I’ve been avoiding this post because I’m afraid I can’t do it justice. I’m going to attempt to just hit the highlights of how David was a type of Christ.
Humble beginnings and ordinary appearance
If you’ll remember when the Israelites insisted on having a king, they first chose for themselves Saul, son of “a mighty man of power” who was “choice and handsome.” In fact, it is said that there was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders up he was taller than any of the people.” (1 Samuel 9:1-2) We know what happened with Saul. He was NOT a man after God’s own heart, he was not obedient to the Lord, so the Lord led Samuel to David. David was not in outward appearance the perfect candidate. He evidently did not look kingly. He was the son of Jesse, not a powerful man, but a shepherd. David was not even the oldest son of Jesse, but the youngest. The Lord had to encourage Samuel to “not look at his appearance or at his physical stature” because “the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Isaiah 53 describes the Messiah as One who has “no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men… and we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised and we did not esteem Him.” (2-3) And as for humble beginnings, Jesus was born in an animal feeding trough and raised the son of a carpenter.
Anointed by God
Anointing has to do with being chosen by God and His spirit resting upon His chosen. “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.” (1 Samuel 16:13) “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power” (Acts 10:38), but this was different somehow than with David and all others who have been anointed by God. Normally, oil was used for anointing as symbolic of the presence of the Spirit of God, but in the case of Jesus we see at His baptism “the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove” (Mark 1:10). Since Jesus is conceived by the Spirit of God, and is in fact God, His anointing is really from conception, with His baptism marking the beginning of His public ministry with His Father's endorsement.
David, as a man, was not perfectly obedient to the Lord, but we see His great obedience in stark contrast to that of his predecessor Saul and his descendants who split the Kingdom of Israel in two and introduced idolatry into Israel. David is described as being “a man after God’s own heart.” (1 Samuel 13:14). We can see from the Psalms that David loved God’s Word and praised God for His might, mercy, and tender care. His precious words in Psalm 139 show us David’s desire to obey the Lord at all costs. “Search me O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (23-24)
Jesus was perfectly obedient to His Heavenly Father. Peter, quoting from Isaiah 53:9 testifies that Jesus was He “who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth.” Obedience did not come more easily for Jesus because He was God, “for we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) We also see anguish in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus cries out to God “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Mathew 26:39) So, Christ was perfectly obedient at the cost of sacrifice we cannot even imagine! “He was obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8)
- I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.