After the death of Ishbaal, all the tribes of Israel come to David at Hebron and discuss David becoming king of the northern tribes. These tribes remember how, for quite some time, David led the armies of Israel under Saul. They assert that the Lord said to David: “It is you who shall be shepherd of my people Israel.” David then made a covenant with these tribes and was anointed king by them. David was 30 years old when he began to reign over Judah –37 years old when he began to reign over all Israelites. He reigned for 40 years.
David then chooses the city of the Jebusites, Jerusalem, as his capital. The city was thought to be impregnable, but David was able to conquer it. A neighboring king, Hiram of Tyre, sent messengers to David along with cedar trees so that David could build himself a palace. David took more wives and concubines, and many children were born to him in Jerusalem.
The Philistines, hearing that David has been made king over all Israel, sought to destroy him. David inquires of the Lord whether he should go after the Philistines. God tells David that he will prevail. At Baal-perezim, the Philistines are defeated, leaving behind their idols. (It is curious that they would leave the idols behind. One would think that they brought the idols to protect them. Apparently their fear was so great that they left behind anything that would impede their escape.) Once again the Philistines attack David and once again, with God’s help, David is victorious. There is an interesting passage about the “mastic” trees. In this battle God instructs David to attack from the rear after he hears the sound of marching in the treetops. A brilliant move as the Philistines would not have expected this. The power of the Philistines appear to be broken.
David decides to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. It had been stored in the house of Abinadab, a priest. On the journey one of the priest’s sons touches the side of the Ark to keep it from falling from the cart, and he is struck dead. Thinking that God does not want the Ark in Jerusalem and being afraid of God, David left the Ark in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. After some months, seeing how Obed’s home and family had been blessed by the Ark being in their midst, David decides to bring the Ark to Jerusalem.
There was a great procession, music and dancing as the Ark made its way to Jerusalem. As the Ark and the procession entered the city, Michal, the daughter of Saul and wife of David, sees David dancing before the Ark. “She despised him in her heart”, apparently thinking his behavior was that of a commoner and not a king. When Michal tells David this, he rebukes her. She gave birth to no children to the day of her death – presumably because David had no further relations with her. The love she once had for David is gone. Any relationship between them is over.
David decides to build a home for the Ark and at first Nathan, the prophet, tells him that God would approve. But in a dream, Nathan learns that God wants David’s son to build the temple. However, God does make a promise to David, that He will make David’s house eternal. (A prophesy of Jesus)
David accepts God’s wishes and says a magnificent prayer. “Is there another nation on earth whose God went to redeem it as a people, and to make a name for himself, doing great and awesome things for them, by driving out before his people nations and their gods.” Quite beautiful!
This story of David’s prayer reminds me that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ has come to redeem us. And in my own life, the Lord appeared to me in a dream to bring me home. Our God, who can do all things and has done all things, cares enough about me to be concerned about my eternal soul! What a wonder this is! What a wonder the story of salvation is – from the very beginnings of mankind to now, God gently leads his people home. Praise be to God!