Chosen – David

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Throughout David’s life, he demonstrated some key attributes of following God – being chosen, trust, worship, obedience and repentance.

This study looks at how David was ‘chosen’ by God to be the King over Israel. This is the second in a series for older teenagers, looking at the life of David – ‘a man after God’s own heart’.

Key Passages: 1 Samuel 16, Psalm 139

You will need: projector with speakers/screen, laptop, Bibles, whiteboard/paper, markers, Paper Heart video, posters (optional)

Large Group Teaching: Chosen

In our last session, we summarised David’s story and learnt a bit about his relationship with God. Throughout the rest of this series, we will zero in on some of the key attributes of following God that we see David demonstrate in his life (Chosen, Trust, Worship, Obedience and Repentance). In this session, we look at ‘Chosen’. David was ‘Chosen’ by God to be the King over Israel.

Now, to set the scene a little bit – King Saul was the King before David. Up until the time when Saul became King, God’s people Israel, hadn’t had a King. They had had leaders and judges, but God was their King – this is what set them apart from other nations. But at the beginning of the book of 1 Samuel the people of Israel come to Samuel (who was their leader) and request a king.
They’ve seen that all the other nations around them have a king – they want to be like them! But by doing this they are effectively rejecting God as their King.

However despite this, God gives them what they ask for, and Saul is chosen by God to be the first King of Israel. Saul starts out well and follows Gods way, but unfortunately throughout his time as king he becomes quite conceited and full of himself, and he begins to stop following the Lord’s commands…

Because of his disobedience and arrogance, the Lord ends up rejecting him as the King of Israel:

You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” 1 Samuel 13:13-14

And so God chooses a new King – which is David.

Ask: (Chat to the person next to you) If you were going to choose a new king or leader for the country, what would be the qualities you’d be looking for in the person? Invite responses and create a list on a whiteboard/flipchart.

Read: Ask someone to read the part of David’s story when he was chosen by God to be king – 1 Samuel 16:1-13. Get everyone else to follow along in their Bibles as they read.

Being Overlooked

No one expected that David would be the one chosen to be King!

He wasn’t even invited to join his brothers to be paraded in front of Samuel.
His own Father didn’t even think that he might be the one that God had chosen!

Ask: Why did everyone overlook David? (He was the youngest – of 8; he had the lowliest job – a shepherd – while all his brothers were fighting in Saul’s army)

But even though he was overlooked by people – David wasn’t overlooked or forgotten by God!! In fact, he was the one that God had chosen to be the next King of Israel.

“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Unfortunately as humans, we do often look at and judge things by their outward appearance.

Not only can we feel overlooked by others, like David was, but sometimes we can even ‘overlook ourselves’ and think that God couldn’t possibly choose to use us to do his work – because we’re not good enough.

 Ask: What are some of the ‘outward qualities’ or reasons that people can think of as reasons why God wouldn’t choose to use them? (They might be things you’ve thought or things you’ve heard others say.)

Create a list: “God wouldn’t use me because….” (e.g. age, knowledge about God/Bible/Church, how ‘Spiritual’ we are, skills, confidence, mistakes/sin etc)

Ask: Why did God choose David to be King?

 “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” Acts 13:22

He was a ‘man after God’s own heart’. He was willing to follow the Lord’s commands and do things his way. That is the reason he was chosen by God to be King! Our hearts are what are most important to God. Not our outward appearances/qualities.

Examining David’s Heart

So what does it mean to be a ‘man or woman after God’s own heart’? Let’s look at some verses that show us a bit of David’s heart.

Split into small groups or pairs, and look up the following verses. Write down what they show us about David’s heart.

  1. Psalm 119:47-48
  2. Psalm 51:1-2
  3. 1 Samuel 17:37
  4. Psalm 23:1-4
  5. Psalm 34:1
  6. Psalm 139:23-24


  1. Obedient to God’s law (loved it/meditated on it)
  2. Repentant
  3. Trust/Bold
  4. Trust/Knows God’s care
  5. Worships the Lord
  6. Willing to let God shape his heart

David loved God, and he chose to live God’s way. He knew God intimately. He knew that he was to be trusted, and he chose to obey him.

God chose David, because David CHOSE HIM

You may have discounted yourself – or said that ‘you’re not good enough to be used by God’. That’s not true! All of us have the capacity to serve God and to be used by God. All we need to do is to choose God’s way, and make ourselves available to God to be used by him.

Choosing God’s Way

There are two things that help us to choose God’s way. And help us develop a heart after God’s own heart.

  1. Know God’s Heart for us
    The first is to know God’s Heart for us. To know how much he loves and cares for each one of us, and to know his desire to be in relationship with you.
    Psalm 139 is a beautiful Psalm. It speaks of God’s heart for us. It speaks of the way he has created each one of us. He formed us, and knows us each intimately. He cares for and loves us.
    Maybe you think you are of little worth to God – because you’re not ‘top of the class’, or the ‘best rugby player’ or the ‘best public speaker’. Maybe you’ve been told by others that you are nothing. The truth is that you have been created by God – you are not overlooked by him. And your value comes from the fact that he made you and he loves you.
    The more we know God’s love and care for us, the easier it is to choose to live God’s way.
  2. God’s Spirit
    The second thing that will help us to develop a heart after God’s own heart is the Holy Spirit. It is God’s Spirit that empowers us and helps us to live God’s way. It is God’s Spirit that transforms us.
    “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:26-27
    It is only by the work of God’s Spirit that our hearts can be moulded and shaped to become like God’s heart. So we need to allow God’s Spirit access to our hearts – to ask him to shape us into the people he wants us to be.

Watch: “Paper Heart” by Shift Worship

This video is available for purchase via Worship House Media.

Small Group Questions

  • Have you ever felt ‘overlooked’ or ‘forgotten’ by others?
  • What statement do you relate to on the ‘God can’t use me because…’ list?
  • How does it feel to know that God doesn’t forget or overlook us (even if others do)?
  • What does it look like to choose God’s way? Or to make ourselves available to God?
  • What is God’s heart for us?
  • How do we let God’s Spirit shape and mould our hearts to become more like his?

Finish in prayer, asking God to show you his heart for you, and allowing the Spirit to shape our hearts to be more like God’s heart.


This study series includes a series of free printable A3 posters which you can print and display in your youth space, one for each theme. Download all five David posters.