ISRAEL'S HISTORY: ANCIENT

David the King

David the King
By Charles E. McCracken
GROW January 26

 

Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and spoke, saying, “Indeed we are your bone and your flesh. Also, in time past, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the LORD said to you, ‘You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over Israel.’” Therefore all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD. And they anointed David king over Israel. 2 SAMUEL 5:1-3

 

The day David was finally crowned king of Israel was a day of great joy that signified more than an end to conflict—it was the beginning of a new era!

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Detail: Jerusalem: Mount Sion King David Statue. Image courtesy : Djampa [GFDL CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 {{FoP-Israel}}] ~ Enhancement: MKM Portfolios

The road to this momentous occasion, however, wasn’t without hardship or challenges.

For nearly a decade, David had been forced to live as a fugitive because of Saul’s attempts to circumvent God’s rejection of his own reign as Israel’s first king.

But, when Saul and his royal heir, Jonathan, were killed in battle with the Philistines, the elders of Judah seized the opportunity to anoint David king (1 Sam. 31:8-10).

Not all were ready to pledge fealty to David, however. A faction led by Abner, the captain of Saul’s army, hastily made 40-year-old Ishbosheth, king (2 Sam. 2:9). While he was also a son of Saul, Ishbosheth wasn’t necessarily the people’s choice; loyal to Saul’s family, the army subdued the will of the people.

For the next seven and a half years, David was again forced to deal with the attempts of Abner to thwart God’s will. The biblical record reveals,

there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker (2 Sam. 3:1).

Ultimately, Ishbosheth was assassinated without David’s knowledge or consent. David wisely exacted swift judgment on the two perpetrators for their murderous act; they were executed (2 Sam. 4:9-12).

Recognizing David’s genuine grief and obvious innocence in the affair, those in Israel who had supported the line of Saul acted to end the conflict between Judah and Israel. Sending delegations to Hebron where David had established headquarters, the words of the people on this auspicious occasion are significant.

The delegates first appealed to David with the words, Indeed we are your bone and your flesh (2 Sam. 5:1). In recognizing their moral obligation to unite under common ancestry as descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, unity was in their best interest—especially under David’s capable leadership.

They also reminded David that, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in (v. 2). The delegates acknowledged that David had already distinguished himself as a leader over a united Israel.

God had given David spectacular success which established his reputation as a great leader and endeared him to the people of Israel (1 Sam. 18:16).

Jerusalem_(5563766425)_t

Jerusalem: David with harp. Image courtesy: jimmyweee (Jerusalem) [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons, Enhancement: MKM Portfolios

Those in the military had seen David in action; they had sanctioned his rapid promotion in Saul’s army and most likely spent many long days with Saul chasing the ever-elusive David in the wilderness.

Then, they concluded their speeches saying, and the LORD said to you, ‘You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over Israel.’ (2 Sam. 5:2). It seems this should have been their first line of reasoning, but Israel had spent seven years rebelling against God’s obvious choice for the throne. They were now openly admitting their readiness to unite under David’s leadership in obedience to God.

More than 349,222 men had come in the delegations to Hebron on behalf of the 12 tribes of Israel (1 Chron. 12:23-37). They were representative of the united nation of Israel that now had an army loyal to David, and all the rest of Israel were of one mind to make David king (1 Chron. 12:38).

That day they publicly confirmed God’s choice and anointed David king of Israel (2 Sam. 5:3). Food was brought from surrounding areas on mules, donkeys, camels and oxen; and, the nation gathered in Hebron for three days of celebration, for there was joy in Israel (1 Chron. 12:40). It was the beginning of the Davidic Dynasty!

It didn’t happen overnight; but, at the set time God fulfilled his promise to David and made him King of Israel.

When you’re tempted to think God isn’t doing anything in your life, remember what God did for David. It isn’t always easy to see what God is doing; but, at the right moment, the fulfillment of God’s plan and purpose will be visible for all to see.

© Charles E. McCracken 2016, text content only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author.