Handbook of 2 Samuel
The Reign of David
David the Head of an Eternal Dynasty of Kings
David's Grief over the Death of Saul. David made King over Judah. Seven Years' War with Ish-bosheth, Saul's Son. David made King over all Israel. Jerusalem made Capital of the nation.
The Old Testament is the story of God's dealing with the Hebrew Nation for the purpose of one day Blessing All Nations.
As the story unfolds, it is explained that the way the Hebrew Nation would Bless All Nations would be thorough the Family of David.
As the story further unfolds, it is further explained that the way the Family of David would bless the world would be through ONE GREAT KING who would one day be born in Family, who would himself personally LIVE FOREVER, and establish a KINGDOM of ENDLESS DURATION.
Here, in this 7th chapter of 2 Samuel, begins the long line of promises that DAVID'S FAMILY should reign FOREVER over God's people; that is, there should come from David an Eternal Family Line of Kings, culminating in ONE ETERNAL KING. Here are some of these promises:
By and by, in the fulness of time, the angel Gabriel was sent to Nazareth, to Mary, who was of the family of David, and he said:
"Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the THRONE of his father DAVID; And he shall reign over the house of Jacob FOREVER; and of His Kingdom there shall be NO END" (Luke 1:30-33).
In THIS CHILD the Davidic promises found their fulfillment.
After Saul's death David had been made king over Judah. 7 years later he was made king over all Israel. He was 30 when he became king. He reigned over Judah 7 1/2 years, and over all Israel 33 years; 40 years in all (5:3-5). He died at 70.
Soon after becoming king over all Israel, David made Jerusalem his capital. Situated in an impregnable position, and with the tradition of Melchizedek, priest of God Most High, David thought it best suited to be the nation's capital. He took it, brought in the Ark of God, and planned the Temple (chapters 5, 6, 7).
David was very successful in his wars. He completely subdued the Philistines, Moabites, Syrians, Edomites, Ammonites, Amalekites, and all neighbor nations. "The Lord gave victory to David whither-soever he went" (8;6).
David took an insignificant nation, and, within a few years, built it into a mighty kingdom. In the southwest the Egyptian world empire had declined. Over in the cast the Assyrian and Babylonian world empires had not yet arisen. And here, on the highway between, under David, the kingdom of Israel, almost overnight, became,
not a world empire, but perhaps the most powerful single kingdom on earth at the time.
This was the blackest spot in David's life: adultery, and virtual murder to cover the adultery. His remorse made him a broken man. God forgave him; but pronounced the fearful sentence, "The sword shall never depart from thy house" (12:10), and it never did. David reaped exactly what he had sown, and more of it; a long and hard and bitter harvest. His daughter Tamar was raped by her brother Amnon, who in turn was murdered by their brother Absalom. Absalom led a rebellion against his father David, and was killed in the struggle. David's wives were violated in public, as he had secretly
violated the wife of Uriah. Thus, David's glorious reign was clouded with unceasing troubles. What a lesson for those who think they can sin, and sin, and get away with it!
Yes this was the "man after God's own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). David's reaction showed him to be just that. Some of the Psalms, as 32 and 51, were born of this bitter experience.
Absalom probably knew that Solomon was slated to be David's successor as king. Hence this effort to steal the throne from his father David. Judging by the space given to, the account of it, it must have been one of the most troublesome things in David's reign. It involved defection of some of David's advisers, and utterly broke his heart. But Absalom was finally killed, and David restored to his throne.
Then followed Sheba's Rebellion (chapter 20). Absalom's attempted usurpation probably weakened David's hold on the people. So Sheba tried his hand at it, but soon was crushed. Then the Philistines grew bold again (chapter 21); and again David was victorious.
Here, as in many Psalms, David exhibits his unfailing Trust in God, and his unbounded Gratitude to God for His constant care.
That is, his last Psalm. It shows what David's mind was on at the close of his glorious but troubled life: Justice of his reign as king; his creation of the Psalms; his devotion to God's Word; God's covenant whit him of an Eternal Dynasty.
It is difficult to see just wherein was the sin of taking a national census. God himself had ordered such a census both at the beginning and at the end of the 40 years of wilderness wanderings (Numbers 1:2; 26:2). Perhaps in this case, it may have indicated that David, who had so consistently, all his life long, relied implicitly on God, might have been beginning to slip, in a tendency to rely on the greatness of his kingdom. The census was Satan's idea (1 Chronicles 21:1). Satan may have considered it an opportunity to move David away from his trust in God to trust in himself. At any rate, God regarded the act as a sin to be punished.
The census showed a population of about a million and a half of fighting men, exclusive of Levi and Benjamin (1 Chronicles 21:5); or a total population of, probably, about six to eight million.
In punishment, God sent the angel of pestilence to destroy Jerusalem. In the place where the angel's hand was stayed, there David built an altar (25). Where David built the altar, there Solomon built the Temple (2 Chronicles 3:1).
All in all, David was a grand character. He did some things that were very wrong, but , for an oriental king, he was a most remarkable man. He was, heart and soul, devoted to God and the ways of God. In a world of Idolatry, and in a nation that was continually falling away into Idolatry, David stood like a rock for God. In every circumstance of life he went directly to God, in Prayer, in Thanks or in Praise. His two great accomplishments were: the Kingdom and the Psalms.