" You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress" Psalm 17:3
The first twenty five Psalms focus on the primary characteristics of King David that caused him to be referred to as the "man after God's own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14). Other books of the Bible depict David as a "mighty man of valor and a man of war" (1 Samuel 16:18). David waged war with the Philistines,
Amalakites, Jebusites, Moabites, Syrians, Edom, and Ammon. It is only through David's songs that we get an in-depth look into what made this man tick. David's heart is revealed in the book of Psalms like no other book of the Bible. David's songs tell the story of a man who had a very special relationship with God. David's love of righteousness drove the king to wage many battles against the enemies of God. David put his trust in the Lord and patiently waited for his divine aid during these times of battle. He is seen as a type of Christ in the Old Testament because of who and what he was and represented. Though David was a convicted man of faith we read of his sin and how it devastated his heart. David was a man of like passions with us all. Though he desired to please God and to follow the paths of righteousness he often followed the path of sin. The beauty of studying the Psalms is that we relate to all that David thinks and does. We see how to succeed in faith and we see how to deal with our failures.
David was not the Christ but he was a type of Christ (see Acts 2:25-35 as Peter quotes from Psalm 16:8-11). The first 25 Psalms teach us more perfectly regarding the identity and value of type and antitype studies. David is depicted as a type of Christ in several of the first 25 chapters (see Psalm 2:6-7, 13, 16:811 and 22:1). A "type" is a "group of persons or things sharing common traits or characteristics that distinguish them as an identifiable group or class; kind; category. An example or model; embodiment- (AHD 1309). David serves as an Old Testament model of what man could expect to see out of Jesus Christ. There were many characteristics of David that connect him to the Christ The more we study the lives, of such men like David, the more we will understand what it means to be conformed to the image of Christ in our own lives (see Romans 8:29 and 1 Corinthians 11:1).
There are three areas of David's life that cause him to be viewed as a type of Christ. First, David is viewed as a type of Christ in that he was hated and persecuted by many. Fourteen of the first 25 Psalms deal with David facing enemies who hated and persecuted him for who and what he stood for.
Likewise, Jesus was often persecuted. Jesus came to be known as a man of great sorrows (see Isaiah 53:3 and Luke 18:31-33). The hatred of man never moved David to curse Cod or turn away from the Lord he loved. David always turned to God for help. The king writes, "16 He sentfrom on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. 17 He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mightyfor me. 18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support. 19 He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me" (Psalm 18:16-19).
David often deliberated the reason the wicked hated him in the Psalms (see Psalm 2:1). The reason people hated David was no different than the reasons people hate Jesus and all those who follow him in faith today. The king's enemies hated him because his works were perfect and upright and theirs was wickedness (see Psalm 18:26). David was perfect before God in that he purposed to live upright (see Psalm 17:3). People were jealous of the king because of his good standing with God. David was the conscience of the world and many did not like to be told by word or example that they were wrong. Jesus said that the world hated him because he testified that its works were evil (John 7:7; see also John 15:18, 19, 24). Solomon writes, "The bloodthirsty hate him that is perfect; and as for the upright, they seek his life" (Proverbs 29:10). The hateful do not disappear with a generation. Their type continues as do those who pattern their lives after Jesus Christ.
John C Robertson