Psalms That Reference David’s Life

I just finished teaching through the life of Israel’s King David at our church (thank God for technology that allows me to teach virtually!). Because of David’s poetic labors as the “sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Sam 23:1), we have the benefit of being able to learn spiritual lessons not just from the record of David’s life in 1 & 2 Samuel, but also from his songs in the book of Psalms. We can see how David (and/or Israelite worshipers after him) reflected theologically on key moments he experienced.

For those who are interested in seeing which Psalms are tied directly to events in David’s life, here’s a quick reference list:

David escapes Saul’s attempts to kill him in Israel (1 Sam 19:11-18): Psa 59

David leaves Ahimelech the priest and is sold out by Doeg (1 Sam 21:1-9; 22:9-10): Psa 52

David goes to King Achish/Abimelech in Gath (1 Sam 21:10-15): Psa 34, 56

David hides in the Judean wilderness (1 Sam 22-24): Psa 63

David’s whereabouts are reported to Saul by the Ziphites (1 Sam 23:19-25): Psa 54

David hides from Saul in the Judean caves (1 Sam 22:1; 24): Psa 57, 142

David dedicates the Lord’s sanctuary (2 Sam 6?): Psa 30

David conquers the Edomites (2 Sam 8:11-15): Psa 60

David repents of his affair with Bathsheba (2 Sam 11-12): Psa 51

David flees from Absalom (2 Sam 15): Psa 3

David’s reign secured (2 Sam 22): Psa 18

Side-note for those interested in serious study of the Psalms: Many scholars question whether David himself actually wrote these psalms, or if the title “of David” means something more like “associated with the Davidic kings (i.e. the kings of Judah), or was just a later, made-up tradition. For a good scholarly defense of the view that David did indeed write the psalms associated with him, see the introduction in Derek Kidner’s commentary, Psalms 1-72, pgs. 48-49, 58-61. A mediating view is that these poems originated from David in shorter forms but were later expanded and adapted for use in Israel’s worship (much like many artists today update or remix older hymns to keep them contemporary). I personally think they do indeed stem from David’s pen (at least in an initial form), as did the authors of the NT.

And a personal side-note for those who’ve been following my blog: You may have noticed that over this past weekend I lapsed in my commitment to posting every day I’m in quarantine. I know, I know, what a slacker I am! Haha. But in truth, now that I’ve gotten back up to speed with teaching every week, I’m going to go ahead and bring that commitment to a close so I can have more time for reading and research (and maybe even some rest).

See you down the path.



Categories: Bible study, Old Testament

Tags: , , , , , ,

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