sanction that he might anoint him. But Jehovah did not look upon the outward appearance. Eliab did not fear the Lord. Had he been called to the throne, he would have been a proud, exacting ruler.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 638.

  • What should we learn from this experience of Samuel? 1 Samuel 16:7; John 7:24.

Note: “We may learn from the mistake of Samuel how vain is the estimation that rests on beauty of face or nobility of stature. We may see how incapable is man’s wisdom of understanding the secrets of the heart or of comprehending the counsels of God without special enlightenment from heaven. The thoughts and ways of God in relation to His creatures are above our finite minds; but we may be assured that His children will be brought to fill the very place for which they are qualified, and will be enabled to accomplish the very work committed to their hands, if they will but submit their will to God, that His beneficent plans may not be frustrated by the perversity of man.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 638.



  • What were some of the recognized qualifications of the future king of God’s choice? Describe God’s choice and the wisdom of His plan. 1 Samuel 16:18.

Note: “When God called David from his father’s sheepfold to anoint him king of Israel, He saw in him one to whom He could impart His Spirit.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1018.

“David was not of lofty stature, but his countenance was beautiful, expressive of humility, honesty, and true courage. The angel of God signified to Samuel that David was the one for him to anoint, for he was God’s chosen. From that time the Lord gave David a prudent and understanding heart.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 78.

  • What foundational principles are key in obtaining wisdom and honor? Proverbs 15:33; Ecclesiastes 7:8.

Note: “The elder brothers, from whom Samuel would have chosen, did not possess the qualifications that God saw to be essential in a ruler of His people. Proud, self-centered, self-confident, they were set aside for the one whom they lightly regarded, one who had preserved the simplicity and sincerity of his youth, and who, while little in his own sight, could be trained by God for the responsibilities of the kingdom. So today, in many a child whom the parents would pass by, God sees capabilities far above those revealed by others who are thought to possess great promise.

“And as regards life’s possibilities, who is capable of deciding what is great and what is small? How many a worker in the lowly places of life, by setting on foot agencies for the blessing of the world, has achieved results that kings might envy!

“Let every child, then, receive an education for the highest service.” Education, 266, 267.



  • How did David explain how his experience in shepherding sheep taught him his relationship and experience to the Lord? Psalm 23.

Note: “How sweetly are his [David’s] experiences as a shepherd lad reflected in the words: [Psalm 23:1–4 quoted].” Education, 164.

  • Explain the purpose and result of this secret anointing. 1 Samuel 16:13.

Note: “Samuel had not made known his errand, even to the family of Jesse, and the ceremony of anointing David had been performed in secret. It was an intimation to the youth of the high destiny awaiting him, that amid all the varied experiences and perils of his coming years, this knowledge might inspire him to be true to the purpose of God to be accomplished by his life.

“The great honor conferred upon David did not serve to elate him. Notwithstanding the high position which he was to occupy, he quietly continued his employment, content to await the development of the Lord’s plans in His own time and way. As humble and modest as before his anointing, the shepherd boy returned to the hills and watched and guarded his flocks as tenderly as ever.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 641.

“David, in the beauty and vigor of his young manhood, was preparing to take a high position with the noblest of the earth. His talents, as precious gifts from God, were employed to extol the glory of the divine Giver. … As he beheld the love of God in all the providences of his life, his heart throbbed with more fervent adoration and gratitude, his voice rang out in a richer melody, his harp was swept with more exultant joy; and the shepherd boy proceeded from strength to strength, from knowledge to knowledge; for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him.” Ibid., 642.



1     What are some of the spiritual benefits of spending time in nature?

2    What personal benefits can we derive from the psalms of David?

3    What should we learn from the lesson given to Samuel?

4    Are we qualified to judge others’ actions?

5    How did David respond to the honor showed?