“And David knew that the Lord had established him as king.”
One can read the Psalms for five minutes and figure out that fear, dread, and terror made frequent appearances in David’s life. In those times, there was more he didn’t know than he did know. That fact can easily upstage everything else. It can be a person’s undoing. It was almost David’s undoing during those difficult seasons. But in the middle of the thickest, most impenetrable times of uncertainty, there was one thing he did know: God had enabled him to exist in that moment—purposefully not randomly, deliberately not capriciously. The breath you draw is evidence that God has not lost track of you. Is that the only thing you know? It is enough.
David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him. vs. 10
This right here. If there is any doubt as to why Saul’s reign ended and David’s did not it is this verse. The Lord was with him. Was it because David was better than Saul? More educated? More highly favored? Or was it a mater of David consistently seeking after the Lord? His walk was not perfect, but when re-directed David knew where to turn for guidance, strength, and correction. No battle is too insignificant. No decision too small. Everything is the Lord’s, so go ahead and lay it before him. Seen God work here before? That should be more reason to trust him again, and not assume he’ll just show up.
The men of David said to him, “Behold, this is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.’” (1 Samuel 24:4)
Then Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hand; now therefore, please let me strike him with the spear to the ground with one stroke, and I will not strike him the second time.” (1 Samuel 26:8)
Twice David had the opportunity to destroy Saul and assume kingship. Both times the trusted men around David assumed God was giving Saul into his hand believing God was finally solidifying David’s authority as God had promised, but David knew better. He knew better, because he was near the LORD. That is the only way to know better. We only avoid the camouflaged pitfalls of this world by keeping as near as we can to the LORD.
[Being near God David said] The Lord forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the Lord’s anointed; (1 Samuel 26:11a)
2 Samuel is the story of a king, a better king. After Saul’s death David makes a savvy move under God leadership by making his way to Hebron in Judah. There elders crowned him king, although one of Saul’s sons remained. It was a brave political move, but more simply, the Judeans longed for a better king, and they found one in David.
David’s kingship is an epic tale, but the longing still remains at its close. But God did that on purpose. His covenant with David ensures us a even better king is coming and has come.
Jesus is the fulfillment of that promise, and the satisfaction of a longing for a better king.
“Then it came about afterwards that David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go up to one of the cities of Judah?” And the LORD said to him, “Go up.” So David said, “Where shall I go up?” And He said, “To Hebron.” And David brought up his men who were with him, each with his household; and they lived in the cities of Hebron.” 2 Samuel 2:1,3
Sometimes the biggest struggle we face is when we seem to have power and opportunity given to us by God Himself. David had the first (promise of being King) already clearly communicated to him. The second (opportunity to immediately become King) was literally handed to him by the Amalekite. Wasn’t it time to step into the role and position David was created for? Not Yet. David shows remarkable patience and contentment by his response. He laments and grieves the deaths of Saul and Jonathan. He then asks the Lord for guidance and direction instead of immediately jumping into the position of king. Who does that?Why wait?Why not act on the circumstances?Because David has learned to trust God not only for His word and promises, but also His timing. It’s a supernatural sense of patience, peace, and contentment.J. I. Packer calls it “comprehensive contentment” and describes it as evidence of knowing God. I wonder if our actions, decisions, and motives reflect this kind of deep relationship with the living God?
On several occasions, David had passed up the opportunity to kill Saul and gain the throne that God had promised him. Saul was chosen and anointed as God’s choice to reign over Israel. Even though God had removed the kingdom from Saul and given it to David, David refused to take matters into his own hands and kill the Lord’s anointed. In God’s sovereignty, He could take care of the details of giving David the kingdom.
It may seem harsh to us that David had the young man killed who claimed, by his own mouth, to have killed Saul. God is the giver of life…it is in His authority that life is also taken away. David recognized that the Amalekite had taken God’s authority into his own hands.
How often is this same sin committed today? Murders, mercy killings, suicides, and abortion…God’s sovereign design is pre-empted. How long can our nation survive when we ignore the sanctity of life?
“Now then, be strong and brave, for Saul your master is dead.”
Say what you want about David, but don’t accuse him of pandering. His son Absalom—that’s another matter. Mister “If-only-I-were-king-you-would-think-everything-is-awesome” never got the opportunity, chiefly because he spent all his time crafting promises for fans instead of devising strategy for kingly stuff like, you know, reigning. David needed a people who would understand the rigors of reality, and he knew it: Summon courage because the devil you don’t know is always harder than the devil you know. For many, that “devil” became an angel of a golden age. Others never would accept the house of Judah. But to supporters and detractors alike, David told the truth about the future. A true leader knows the future’s going to arrive soon enough and prove that leader either right or wrong.
Then David chanted with this lament over Saul and Jonathan his son,and he told them to teach the sons of Judah the song ofthe bow; behold, it is written in the book of Jashar. Vs. 17-18
David was a warrior-poet. I think we forever think of him as a shepherd boy trying to wear Saul’s armor. We seem to be ok with the ruddy-faced young man writing poetry and singing psalms. Can we advance that figure in years? This same king who was known for his sword, his sin, but also his devotion to God. Can you be ok with this very grown-up version of David? A warring man who also grieved and danced publicly? Moderns struggle with this concept. It is an either or proposition for most of us, but not to David. His expressions of grief, love, devotion, and joy are all part of who he was. I want to encourage all of you to be more demonstrative in how your express your faith. Yes, even in an artistic medium. If it was good enough for a warrior king, it’s good enough for you. Write a poem, sing a song, paint a picture, and by all means tell others of what life in Christ is all about. I think our church will be a radically renewed place if we were to follow that example.