Today's passage is 2 Samuel 5:1-16 and it is filled with great lessons for us. Let's go!
2 Samuel 5:1-3 (NIV)
1 All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, "We are your own flesh and blood.
2 In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the LORD said to you, 'You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.'"
3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a compact with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel.
On verses 1-5: Here David finally becomes the official king over all of Israel. Notice that when David finally became king over all of Israel, it wasn't because he single-handedly grabbed that title and forced himself upon the nation. Rather verses 1-2 say it was the tribes of Israel -- all of them -- who approached David and who affirmed the calling God had on David's life for David to be their shepherd and ruler. Then all the elders of Israel came to David and anointed him king (v3).
That is how anointing works. When you are anointed by God to do something, it won't be just you who thinks so. Rather a wide range of other people will affirm that calling from God on your life. If you're the only one who thinks you should be king, then you're probably not meant to be king. But if you receive multiple affirmations from others, especially the "elders" (leaders) in your life, then there's a good likelihood that you're being pointed in the direction of God's calling on your life.
2 Samuel 5:6-7 (NIV)
6 The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there. The Jebusites said to David, "You will not get in here; even the blind and the lame can ward you off." They thought, "David cannot get in here."
7 Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, the City of David.
On verses 6-9: As his first recorded act as king, David decides to establish a new capital city for Israel. David could have always chosen Hebron, where he was living, as the new capital. But so as not to appear as though he was favoring the region and people of Judah over the rest of Israel, David wisely chooses a different city: Jerusalem.
Jerusalem was a strategic choice for a number of reasons. As Pastor Jon Courson explains:
"[Jerusalem] was geographically strategic because it was surrounded on three sides by a valley, making it a hard place to attack. It was also politically strategic because it straddled the boundary line between Judah and Benjamin, making it impossible for any one tribe to claim it. It was also historically significant, dating back to the days of the patriarchs." (from Jon Courson's Application Commentary Old Testament Volume 1)
At the time, a group of Canaanites called the Jebusites were occupying Jerusalem. Centuries prior, God had commanded the Israelites to remove the Jebusites from the land (e.g. Exodus 23:23; Deuteronomy 7:1-2). However, the Israelites had been unable to do so -- so much so that by the time David marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, the Jebusites taunted David, saying "even our blind and lame can defeat you" (v6). But David's men, unfazed by the Jebusites' taunts, enter Jerusalem through a water shaft (v8) and capture the city (v7). David takes up residence in the fortress there called Zion, which he renames the City of David (v9). What can we learn from this? For centuries, Jerusalem was an impenetrable area for the Israelites, until David came along and took it over. Likewise, maybe there is an area where your parents, grandparents or ancestors have struggled to find victory -- perhaps it's an addiction, a health issue, or a sin that for some reason has gotten the best of the generations before you. Just as David by faith conquered what his previous generations could not conquer, I believe God wants you to experience victory in new areas where previous generations may not have experienced it. Like David, have faith to believe that with God all things are possible.
2 Samuel 5:10 (NIV)
10 And he became more and more powerful, because the LORD God Almighty was with him.
On verses 10-11: David became more and more powerful because the LORD God -- the one who is all powerful -- was with him. Similarly, in Matthew 28 Jesus says that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him (Matthew 28:18). Jesus is the all powerful one. He also says, "Surely I am with you always to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). If the one who is all powerful is with you to the very end, it means that nothing is too difficult for you. I pray that like David, you will grow stronger and stronger, wiser and wiser, more and more like Christ with every new season of your life, because the Lord God Almighty is with you.
2 Samuel 5:12 (NIV)
12 And David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.
On verse 12: Here David realizes that the reason the Lord established him as king over Israel and gave him the kingdom was not for his own sake, but "for the sake of his people Israel". Whenever God exalts you, promotes you, or gives you influence or power, it is not just for your sake or glory that he does it; it's for the sake of the people you will serve. God made David a king over the people of Israel so that David could serve the people of Israel. Every promotion God gives you -- when you are elevated to a higher position at work, when you become a parent, when you are promoted in any way -- is so that you would use your life to serve others.
2 Samuel 5:13-16 (NIV)
13 After he left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him.
14 These are the names of the children born to him there: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon,
15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia,
16 Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet.
On verses 13-16: In Deuteronomy 17:17, the Lord specifically commanded that the king should not take many wives; otherwise "his heart will be led astray". Unfortunately, as much as David loved God, David ignored and outright rebelled against this command. We will see that as a result, indeed his heart would be led astray and he, his family and the nation he was called to serve would suffer as a result. No matter great your calling or how talented, experienced or successful you may be, all of us are still subject to God's commands. To obey them means we will be blessed. To ignore them spells disaster.
Lord Jesus, You are all powerful. Because You are with me, nothing is too difficult for me. So may I live with faith and courage today. Thank You that every promotion, opportunity and talent You give me is so that I can serve others and give You glory. In Jesus' name, AMEN!