The Reign of David
David the Head of an Eternal Dynasty of Kings
Chapters 1 to 6
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.
Chapter 7. God promises David an Eternal Throne
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:
"Thy throne shall be established forever" (7:16).
"If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and soul, there shall not fail thee a man on the throne of Israel" (1 King 2:4).
"A son shall be born to thee ... His name shall be Solomon... I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever" (1 Chronicles 22:8, 9, 10).
"If thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked ... then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel" (2 Chronicles 7:17, 18).
"I have made a covenant with My Chosen. I have sworn unto David My Servant, Thy Seed will I Establish Forever, and build up Thy Throne unto all generations ... I will make Him, my First-born, higher than the kings of the earth ... And my covenant shall stand fast with Him. His Seed will I make to endure Forever, and His Throne as the days of Heaven . . . My Covenant I will not break, nor alter the thing that has gone out from My Lips. Once I have sworn by My Holiness, I will not lie to David. . . His Throne shall be Established Forever" (Psalm 89:3, 4, 27-29, 34-37).
"The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David: he will not turn from it: Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne" (Psalm 132:11).
"In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen . . that they may possess . . . all the nations, which are called by my name, saith the Lord" (Amos 9:11, 12).
"Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be NO END, upon the throne of David" (Isaiah 9:6, 7).
"There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots which shall stand for an ensign of the people, and to him shall the nations seek" (Isaiah 11:1,10).
"Thou, Bethlehem (city of David) . . . out of thee shall come forth One unto me who is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting . . . He shall be great unto the ends of the earth" (Micah 5:2, 4).
"O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord . . . Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise up unto David a Righteous Branch, and a King shall reign ... and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jeremiah 22:29; 21:5, 6).
"If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, so that there should not be day and night in their season; then may also my covenant be broken with David" (Jeremiah 33:20,21).
"I will bring forth my servant the Branch . . . And I will remove the iniquity of the land in one day" (Zechariah 3:8,9).
"The man whose name is The BRANCH . . . he shall build the temple of the Lord, and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne and his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth" (Zechariah 6:12, 13; 9:10).
"In that day . . . the house of David shall be as God . . . In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David . . , for sin and for uncleanness" (Zechariah 12:8; 13:1).
Thus, the promise of an Eternal King, to arise in David's Family, was repeated over and over: to David himself , to Solomon, and again and again in the Psalms, and by the prophets Amos, Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah and Zechariah, over a period of some 500 years.
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.
Chapters 8, 9, 10. David's Victories
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.
Chapters 11, 12. David and Bathsheba
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.
Chapters 13 to 21. David's Troubles
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.
Chapter 22. David's Song of Praise
Here, as in many Psalms, David exhibits his unfailing Trust in God, and his unbounded Gratitude to God for His constant care.
Chapter 23. David's Last Words
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.
Chapter 24. The People Numbered
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.