The Bible paints a picture of a king as more than just a ruler sitting on a mighty throne. The greatest biblical kings weren’t just strong leaders, they were also guided by God’s will. These kings possessed 10 key characteristics that helped them navigate the challenges of governing a kingdom.

On the other hand, kings like Nebuchadnezzar and Saul let pride get the best of them. They ignored God’s will, which led to their downfall and the loss of their kingdoms.

By learning from the good characteristics of a King in the Bible in the Bible, we can see how living a God-centered life can bring blessings and success in leadership.

What are the characteristics of a king in the Bible?

Learn the secrets of successful biblical leadership by looking at the characteristics of a King in the Bible! These kings weren’t just powerful, they were Godly too.

Related Article: 15 Attributes of a Godly Man

1. Sacrificial – Jesus

Jesus, known as the King of Kings, demonstrated sacrificial love throughout his life. He came to earth to offer himself completely for the salvation of humanity. Jesus willingly endured suffering, humiliation, and death on the cross to show his immense love for us and to fulfill God’s plan (Philippians 2:5-8). His sacrificial act exemplifies putting others before himself and loving selflessly. Jesus’ kingship is marked by this ultimate act of sacrifice, a profound demonstration of God’s love for humanity that remains central to Christian belief and teachings.

Like Jesus, develop your inner king by identifying a cause greater than yourself and making sacrifices to see it succeed. Look for opportunities to put the needs of others before your own whenever possible.

2. Humble – King David

King David showed humility and always relied on God throughout his life. Despite his success as a leader and warrior, David acknowledged that his strength came from God. For example, when he defeated Goliath, he credited God for helping him (1 Samuel 17). David’s psalms, where he poured out his heart to God and asked for forgiveness, reveal his deep trust and reverence. He wanted to build a temple in Jerusalem to honor God’s presence, even though God chose his son Solomon for this task.

King David inspires us to cultivate your inner king by acknowledging your limitations and seeking guidance from trusted mentors. Remember, true strength comes from humility and a reliance on something bigger than yourself.

3. Wise – King Solomon

King Solomon was famous for his wisdom, which God gave him as a gift (1 Kings 3:9-12). His wisdom is best seen in his judgment of the two women claiming the same child (1 Kings 3:16-28). Solomon’s ability to understand and make fair decisions showed his God-given insight. He also managed Israel’s affairs well and expanded its influence through diplomacy and trade. Building the First Temple in Jerusalem under Solomon’s rule showed his wisdom in establishing a central place for worship.

Unleash your inner king by actively seeking God for supernatural knowledge and understanding. Acknowledge when you don’t have the answer to something and allow God’s truth to fill your mind, so you can operate for Godly wisdom.

4. Protector and Military Leader – King Hezekiah

King Hezekiah faced a huge threat when the Assyrian army, led by King Sennacherib, invaded Judah. Hezekiah showed bravery and trust in God. He strengthened Jerusalem’s defenses by repairing its walls and ensuring there was enough water (2 Chronicles 32:2-8). Hezekiah prayed to God for help, and God miraculously saved Judah by defeating the Assyrians (2 Kings 19:35-37). Hezekiah’s actions showed that he was not only a smart military leader but also trusted in God’s protection during tough times.

King Hezekiah embodied the qualities of a protector. Unleash your inner king by taking charge of your well-being and the well-being of those you care about. Develop your courage and resilience to stand up for what’s right. Trust in God’s ability to strengthen you and those people around you.

5. Advisor and Leader – King Josiah

King Josiah led a spiritual revival after discovering the Book of the Law in the temple (2 Kings 22). Josiah immediately made big changes to get rid of idol worship and bring back the worship of Yahweh (2 Kings 23). He was a strong leader who guided Judah back to following God’s laws faithfully. Josiah’s dedication to God’s covenant and his zeal for renewing the nation spiritually showed his role as a leader who could change things for the better.

King Josiah’s reign was marked by his strong leadership. Embrace your inner king by becoming a source of inspiration and guidance for others. Identify your strengths and use them to motivate and empower those around you. Share your knowledge and wisdom, leading by example.

6. Justice – King Jehoshaphat

King Jehoshaphat was known for his fairness and commitment to doing what was right in Judah. He appointed judges across the land to ensure that God’s laws were followed fairly (2 Chronicles 19:5-7). Jehoshaphat also protected Judah from enemies by building up its defenses. He prayed and asked God for help during tough times, showing that he relied on God’s guidance. Jehoshaphat’s rule demonstrated the importance of justice in keeping the nation in order and following God’s rules.

Enact your inner king by standing up for what’s right. Strive for fairness and equality in your own life and the lives of those around you.

7. Repentant – King Asa

King Asa knew that repentance and renewal were important for keeping a good relationship with God. He removed idols and places where people worshipped false gods (2 Chronicles 14:3-5; 15:8). Asa was committed to making sure that Judah worshipped only God and renewed the covenant with Him. He set up a new altar in Jerusalem for people to worship God properly (2 Chronicles 15:9-15). Asa’s actions show that he was willing to admit mistakes and make things right with God, setting an example for leaders who want to bring their people closer to God.

Learn from your mistakes like a king. Admit when you’re wrong and actively seek to make amends. Growth comes from acknowledging your shortcomings.

8. Patient – King David

King David exhibited patience in various aspects of his life and rule. Despite facing numerous challenges and trials, David trusted in God’s timing and guidance. For instance, before becoming king, David endured years of hardship and danger while fleeing from King Saul’s jealousy and pursuit. Throughout this time, David remained patient, waiting for God to fulfill His promise of kingship. David’s patience was also evident in his interactions with his enemies and in his leadership of Israel, where he sought God’s wisdom and timing before taking action. His life serves as a model of patience and trust in God’s plan, inspiring others to wait with faith and perseverance in difficult circumstances.

Cultivate your inner king by developing patience. Trust in the timing of the universe and avoid rushing the process.Patience allows you to make well-considered decisions.

9. Courageous – King Saul

King Saul initially showed courage and leadership when he was chosen as Israel’s first king to defend the nation against its enemies. He led the Israelite army to several victories against the Philistines (1 Samuel 11-14). Despite his early successes, Saul later struggled with fear and insecurity, which led to disobedience to God’s commands. Nevertheless, Saul’s initial bravery in defending Israel highlights the importance of courage in a king, inspiring confidence and rallying the nation in times of conflict and adversity.

Tap into your inner king by facing your fears. Don’t shy away from challenges, and stand up for what you believe in, even when it’s difficult.

10. Forgiving – God

Throughout the Bible, God demonstrates His forgiving nature repeatedly. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, God’s forgiveness is a central theme of His character. For example, in the Old Testament, God forgave the people of Nineveh when they repented after Jonah’s message (Jonah 3). In the New Testament, God offers forgiveness to all who repent and turn to Him through Jesus Christ (1 John 1:9). God’s forgiveness is unconditional and reflects His boundless love and mercy toward humanity, offering reconciliation and restoration to those who seek Him.

Embrace forgiveness as a king. Holding onto grudges only weighs you down. Choose to forgive others and move forward with a lighter heart.

Want to grow spiritually? 
Join our mailing list and get monthly biblical encouragements, printable resources, and information about ways for men to fellowship online! *Male-led bible study coming this FALL.*