Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.
2 Samuel 5:12
I. Two memorable passages in the history of David,—the establishment of his capital, and the removal of the ark to the hill above it,—illustrate the principles upon which his kingdom stood, and show wherein it differed from the great Asiatic empires which were then contemporary with it. The civic life, the life of cities, was with other nations the beginning, with the Jews it was the result of a long process. In the first, you have a despotism, which becomes more expansive and more oppressive from day to day; in the other case, you have a struggle, sometimes a weary struggle, but it is the struggle of spirits, it is a struggle for life. The ark spoke to the Israelites of a permanent Being, of a righteous Being, always above His creatures, always desiring fellowship with them, a fellowship which they could only realise when they were seeking to be like Him. Their king ruled so long as his throne was based upon righteousness; the moment he sought for any other foundation, he would become weak and contemptible. All David's discipline had been designed to settle him in this truth. He was the man after God's own heart, because he so graciously received that discipline and imbibed that truth. The signal sin of his life confirmed it still more mightily for himself and for all ages to come.
II. The discipline which followed upon David's sin was not for him more than for his people, nor for his people more than for all ages to come. That which enabled David, crushed and broken, to be more than ever the man after God's own heart, was also that which fitted him to be a ruler,—-by understanding the only condition on which it is possible for a man to exercise real dominion over others, viz. when he gives up himself, that they may know God and not him to be their sovereign. One of the best proofs that his schooling was effectual is this, that all his family griefs, his experience of his own evil, the desertion of his subjects, did not lead him to fancy that he should be following a course acceptable to God if he retired to the deserts instead of doing the work which was appointed for him. He found out the necessity of seeking God continually, because he learnt how weak he was, and how little he could be a king over men when the image of the Divine kingdom was not present to him.
III. We might have expected to see David's sun setting in splendour, to be told of some great acts, or hear some noble words which would assure us that he died a saint. The Bible does not in the least satisfy this expectation. We must turn elsewhere than to the Old or New Testament for deathbed scenes. Its warriors fight the good fight. We know that in some battle or other they finish their course. When or how, under what circumstances of humiliation or triumph, we are not told. Not by momentary flashes does God bid us judge of our fellow-creatures, for He who reads the heart, and sees the meaning and purpose of it, judges not by these.
F. D. Maurice, Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament, p. 53.
References: 2 Samuel 5:19.—F.W. Krummacher, David the King of Israel, p. 267. 2 Samuel 5:23.—Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 40. 2 Samuel 5:24.—S. Cox, Expositions, 3rd series, p. 441; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. iii., No. 147; Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 30; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. ii., p. 406. 2 Samuel 6:5.—Parker, vol. vii., p. 233. 2 Samuel 6:6, 2 Samuel 6:7.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. vii., p. 281. 2 Samuel 6:14, 2 Samuel 6:15.—F. W. Krummacher, David the King of Israel, pp. 280, 300. 2 Samuel 6:15.—J. Ker, Sermons, 2nd series, p. 162; T. Coster, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxii., p. 132. 2 Samuel 6:20.—G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 217; Parker, vol. vii., p. 234. 2 Samuel 6:20, 2 Samuel 6:21.—J. M. Neale, Sermons for the Church Year, vol. ii., p. 127. 2 Samuel 6:20-22.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. vi., p. 321. 2Sam 6—Parker, vol. vii., p. 117. 2 Samuel 7:1, 2 Samuel 7:2.—Plain Sermons by Contributors to the "Tracts for the Times" vol. ii., p. 41. 2 Samuel 7:2.—S. Martin, Rain upon the Mown Grass, p. 56. 2 Samuel 7:12-16.—J. G. Murphy, Book of Daniel, p. 32. 2 Samuel 7:18.—J. Van Oosterzee, Year of Salvation, vol. ii., p. 454. 2 Samuel 7:18-20.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xx., No. 1166. 2 Samuel 7:19.—Parker, vol. vii., p. 235. 2 Samuel 7:25.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ii., No. 88; Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 15. 2 Samuel 7:27.—Ibid., Sermons, vol. xxiv., No. 1412; Ibid., My Sermon Notes, Genesis to Proverbs, p. 67. 2Sam 7—W. M. Taylor, David King of Israel, p. 169. 2Sam 7-8.—Parker, vol. vii., p. 128. 2 Samuel 8:6.—J. Irons, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. xvi., p. 105. 2 Samuel 8:15.—F. W. Krummacher, David the King of Israel, p. 340; W. M. Taylor, David King of Israel, p. 180. 2 Samuel 9:1.—W. Walters, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxi., p. 248. 2 Samuel 9:7.—F. W. Krummacher, David the King of Israel, p. 326. 2 Samuel 9:8.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 148. 2 Samuel 9:13.—Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 148. 2 Samuel 9:2-7.—W. M. Taylor, David King of Israel, p. 196. 2Sam 9—Ibid., p. 169. 2Sam 9—Parker, vol. vii., p. 139. 2 Samuel 10:10.—Old Testament Outlines, p. 02.
Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel.
So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel.
David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.
In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.
And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither.
Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.
And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.
So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward.
And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him.
And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house.
And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.
And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.
And these be the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shammua, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon,
Ibhar also, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia,
And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet.
But when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines came up to seek David; and David heard of it, and went down to the hold.
The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
And David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.
And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and said, The LORD hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baalperazim.
And there they left their images, and David and his men burned them.
And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
And when David inquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.
And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.
And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer.