Prosperity is an enormous temptation. When we are given blessed moments of peace on every side often we find ourselves falling into one of three traps. One, we start to think we are autonomous. When things are good we steal the credit from God and believe the lie that we did all this on our own. Two, we forget God and how to pray all together. For ages Christians have only known how to pray foxhole prayers. Three, we bask in the comfort of prosperity, and become weak and apathetic forgetting how to work as hard as those who are uncomfortable.
May we never fall into these traps, but be more like David, who even in prosperity, dedicated his incoming abundance unto the Lord: King David also dedicated these to the Lord, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations which he had subdued (2 Samuel 8:11)
Even when God blesses we will sing unto the Lord, and dedicate our lives unto Him.
2 Samuel 8 is a brief overview of David establishing himself as king of Israel. It retells his military exploits, securing and expanding the kingdom. The writer wants us to know what kind of king David is; he is strong, shrewd, wise and just. Twice, we are told that David’s rise as king is attributed to “the Lord.”
In the Old Testament stories of David often point us to Jesus. He is the embodiment of a promise of an even better king. So as David establishes himself as king so long ago, it also is a picture of Jesus establishing his kingship over our lives, marriages, families, and yes even the nations.
So, here’s the question, is Jesus’ kingship on the rise in your life? More and more is he gaining victory over strongholds and barriers to greater intimacy, unity, and purpose? From big to small things, are you yielding to Him more and more? Will you let him reign?
“King David dedicated these articles to the Lord, as he had done with the silver and gold from all the nations he had subdued: The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.”
I believe David’s main goal or priority in the battles and wars in chapter 8 was not victory. He was indeed a mighty warrior and effective leader. Yet, I think His objective/purpose was something more meaningful and significant- obedience (to God). From David’s obedience came victory. There’s is a dramatic and noticeable difference between the two.If victory was the main goal, the focus and attention would have been on David. His own efforts, his own skill, and wisdom. There would have been no room for praise and gratitude to God. No place for dependence on Him. But, there was. Plenty!Obedience to God keeps the focus and attention on Him. Obedience causes thankfulness, humility, and dependence.We see these in David’s relationship with God in chapter 8. Is your goal only victory or something larger and more meaningful-obedience?
David was a mighty warrior. He enjoyed victory after victory over his enemies…amazing triumphs against overwhelming odds. David recognized though that it was God’s hand at work, not his own prowess. Pridefulness could easily have taken over his kingdom, but David remained humble before the Lord. Verse 15 says, “David administered justice and righteousness for all his people.” God had established the ‘guidelines’ for a successful kingdom and David was obedient to those instructions. (i.e. – In Deuteronomy, the kings were instructed not to accumulate horses…David was obedient. Israel was to trust in God…not horses or chariots or mighty armies!)
How often do we get sidetracked by success, or fame, or wealth? Do we pridefully begin to view ourselves to be better than others…therefore, entitled to more? David’s righteous ruling extended to all people. Rich or poor, privileged or neglected, ruler or peasant…David was just to all Israel. The result of David’s obedience and reverence for God was the book of praise and thanksgiving we know as Psalms. As you read the Psalms, get to know the sovereign God that David loved!
“David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people.”
David had many toxic character attributes. Some of them appeared to diminish over time, but others were distressingly present all of his life. And yet, the Bible makes much of David as a “man after God’s own heart.” Does the Bible simply whitewash his destructive and dangerous tendencies? Does it declare that “Kings will be kings?” Not at all. Here’s why the scriptures associate justice and righteousness with David: Every time David got lost, he would eventually ask, in one way or another, “Where might I find God?” There’s a difference between saying, “We need to turn this country back to God,” and “Where is God?” David lived his life by the latter question.
And the Lord helped David wherever he went. vs. 6b, 14b
Victories, success, power – wow, David must have had it made, huh? It’s easy to look at a success story like that of King David and only see the ‘prosperity.’ But if we have seen anything in the past few weeks of our study, it is that David wanted what the Lord wanted. He moved where the Lord moved him. He surrendered his plans to God’s, and the Lord helped David.
Ok, ok, so now I have the secret formula, right? Want what God wants, seek after him, and then I’ll be rewarded! Not quite. We would all be wise to remember that God’s ways are not our own, and we should expect nothing in the way of payment for anything we do for the Lord. The key take away is that the Lord helped David. That is the victory. It may be through a cancer treatment, a transition at work or home, an opportunity to share your faith. Trust and obedience will result in God’s favor. Don’t read into another’s success, be grateful the Lord is on your side.
We have two different admonitions in this text from Nathan, David’s trusted prophet. First, Nathan tells David, “Go, do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.” (2 Samuel 7:3)
Nathan had no reason to second guess David, however, he should have waited on the word of the LORD. Nathan initially gives David bad advice because he gives David a kneejerk response. God had a much deeper message for David:
But in the same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, “Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? (2 Samuel 7:4)
As God is correcting Nathan, God is giving him a chance to change course (read repent), and do the right thing which Nathan immediately does. God often gives His people second chances just like He gives Nathan here. May we make the most of those second opportunities given immediately obeying this time around.
Where we start is not nearly as important as where we end up. King David begins chapter seven comfortable but alone, by the middle he is right where God wants him. Up to this point David is known for his dependence on God. From Goliath’s defeat to David’s coronation, we see a David desperate for the presence and Word of God. But not so in chapter 7. Here we encounter a different David, a rested, self-sufficient David. God takes the opportunity to remind David of the kind of God he is and introduce a new covenant. Both are incredibly important, but what God wanted more than anything is revealed in verse 18:
“Then King David went in and sat before the Lord…”
David began self sufficient and alone; he ended sitting before the Lord. He ended up right where he needed to be.
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 7 (day five) v 3 Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.” v 17 In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
The relationship between king David and the prophet Nathan is remarkable. At first, Nathan gives David the green light on building the Temple. Then, comes a completely different word of counsel. Yet, David doesn’t question, challenge, or berate Nathan. Instead, David goes to pray (a recurring activity in 2 Samuel). David demonstrates a humble heart and a high trust for the counsel of Nathan. Nathan is communicating a change of plans for David (the king). Yet, David is willing to listen and then process this information.
Maybe one of the lessons we can learn from the life of David is to have people ready and willing to speak God’s truth and perspective into our lives. Someone, we know from experience, walks closely and consistently with the Lord. Someone we trust that has no agenda other than wanting God’s best and God’s will for our lives. How valuable was Nathan to David?
Do you have anyone like that? (mentor, longtime friend, family member) Are you a “Nathan” to anyone? Perhaps God’s voice can be heard through the counsel of those around us.