2 Samuel 5:1-12. David becomes king over all Israel
- The seven years following David’s anointing as king of Judah were
years of conflict and division. Abner, commander of Saul’s army, as a
pawn for his own ambition, made Saul’s only remaining son,
Ishbosheth, king of the other eleven tribes; but he was weak and no leader,
and Abner eventually defected to David. He was killed by Joab, commander of
David’s army, and Ishbosheth was also murdered.
- During this time David watched and waited, making it clear that he was
not responsible for either death. He knew it was God’s will that he
should rule over all Israel.
- At the beginning of today’s passage we read that representatives
of the tribe—now without a king, or even an heir to Saul’s
throne—came to David and acknowledged him as their king. They entered
into a covenant with him and Israel at last had a king chosen by God.
- David’s choice of Jerusalem for his capital was a diplomatic one.
Located on the border between Judah (David’s tribe) and Benjamin
(Saul’s tribe)—but never controlled by either—no one
could accuse him of favouritism. Also, Jerusalem was a natural fortress.
Built on a rocky outcrop, with valleys on three sides, it was almost
impregnable. Only David’s knowledge of a water shaft enabled his men
to enter and take control. Excavations on Mount Zion have revealed such a
shaft, difficult—but not impossible—to climb.
- In the ancient Middle East the possession of a palace was a symbolic
indication of a king’s status; but, as we read in the last verse of
the passage, David knew that his kingship was God’s doing, and part
of his redemptive purpose.
- To consider
- David exercised considerable trust and patience over many years. Can we
see ways in which it would help us to exercise these qualities?
- Reflect on: Proverbs 3:5,6 and Galatians 5:22,23
- O pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). Father, mindful of
this verse, keep us faithful in praying for peace in Jerusalem and other
parts of your troubled world. Amen.