Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. (Acts 2:29-31)
The Unknown Prophet Who Was A King
A prophet is one who foretold future events as well as preaches to the people of his day. There are many great prophets named in scripture like Moses, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, Micaiah, and Isaiah to name a few. These men lived in turbulent times seeking to bring the people to the Lord with calls of obedience and repentance. Many prophets were persecuted and killed by those who opposed their message of divine judgment. There were false prophets who served Baal as in the days of Ahab and Jezebel. One prophet who is largely unrecognized as part of the prophetic company was also a king, shepherd, psalm writer, inventor of musical instruments and best known for his giant-killing. David was a prophet of God. On the Day of Pentecost when Peter delivers his stirring message of salvation in Jesus Christ, the apostle shows the Jews that David prophesied about the coming of the kingdom and events of the early church. This would all come from the book of Psalms where Peter quoted a number of passages proving Jesus was the Christ. His first reference from David is from Psalm 16 and then points out that as a prophet, David spoke concerning Christ and His resurrection. Peter reminds the Jews that David died a long time before and his tomb could be found and investigated where his bones remained. He quotes Psalm 110 to establish the divine authority of the rule of Christ as one sitting on the throne of David. When the king had decided to build a temple for God, the Lord refused to grant his request and instead told David that through his lineage a house would be established that would be established forever. As a prophet, David was setting forth to coming of Christ.
Peter’s argument showing David as a prophet convicted the Jews gathered on Pentecost that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. His references to David were well known by the devout men gathered in Jerusalem that day and accepting the words of David convinced them of how God had shown His will long ago through David. Prophets established the word of God throughout the ages and were used by the early church to confirm the word of Christ. As a prophet, David spoke of the resurrection of the Christ bearing testimony of the will of the Lord being established for many centuries. This concrete examination of the old scriptures was not doubted by the early disciples as it had moved them to obey the gospel of Christ. Jesus had told His disciples the Law of Moses, and the Prophets and Psalms all spoke of Him and this would include the writings of David. The pattern of divine revelation throughout the Old Testament will lead to the single conclusion that Jesus of Nazareth, delivered up by the Jews and crucified by the Romans, is both Lord and Christ. This connects the value of the Old Testament with the teachings of the New Testament. David bridges both covenants as a prophet of God speaking of things yet to come and Peter explaining how the writings of David seven hundred years earlier were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The focus is on the new covenant with better promises in Christ. Peter would later use the second psalm as a testimony of the writings of David to show how the persecution of the Sanhedrin would not dispel the work of the Lord as no one could withstand the authority of the Lord and Christ.
David was among many who are unknown as prophets and yet accomplished so much for the Lord as a prophet. The writings of the shepherd king are prolific in the Old Testament and they all point to the power of the coming Christ. He saw by faith those days that would come where the glory of God would be revealed in a greater fashion. It is hard to imagine how David would have viewed the coming of the Christ but it is certain he would have been amazed if he were standing before the Christ and witnessing His teaching, miracles, and ministry. One could only imagine what David would have said to the first Christians on Pentecost as a prophet of God. Like Abel of old, though being dead, the humble king of Israel testified to all the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. His writings bore the marks of God’s Son. This should bring a fresh appreciation for the study of the Old Testament to see Jesus in the early writings of men like David. Philip, the evangelist in teaching a man from Ethiopia, used the old scriptures to preach Jesus. Peter proved Jesus was the Christ in part through the writings of an unknown prophet named David. To God be the glory.