- 2 Samuel 5:23-24 (NLT)
David was King of Judah for seven and one half years, waiting patiently for the Lord to place Him on the throne of Israel, which would combine Judah with the northern land called Israel. He had know since before the death of Saul that He was destined to be King. It would only take place once Saul's heir to the throne, his son, King Ishbosheth was gone, breaking the chain of lineage. What was unexpected was the way it happened, for the murders of the great warrior, Abner, who served both King Saul and King Ishboseth, led to the seating of David as King of the combined land. Abner had met with David to broker the end of Isbosheth's reign in a peaceful fashion with honor, yet both he and the young King were killed by those who thought David would be pleased.
David had not sought, nor commissioned either of these killings and put the guilty to death. He knew God would not condone such an action. David also gave both the tough warrior and the dead King memorial gatherings and burial with honor to show the new combined nation that it was not his doing. Abner died first after being tricked to return to Hebron where he was stabbed to death and David gave him an honorable burial in Hebron, capital of Judah. Many thought David may have been involved in the murder but his actions convinced them of his integrity.
Ishbosheth was murdered in his own bed and his head was taken to David. Not only was David not pleased, he put the two culprits to death and the dead king, remains were buried in the tomb of his chief warrior, Abner. David knew by discernment that the brutal actions were allowed by God to happen and that God also was aware that David's hands were clean. And so, he was finally made officially the sitting King of Israel and moved his capital to Jerusalem, calling it the City of David, a city we now call the City of God. This was only accomplished, however, by first capturing the city from the Jebusites, who mocked him saying their walls were impenetrable. He surprised them when his soldiers entered the city through the man underground water tunnel and catching those inside the wall off guard.
With his position now consolidated, David now had no time to rest since the long time enemy of the Israelites, the Philistines, were coming on the attack. With God's blessing he defeated them with a head on assault. Later, his nemesis would come back, knowing him well due to his temporary time fighting for them when he lived with them while Saul searched for him. But what the Philistines didn't understand well enough was the force that God would apply for David due to his listening and following of God's instructions fully and patiently. When the enemy was aligned for battle across the plain, David asked the Lord if he should again attack directly. God informed him to instead circle behind them and wait at the stand of poplar trees (some Bible version say mulberry) and wait for the sound of the Army of God and their footsteps in the rustling leaves. That would mean God's Army was sweeping forward and it was the signal for David to attack. The attack came and the enemy was slaughtered, with the blood flowing all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.
So, what does this tell us today about what God expects of us. Well, since we are His children and made in His image, it tells us that we need to be faithful and give Him our complete trust, understanding that He does what He says He will do. We need to be patient in awaiting Him to answer our prayers. God further expects us to follow His guidance just as it is given to us. The best example I can give is the rules for good living and honoring Him as found in the Ten Commandments. And finally, we need to understand that living for Him and putting Him first in our lives is the only way for us to inherit a place forever in His Kingdom. If we commit to that with heart and soul, all other things will be taken care of. I for one find even just this one of many stories about the life of David is such an amazing example of how God works. That should truly be a great comfort to us all. After all, God loved Him and allowed him to be a great leader, despite his many sins and faults that would show later. It's just like the story of each of us. Be blessed knowing that His grace and forgiveness as it came to earth many years later in the life and blood of Jesus is available to each of us, if only we will open our hearts.
And there is one other important point about David that shows his importance to God's master plan that would open broadly with the coming of the Christ child. David was the son of Jesse and Jesus' lineage was of the House of Jesse. It all fits together in the masterful design of our omnipotent God.