New Use for Old Trophies
2 Kings 11:10
And to the captains over hundreds did the priest give king David's spears and shields, that were in the temple of the LORD.

When David had fought with an adversary, and overcome him, he took away his armour and his weapons, and as other victorious heroes were wont to do, he bore them home as mementoes of his prowess, the trophies of the battle. These were placed in the house of the Lord. Perhaps David at the same time dedicated in like manner the shield and the sword which he had himself used in battle. After Solomon had built the temple, these trophies, which seem to have been very numerous, were hung up there. So they adorned the wails. So they illustrated the valour of noble sires. So they served to kindle emulation, I doubt not, in the breasts of true.hearted sons. Thus it was while generations sprung up and passed away; till at length other days dawned, darker scenes transpired, and sadder things filled up the chronicles of the nation.

I. IT IS WELL FOR US TO HANG ALL OUR TROPHIES IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD. We, too, are warriors. Every genuine Christian has to fight. Every inch of the way between here and heaven we shall have to fight, for as hitherto every single step o our pilgrimage has been one prolonged conflict. Sometimes we have victories, a presage of that final victory, that perfect triumph we shall enjoy with our Great Captain for ever. When we have these victories it behoves us to be especially careful that in all good conscience we hang up the trophies thereof in the house of the Lord. The reason for this lies here: it is to the Lord that we owe any success we have ever achieved. We have been defeated when we have gone in our own strength; but when we have been victorious it has always been because the strength of the Lord was put forth for our deliverance. You never fought with a sin, with a temptation, or with a doubt, and overthrew it, except by the Spirit's aid. This will save us from pride and self-sufficiency. Scarcely can God trust us with a victory, lest we begin fingering it with our own hands, as if our own ingenuity, our own wisdom, or our own strength had done marvels.

II. THESE TROPHIES MAY COME IN USEFUL AT SUCH TIMES AS WE CANNOT FORESEE, AND UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES AS WE WOT NOT OF. Little could David have thought when he gave Abiathar the sword of Goliath, that he would ever go to the priests of Gad and ask them to lend him a sword, and that they should say, We have no sword here, save the sword of Goliath, the Philistine. whom thou slewest in the Valley of Elah, behold it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. He gave it to God, but he did not think that he would ever have it back again with a priestly blessing on it, so that he should be able to say, "There is none like that: give it me." And when, in after years, he hung up the swords and shields which he had taken away from Philistine heroes, he did not surmise that one of his descendants, of the seed royal, would find the need to employ his own, his grandsire's, or, further back, from himself — his forefathers' trophies — in order to establish himself on the throne. We never know, when we praise God for mercies, hut what the very praises might come back into our bosoms, and the offerings we make to God in the way of thankfulness may be our own enrichment in the days to come. Did you ever have a personal, mental, moral conflict with some great dragon of besetting sin? If so be you have been enabled to smite it valiantly, and slay it utterly, I know you have gained trophies to hang up in the house of God. To do so will be of no small advantage to yourselves, because you can take them down and use them in future; and you will find they are footholds of your strength to fight with the next sin that comes upon you. The strength which God has educated and fostered in the last struggle will greatly assist you in the next. The man who gives way to one sin will very readily give way to another, but a man who through God's grace has won a very high vantage ground by mastering one sin, will be very likely to win another. The spoils taken from the last Philistine will help us to go forth and win more, and in the name of God we shall get the victory. Now it is a fine, a noble thing, when you have had a conflict in your own soul with some plausible heresy, some seductive perversion of the truth, and have put it to flight with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; it is a noble feat, I say, to capture the arms of your assailant and to use the very weapons of the adversary against him. You have detected his sophistry, you have found out devices, and now for the future you will not be so readily carried away with every wind of doctrine. This time,you are too old to be taken with his chaff. You were deceived once, but by God's grace you are not willing any longer to lend a ready ear to the fair speech which casts a mist over plain facts, hut you henceforth resolve to prove the spirits whether they be of God. So from the spoils of past conflicts you are made strong to win present victories.

III. ANCIENT WEAPONS ARE GOOD FOR PRESENT USE. I should like to show you this by taking you on to a battle-field. We will go to it. It is not Sadowa or Sedan, it is a grander arena far — the old seventy-seventh. Turn to the seventy-seventh Psalm, and you have a battle-field there. Should you ever have to fight the same battle, by looking through this Psalm, you will see David's shields and spears, and you will soon learn how to screen yourself with the one, and how to do exploits with the other. Here is David fighting with despondency. I daresay some of you are afflicted with it. But observe how he fought with it. The first weapon he drew out of the scabbard was the weapon of all-prayer. And how grandly he used it! "I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice." Despondency soon flies when a man knows how to ply this all-conquering and ever-useful weapon of petition to the Most High. Then note how he used this weapon continually. "My hand was stretched out all night," saith he, according to the marginal reading of the second verse. If the first prayer did not help him, he prayed again. When he had used the weapon of prayer, what did he do next? Be took out another spear. It was that of remembering God. He had long enough pored in thought over himself and his present sinfulness and weakness, and now he remembered God's mercy, God's faithfulness, God's loving kindness, God's power, God's covenant, God in the person of Christ. Oh! this is indeed to prepare a salvo against the enemy, and to fortify one's own position with fresh succours. He can win the battle that knows how to use this artillery of remembering God. Going on with the strategy of war, what next? Why, in the fifth verse we read how he maintained his courage and his constancy — "I considered the days of old." He enquired of hoary fathers, and looked back upon the inspired traditions, if I may be allowed the expression, of the early Church. He turned to see whether God ever did forsake any of His people. But now he used another weapon. He looked to his own experience — see the sixth verse. "I called to remembrance my song in the night." Past experience acknowledged gratefully, and taken as the index of what the future will be — this is another of David's shields and spears.

IV. DID NOT DAVID HEREIN PREFIGURE HIM THAT WAS TO COME — DAVID'S SON AND DAVID'S LORD? Jesus Christ, our King, has hung up many shields and spears in the house of the Lord. Sin — Christ has borne it in himself, endured its penalty and overcome it; He has hung up the handwriting of ordinances that was against us as a trophy in the house of the Lord. He has nailed it to the cross. Satan — our great foe — He met him foot to foot in the wilderness and discomfited him — met him in the garden — overcame him on the cross. Now hell, too, is vanquished — Christ is Lord. The prince of the power of the air is but his servant. The King of kings hath led captivity captive, and all the crowns of this prince of the power of the air are hung up as trophies. Broken are their spears: their shields all battered and vilely cast away, hang up as memorials of what Christ has done. Death, too, the last enemy, Christ hath taken spoils from him when He rose again himself from His prison house, and ascended on high, leading captivity captive. And the enmity of the human heart. When we look round the temple and see the shields and spears hung up, we say "Who did those shields and spears belong to?" One says, "Why, that is the shield and spear of John Newton, the old blasphemer!" Glory be to God, Christ conquered him. Whose shield and spears are those? Why, that is the shield and spear of John Bunyan, the blasphemer on the village green. God's mercy conquered him. What will heaven be when all of us shall be trophies of His power to save, and when our bodies shall be there as well as our Souls! "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" — when not only souls, but bodies shall be in heaven too, all trophies of what Christ has done when He plucked His people from the jaws of the grave and delivered them from the grasp of the sepulchre.

( C. H. Spurgeon.).

Parallel Verses
KJV: And to the captains over hundreds did the priest give king David's spears and shields, that were in the temple of the LORD.

WEB: The priest delivered to the captains over hundreds the spears and shields that had been king David's, which were in the house of Yahweh.

The Coronation of Joash
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