Peter Misselbrook's Blog
May 4 2019 - 2 Samuel 5 – David king over a united kingdom

Saul and Jonathan are both dead, killed in a battle with the Philistines. So all Israel gathered to acknowledge David as their king for he is the one of whom the Lord said, "You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler" (2 Samuel 5:2). Unlike the kings of the nations, he is to be a shepherd-king, one who will devote himself to the care and welfare of the people of God. In this he is to reflect the character of the Lord who is the ultimate king over his people (see Psalm 23) and to anticipate the Great Shepherd who is to come.

David's first act is to march against Jerusalem, a city inhabited and defended by the Jebusites. The steep slopes and strong walls around the city, particularly around its fortress, Mount Zion, made its inhabitants confident that it could not be captured. The parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 11 tells us that it was Joab, son of Zeruiah who found a way into the city and led the army in capturing it for David. As a result, he was made commander-in-chief of David's army. Jerusalem now became "the City of David". 

David spares no time in making Jerusalem not only his personal fortress but also the capital city for the kingdom of Israel. He increased its fortifications and then began to plan his own palace. For this he enlisted the help of Hiram, king of Tyre, whose men possessed the necessary skills and materials for building a house fit for a king.

David acknowledged "that the LORD had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel" (5:12); David knows that it is all God's doing. Nevertheless, the splendour of his palace and his growing collection of wives and concubines (5:13) suggest that he is all too quickly becoming "a king like the nations." Yet God is pleased to use and bless David, giving him further victories over the Philistines.

How easily we become compromised, particularly when the Lord blesses us. We deceive ourselves by saying that we are only making use of the opportunities the Lord has given us while, in fact, we are pleasing ourselves and following the patterns of behaviour common to the world around us. How wonderful that God does not treat us as our sins deserve but is pleased to continue to bless us and use us even when our desire to live for him so easily gets tangled up with our intention to please ourselves. Not that any of this excuses our sin – far from it – but it does encourage us to believe that God will not quickly cast us off.

Lord, you are my shepherd-king. Lead me in paths of righteousness for your name's sake. Help me to keep a watch over my own heart and to follow the Lord Jesus rather than the patterns of this self-seeking world. By your Spirit, make me aware of the ways in which I so easily seek to please myself rather than you. Show me more of the glory of the Lord Jesus who was willing to forsake his throne in glory to seek and to save those who were lost and to make us his own. Make me more like him.

May the mind of Christ, my Saviour,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go.

Peter Misselbrook