God's timing is perfect. If David had not been forced to sever ties with Achish when he did, he would have been drawn into warfare against his own king, Saul. But David was distracted into pursuing the Amalekites who raided Ziklag while the Philistines were overthrowing Saul. Your circumstances may seem convoluted, but God was in control when your circumstances developed.
2 Samuel 1:1 - "When David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, ...a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, ...and he said unto him, ...Saul and Jonathan his son are dead."
"I am an Amalekite"
The messenger told David that he saw Saul fallen in anguish on his own spear. Saul asked who he was. "I am an Amalekite." "Slay me," Saul demanded. David asked, "How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD'S anointed?" David had him killed then and there. If Saul had obeyed God years earlier, there would have been no Amalekites. Here is a painful lesson. Destroy what God says destroy, or be destroyed by it.
2 Samuel 1:8 - "And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite."
Prayer That Got The Kingdom
Fifteen years earlier, Samuel had anointed David to be the next king. So when Saul died in battle, "David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron." So David went to Hebron. After suffering many years of demonic opposition, David's prophetic destiny became reality. God will always perform His word.
2 Samuel 2:4 - "The men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah."
Saul's general was his cousin, Abner. David's general was his nephew, Joab. When Saul died, Abner rejected David's kingship, making Saul's young son, Ishbosheth, king over Israel. David was king over Judah. Abner proposed a contest against Joab. Each pitched twelve soldiers against each other. But war broke out and 360 of Abner's men died. Abner's losses were just beginning. It does not pay to resist God's anointing. God's will is more important than family ties.
2 Samuel 2:17 - "There was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten."
Abner Defects To David
Abner knew that David was long-ordained of God. So when King Ishbosheth charged him with a fault concerning Saul's concubine, Abner was enraged and defected to David. Abner promised to turn Israel to David and make him king over all. But Joab hated Abner for killing his brother (although in self- defense), and clandestinely murdered him. David vehemently disavowed the crime, and sorely mourned his friend's death.
2 Samuel 3:17 - [Abner said], "Ye sought for David in times past to be king over you: Now then do it: for the LORD hath spoken of David."
David Invokes Divine Justice
Despite his untimely death, Abner played a pivotal role in turning Israel to David. Joab was in the wrong for avenging himself of Abner, and David subtly invoked divine justice upon him, saying, "the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness." David memorialized Abner with the highest honors, walking beside his bier, fasting and weeping. The people loved him for it. God can redeem a tragedy to strengthen His anointed.
2 Samuel 3:36 - "And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them: as whatsoever the king did pleased all the people."
Death of Ishbosheth
With Abner, his general, dead, King Ishbosheth trembled at his fate. Unexpectedly, two of his own captains, Baanah and Rechab took it upon themselves to assassinate him so the kingdom would fall to David. Entering his home on false pretenses, they murdered him in his bed. They brought his head to David, thinking he would be proud of them. But David was outraged.
2 Samuel 4:12 - "David commanded his young men, and they slew them, ...and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner."
The Anointed One Becomes King
With Ishbosheth dead, everything was clear for David to become Israel's king. Suddenly, every tribe rallied to David, saying, "We are your bone and flesh," and "Even when Saul was king, you were the one that led us." God pre-ordains men for particular times and places. Likewise, Jesus will soon be crowned King of Kings in Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 5:2 - "The LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; ...and they anointed David king over Israel."
Isaac was forty when he married Rebekah. Moses was exiled at forty, for forty years, then led the children of Israel through the wilderness for forty years. Joshua was forty when he spied out Canaan. Othniel, Deborah, Barak, Gideon, and Eli each judged in Israel forty years. Saul, David and Solomon each ruled forty years.
2 Samuel 5:4 - "David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah."
David Takes Jerusalem
Jebusites inhabited Jerusalem, so David and his army took Mount Zion, renamed "the City of David." He promised to promote the man who climbed up the water course, penetrated the walls, and smote the Jebusites. Thus Joab became General (I Chronicles 27:34). David moved into the fort and "grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him." Hiram of Tyre sent cedar, carpenters and masons, and built David a house.
2 Samuel 5:12 - "David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake."
Sound in the Mulberry Trees
As soon as the Philistines heard that David was King of Israel, they declared war. David always prayed to God in crisis for instructions. The LORD said to go after them. David attacked the Philistines. They fled, leaving their idols behind. David burned them. The Philistines regrouped. David prayed again. The LORD told him what to do. David obeyed, and smote them soundly.
2 Samuel 5:24 - "When thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, ...bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines."
Celebrate God's Presence
David brought the Ark of the Covenant from Kirjath-jearim on a new cart. Uzzah handled the tottering Ark, and God angrily killed him. David stored it at Obededom's for three months, then finished the trip. David made sacrifices and danced before the LORD with all his might. Tens of thousands celebrated and played instruments. Moses' tabernacle had everything else, but no glory. David's tabernacle had nothing but glory.
2 Samuel 6:17 - "They brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it."
Cursed For Criticizing
Bringing the Ark to Jerusalem was an epic event. God's glory was finally in the city of David. David demonstrated wildly, dancing in the streets while multitudes celebrated. His wife Michal despised his worship, and harshly rebuked him. But God loved it, and David persisted, "It was before the LORD, which chose me ...ruler over the people, ...therefore will I play before the LORD. And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight."
2 Samuel 6:23 - "Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death."
David Forbidden To Build A Temple
David wanted to build a house for God, but God said 'no.' Instead, God said He would build a house for David. God must build OUR house before we build anything for Him. "Your son will build a house for me." The Father gives His glory to His sons, then they glorify Him. See "
Spirit of the Father."
2 Samuel 7:12-13 - "I will set up thy seed after thee, ...and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever."
King David recognized that Israel was a divinely chosen nation. God could
easily have spoken to all men everywhere simultaneously when He called
Abraham to follow Him. But He didn't. Why didn't He? Abraham found
grace in God's eyes like Noah had. God may only select one in a
million. He just wants a right heart. Is yours right?
2 Samuel 7:23 - "...what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even
like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to
make him a name?"
God pronounced unprecedented blessings on David. "I will set up thy seed after thee, ...I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. ...I will be his father, and he shall be my son. ...the house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever, ...thy throne shall be established for ever." God's promises overwhelmed David. He went in and sat before the LORD and worshiped.
2 Samuel 7:26 - "Let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee."
Dedicating the Spoils
David subdued the nations around Israel - the Philistines, the Moabites, the Syrians, and others. He put garrisons in their cities and collected tribute from them. He collected great spoils of chariots, horses, shields of gold, and of brass, and vessels of gold, silver, and brass. Moses taught that kings of Israel must not take the spoils for themselves, but give them to the LORD (Deuteronomy 7:25; 17:17). Dedicate your victories to the LORD.
2 Samuel 8:11 - "King David did dedicate unto the LORD, ...the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all nations which he subdued."
David Becomes A Great King
From the early days, when David was a servant to Saul, David "behaved himself wisely, ...and he was accepted in the sight of all the people." But as the new king of Israel, the anointing was even more evident. David got a name for his greatness. Among other things, he organized the government (Saul never did) and created a powerful cabinet (i.e., Joab - General; Jehoshaphat - recorder; Zadok and Ahimelech - priests; Seraiah - scribe; Benaiah - overseer; and David's sons - chief rulers).
2 Samuel 8:15 - "David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people."
David asked Saul's servant, Ziba, if any of Saul's family were still alive. He discovered that the day Jonathan died, a nursemaid fled with his 5-year-old son. She fell down, crippling him for life. Mephibosheth required constant care. David had him brought to Jerusalem, and adopted him. David's compassion should inspire us to be compassionate toward the underprivileged.
2 Samuel 9:7 - "I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually."
Distrust and Suspicion
Nahash the Ammonite king showed some unknown kindness to David. When he died, David showed kindness to his son, Hanun, by sending his servants with condolences. But the Ammonite princes distrusted David and suspected the men were spying to overthrow them. They shaved off their beards, cut off their skirts, sent them shamefully away, hired mercenaries, and declared war on Israel. David sent Joab with an army, who whipped them soundly. Distrust and suspicion cause unnecessary wars.
2 Samuel 10:19 - "When all the kings ...saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them."
The Ammonites hired tens of thousands of Syrians to war with them against Israel. David sent Joab with his mighty men. But they faced Syrians in front and behind. Taking half his army one way, and sending the other half with his brother, Abishai, Joab said, "Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good." The Syrians lost 40,000 men and 700 chariots.
2 Samuel 10:19 - "So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more."
Bathsheba and Uriah
Bathsheba and Uriah were victims of David's lust. Uriah was at war. His wife had to obey the king. When she discovered she was pregnant, David called Uriah home, so the child would seem to be his. But Uriah refused to sleep with his wife while his brethren were at war. David sent Uriah to the battle front to be killed.
2 Samuel 11:27 - "And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD."
Thou Art The Man
At first, nobody knew Bathsheba was pregnant or that Uriah was killed on purpose. But God always knows. Nathan came with a story about a man who owned great flocks, who stole a poor man's only lamb to feed his guests. "The man that hath done this thing shall surely die!" David exclaimed.
2 Samuel 12:7 - "Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD, ...I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, ...thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite, ...and hast taken his wife to be thy wife."
David's Sin and Curse
While his armies were off to war, David saw Bathsheba washing herself and ordered his servants to fetch her. He committed adultery with her, then conspired to have her husband killed on the front lines. But Nathan prophesied sorrowful tragedies to come. Beware the awful anguish and high price of sin.
2 Samuel 12:10-12 - "The sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house."
David's sin with Bathsheba was devastating, and Nathan prophesied grievous punishment. Psalm 51 records David's repentance.
Psalms 51:1 - " Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight...."
The High Cost of Low Living
David had enormous favor with God and men. But when lust took over, his flawless reputation was forever stained. The price of adultery and murder cost him throughout his lifetime. One son betrayed him and tried to overthrow his kingdom. Another raped his daughter, and was murdered by a brother. Trouble came in waves, beginning with Nathan's pronouncements. Count the high cost of your bad behavior.
2 Samuel 12:14 - "Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die."
David Fasts for the Baby
Nathan prophesied that the baby of David's adultery would die. David fasted and prayed seven days. Still the child died. David washed, dressed, went to the house of God and worshipped. Then he ate. Everyone expected him to mourn, but David wisely accepted both God's mercy and His justice.
2 Samuel 12:22-23 - "I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? ...I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me."
The Birth of Solomon
David suffered immeasurable consequences for his sins. But he earnestly repented with prayer and fasting, and fully restored his relationship with God. God still loved him, and gave David and Bathsheba another child, named Solomon - "peaceful," or Jedidiah - "beloved of the LORD."
2 Samuel 12:24-25 - "David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him. And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD."
The Show Must Go On
Although David nearly destroyed himself with Bathsheba and Uriah, life forced him to move forward. He was still King of Israel. Joab sent news that he was close to taking the royal city of their vicious enemies, the Ammonites. David quickly organized an army and attacked Rabbah, slaughtering its people, and returning victoriously to Jerusalem. Despite your failures, there are victories ahead.
2 Samuel 12:30 - "He took their king's crown from off his head, ...gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance."
The Sword Strikes David's House
Nathan prophesied that because of David's sins, the sword would never depart from his house. The first occurrence came whenever his son, Amnon, raped and humiliated his daughter Tamar. Tamar's brother, Absalom, rabidly hated Amnon in silence for two years. Then Absalom invited Amnon to a sheep-shearing with all the king’s sons. He instructed his servants to kill Amnon, which they did. Absalom then fled from David for three years.
2 Samuel 13:36 - "The king's sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore."
Joab knew that David longed to see Absalom. Three years passed since Amnon died. Joab sent a widow to David, begging mercy for a son who killed his brother. Everyone wanted vengeance. David promised to protect him. She accused David of banishing his own son. David guiltily called Absalom to Jerusalem, but resisted seeing him two more years. Absalom failed twice to get Joab to intercede, finally setting Joab's barley fields on fire, provoking him to reunite them.
2 Samuel 14:33 - Absalom "bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom."
Absalom told David that during his exile, he vowed to the LORD that if he ever returned to Jerusalem, "then I will serve the LORD." He immediately asked permission to "pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron." Several Bible commentators suspect that Absalom lied (never made that vow). He was conspiring to win the hearts of the people. Hebron was a likely place to be crowned king. Some people boast of their praying to legitimize evil schemes.
2 Samuel 15:9 - "The king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron."
Absalom immediately capitalized on David's acknowledgment. He worked the streets feverishly to win friends and influence people. His entourage included fifty men with chariots and horses. He unabashedly wanted to steal the hearts of the men of Israel. He wanted to be king. Evil men MUST conspire to get things they are not supposed to have.
2 Samuel 15:10-12 - "Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron. ...the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom."
Evil Out of Thine Own House
David's old sins called for another payday. Nathan's prophecy said, "I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house." A messenger brought the news. "The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom." David told all his servants at Jerusalem to flee, "for we shall not else escape from Absalom." Sin costs so dearly.
2 Samuel 15:23 - "And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness."
Give Your Enemies To God
Absalom conspired hard to overthrow David's government. David fled Jerusalem for safety's sake. Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and the Levites brought the Ark of the Covenant, but David sent them back to monitor the situation and report to him. He learned that Ahithophel, Bathsheba's grandfather and David's counselor, had defected to Absalom. David asked God to turn Ahithophel's counsel to foolishness. God did. Ahithophel was discredited and hanged himself. Give your enemies to God.
2 Samuel 15:31 - "David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness."
Concurrent Opposition and Support
It looked like David's kingdom was imploding. He and hundreds fled to the wilderness while Absalom and thousands invaded Jerusalem. Two encounters illustrate the good and the bad of anointed living. First, Ziba (Mephibosheth's servant) blessed David with donkeys to ride and food for a multitude. Second, Shemei (kinsman of Saul) cursed and threw stones at David. As you live for God, some will bless you, others will curse you.
2 Samuel 16:12 - "It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day."
Absalom Takes His Father's Concubines
When David sinned, the LORD spoke through Nathan, "I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun." Ahithophel probably did not realize that he was fulfilling prophecy when he counseled Absalom. God's awesome power to perform His word is indeed fearful.
2 Samuel 16:21-22 - "Go in unto thy father's concubines, ...So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel."
Hushai Mortifies Ahithophel
David fled with hundreds from Jerusalem as Absalom and Ahithophel betrayed him. But Hushai, David's friend, "defected" to spy on Absalom. Hushai outwitted Ahithophel, who would have killed David, turning his counsel into foolishness (just as David had prayed for). Ahithophel was so mortified, he hung himself. God orchestrates His enemies' defeat.
2 Samuel 17:14 - "Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom."
Hushai secretly relayed Absalom's war plans to priests Zadok and Abiathar. They sent the messages by a local girl to their sons, Jonathan and Ahimaaz at Enrogel. Someone told Absalom, who tried to intercept them, but Bahurim hid them in a well in his house. Word finally reached David to prepare for war. David moved quickly beyond Jordan to buy some extra time.
2 Samuel 17:22 - "Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over Jordan: by the morning light there lacked not one of them that was not gone over Jordan."
Evil Counsel Defeated By Prayer
Ahithophel's defection to Absalom was an enormous threat to David, because Ahithophel knew everything about David, and was likely to use it against him. But David prayed that God would turn all his counsel to foolishness, and God did. You can always ask God to undermine the enemy's efforts against you. He is able.
2 Samuel 17:23 - "And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried."
God's Ground Support Coalition
In God's economy, there are times for peace and times for war. It was time for David to face Absalom in war. Suddenly, ground support came from a coalition of outside nations. Shobi of Rabbah, Machir of Lodebar, and Barzillai of Rogelim presented David with beds, basons, vessels, wheat, barley, flour, corn, beans, lentiles, honey, butter, sheep, cheese, and more. Then David organized for war. If God sends you to battle, he will supply.
2 Samuel 18:1 - "And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them."
Absalom's Forces Whipped
David organized three companies of soldiers under Joab, Abishai, and Ittai. The people forbade David to go with them. "Thou are worth ten thousand of us." David asked them to "Deal gently with Absalom." But Absalom would have overthrown David's house, and God had sworn to bless it. Absalom had to go.
2 Samuel 18:6-7 - "So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim; Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men."
Blessing God for Avenging
David tried to defend him, but Absalom's warmongering provoked God. Riding under an oak tree, Absalom caught his head. Joab arrived and killed him there. The war was suddenly over; the coup failed.
2 Samuel 18:19,28 - "Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the LORD hath avenged him of his enemies. ...he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said, Blessed be the LORD thy God, which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king."
The Sons of Zeruiah
David's sister, Zeruiah, had three sons: Joab, Abishai and Asahel - all warmongerers. Asahel died trying to kill King Ishbosheth's captain, Abner. Abishai killed thousands in war. Joab killed Abner, Absalom (David's son), and Amasa (Absalom's captain) - all against David's wishes. Before David died, Joab defected to Adonijah. David advised Solomon to "let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace." Solomon had him killed.
2 Samuel 3:39 - [David said,] "...the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me: the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness."
Suffering Losses To Win
From the day he murdered his brother, Absalom was estranged from his father. David loved him, but never trusted him. Absalom betrayed him cruelly, and had to be destroyed to preserve God's anointed king. Sometimes, we suffer incomprehensible pain when those we love oppose the will of God.
2 Samuel 19:4-5 - "The king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son! And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life."
Remembering Divine Destiny
Joab constrained David to get a grip on his grief concerning Absalom's death, and show the people that he appreciated their heroic efforts to save the kingdom. After we have fought our worst battles, and taken our most painful losses, we must nevertheless return to perform the purpose of God that was irrevocably ordained for us.
2 Samuel 19:8, 11 - "The king arose, and sat in the gate. ...And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak unto the elders of Judah, saying, Why are ye the last to bring the king back to his house?"
A Model For Repentance
Shimei cursed fleeing David, throwing stones and dust at him. But when David returned, Shimei rushed to repent, a thousand Benjamites with him. Shimei fell before the king, begging,
2 Samuel 19:19-20 - "Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me, neither do thou remember that which thy servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, ...For thy servant doth know that I have sinned: therefore, ...I am come the first this day of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king. ...[David said], Thou shalt not die."
Mephibosheth Welcomes David Home
Although Absalom was defeated, David wanted to know that Israel wanted him back in Jerusalem. Thousands came to meet him at Gilgal; where Joshua brought Israel from wandering; where God rolled away their reproach. Mephibosheth came, yet lame, explaining that Ziba betrayed him and left him behind. Joyfully, he exclaimed, "My lord the king is as an angel of God." When God finishes your exile, He arranges a glorious reunion.
2 Samuel 19:15 - "So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over Jordan."
At 80, Barzillai furnished food and supplies for David's defenders against Absalom. After David won, Barzillai came to escort him back home. David asked Barzillai to move into the palace with him, so he could care for him in his old age, but he respectfully declined, preferring to die in his own home. Barzillai offered his servant, Chimham, to David, who received him kindly. Great men leave spill-over blessings to their descendants.
2 Samuel 19:38 - "The king answered, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good unto thee."
Sin's Recurring Effects
Nathan's old prophecy promised that the sword would never depart David's house. Joab was David's nephew and captain. But after Joab killed Absalom, David promised to give Joab's room to Amasa, Absalom's former captain, and David's second cousin. But Joab was jealous and would not surrender his title to Amasa, so he chased him down and killed him - sin's recurring effects.
2 Samuel 20:10 - "Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's hand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib, ...and he died."
Sheba Attempts Another Coup
Sheba, a man of Belial (a devil), condemned and disowned David, trying again to overthrow him after Absalom died. David said that Sheba would "do us more harm than did Absalom." He sent his new captain, Amasa, in pursuit. Joab followed, too, but killed Amasa first, then pursued Sheba. Joab besieged the town called Abel, and a woman inside negotiated to throw Sheba's head over the wall to prevent their destruction.
2 Samuel 20:22 - "They cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. ...Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king."
Paying for Breach of Contract
A three-year famine came to Israel in David's time, so he enquired of the LORD. God told him that it was because Saul had slain many Gibeonites. (Moses taught Israel to make no leagues with their enemies, but Joshua made a league of peace with the Gibeonites, "and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.") David had to make atonement with the Gibeonites. They wanted blood.
2 Samuel 21:6 - "Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD, ...And the king said, I will give them."
When David first became a hero in Israel, Saul promised him his oldest daughter, Merab. But Saul reneged and gave her to Adriel. They had five children. Saul gave David his daughter Michal, who cursed David, and consequently, never bore any children. Michal raised the five children of Merab and Adriel. But God made David atone with the Gibeonites for Saul's sins. They demanded seven of Saul's sons be hanged - two by his concubine, and guess "who else?"
2 Samuel 21:8 - "...the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel."
The Giant-slayer Retires
Moses prophesied, "The LORD your God he shall fight for you." As David grew old, he "waxed faint" in battle with the Philistines. His men took over. Abishai smote Ishbibenob, a massive giant intent on killing David. Sibbechai slew Saph, another giant. Elhanan and Jaareoregin slew Goliath's brother. Finally, David's nephew, Jonathan slew a fourth giant from Gath. When your strength fails, God will take care of you.
2 Samuel 21:17 - "The men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel."
The Song of David
Our first introduction to David's songs and poetry is in 2 Samuel 22. (The same song is published in Psalm 18.) David follows the examples of Moses, Miriam, Hannah, Deborah and others, each of whom created poetry and sang their praises unto the LORD for His goodness and His wonderful works. Every person should create his own song unto the LORD.
2 Samuel 22:1 - "David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul."
David's Mighty Men
David's mighty men were "in distress, ...in debt, and ...discontented" (1 Samuel 22:2). Adino slew 800 men at once. Eleazar slew so many Philistines "his hand clave unto the sword." Shammah defended a crop in a field from an entire army. Three men penetrated enemy lines to fetch a drink of water for David. Abishai slew 300 with a spear. Benaiah slew a lion in a pit in a snowstorm, then killed a fierce Egyptian with his own spear. Thirty brave heroes in all.
2 Samuel 23:8 - "These be the names of the mighty men whom David had."
When God Commissions Satan
God and Satan moved David to number Israel. 1 Chronicles 21:1 says, "Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel." A similar thing happened at the Crucifixion. Satan entered Judas Iscariot to betray Christ. Jesus said to him, "That thou doest, do quickly." Satan was God's puppet executing divine purpose. God commissioned Satan to test Job. Job, Christ and David ultimately overcame Satan. Regardless of Satan's mission, he is always under God's limitations.
2 Samuel 24:1 - "The anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them."
A Choice of Judgments
God always met David's needs, regardless of his numbers. Numbering Israel meant proudly trusting in his armies - the arm of the flesh. The prophet Gad brought the word of the LORD. David must choose a judgment: famine, war, or pestilence. "Let me not fall into the hand of man." David ruled out war. Let God choose between famine or pestilence. "Let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great." Always trust God.
2 Samuel 24:15 - "So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel, ...and there died of the people ...seventy thousand men."
Repentance Stops the Angel of Death
God was angry when David spent over nine months numbering his valiant men, exposing his pride, self-trust, and confidence in man. The angel of the LORD destroyed 70,000 men before meeting David at the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite in Jerusalem. David pleaded, "I have sinned greatly in that I have done: ...O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly."
2 Samuel 24:16 - "...the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand."
Moriah - The Temple Mount
God sent Abraham with Isaac to build an altar on a mountain in Moriah. Centuries later, the angel of God met David right there. The prophet Gad instructed David to build an altar there. David purchased the land from Araunah (Ornan the Jebusite). With the purchase, David received oxen to sacrifice unto the LORD. Years later, Solomon built the great Temple, with the Holy of Holies on that site. God chose the Temple Mount.
2 Samuel 24:24-25 - "So David bought the threshingfloor and ...built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings."
The LORD Was Intreated
Among David's last words was this statement: "He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, ...even a morning without clouds." David was brilliantly aware that leaders must be a shining light to the people. When did you last see your King or President intreating God at an altar?
2 Samuel 24:25 - "David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel."
I am continually writing new content for this site.
Please return often for more material,
and tell your friends about
And God bless you!