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DAVID CROWNED KING; THE ARK RESTORED
[2 Samuel:2:1-7] [2 Samuel:2:11] [2 Samuel:5:1-5] [2 Samuel:6:1-15] [2 Samuel:6:17]
“Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel” ([2 Samuel:5:2]).
Mourning for Saul and Jonathan
David mourned the death of Saul and Jonathan. He showed due respect for his former king and foe, Saul, and was deeply grieved at the death of Jonathan, Saul's son. David lamented by writing a song, which mentioned only their good and great deeds. He referred to Jonathan as “my brother Jonathan,” and remembered Jonathan's love and kindness to him.
Saul's death meant that David would be made king, for he had already been anointed by the Lord. Even though Saul's death meant advancement for David, he did not express any pleasure nor any relief that his en-emy was dead. David did not rejoice when his enemy fell (Proverbs 24:17).
David could have sent messengers throughout all Israel ordering the people to pledge allegiance to him as the king. David did no such thing. He waited for God's promise to be fulfilled. David prayed and inquired of God in times of favour as well as in times of trouble. David did not sit back and do nothing as he waited upon the Lord, but he did all that he was directed to do. David asked God if he should go to any of the cities of Judah. God told David to go. David did not go to his own city, Bethlehem not to any other place that he might have liked. God directed David to Hebron, a city of the Priests and a city of refuge.
In Peace and in War
David took with him the men who had joined him when he was in exile. Those in distress and in debt, along with the discontented, had made David captain over them (I Samuel 22:2). These people had been with David in times of want and of hiding. When David was given the position of king, he did not forget those who had befriended him. They had suffered with David, been hungry with him, and sorrowed with him. Now this faithful band would rule with him. The Bible teaches that those who are faithful and obedient, and who suffer with Christ, will also reign with Him, while those who deny Christ will be denied by Him (II Timothy 2:12).
King of Judah
After he, his men, and their families had moved to Hebron, David was anointed king by the house of Judah, his own people. This was the second time that David was anointed king. About ten years before, he had been anointed by Samuel, at the commandment of the Lord. Now the anointing was by the people of Judah, a part of the Children of Israel.
For seven and a half years David was king over the house of Judah at Hebron. During this time David made friends with the men of Jabesh-Gilead and commended them for their kindness to their former king, Saul, whom they had buried. David pronounced the blessing of the Lord upon them and his own kindness to them. He modestly told them that he had been made king in Saul's place.
David did not dispose of all Saul's relatives, as was customary. In those days it was considered necessary, in establishing ones kingdom, that the descendants of the former king be slain. David did not lift his hand against any of Saul's family. There was no king like David in that respect. Some of Saul’s sons were slain in battle and others were killed later, but not by David through any plot of his.
Representatives of the tribes of Israel gathered at Hebron. They were of “one heart to make David king” (I Chronicles 12:38). David was God’s choice and was also the choice of the people. For three days they were in Hebron to make a league with David, beseeching him to be their ruler. They gave three reasons why they wanted David to be their king as well as be the king of Judah. As Children of Israel, they were brethren. It was the law of God that their king be one of their own people, not a stran¬ger (Deuteronomy 17:15). They reminded David, “We are thy bone and thy flesh”; which would qualify him to be their king.
Another reason was that they remembered the good service, which David had done in the past for the Chil-dren of Israel. He had been faithful to do what he could for the good of the Children of Israel. Perhaps they were referring to David's slaying of Goliath when all the men of war, even the king, were afraid of the enemy giant.
The third reason the men of Israel gave was the most important. David was appointed and anointed by God. He was to be king both in peace and in war. The Lord told David, “Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel.”
King of Our Lives
It was in the hearts of all Israel to make David king over them. None offered any reason why David should not be king. There is One who would be King in the lives of all people today. No reason can be given for not making Jesus the King of our lives. Some make excuses, but there is no acceptable reason. There are many rea-sons why Jesus should reign in our hearts and lives, reasons similar to the ones given by those who made David their king. Those who receive Jesus as King are called brethren. Jesus said, “For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother” (Mark 3:35). Jesus is the only one who can bring deliverance from the enemy and take sin from our lives. Looking at Jesus, John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
As a shepherd cares for his flock, Jesus guides His people and feeds them upon the bread of life. These are Jesus' words: “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shad have the light of life” (John 8:12); and, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shad never thirst” (John 6:35).
Jesus is God's plan for our salvation. He was given by God (John 3: 16), anointed by God (Acts 10:38), and acknowledged by God (Matthew 17:5). Jesus will take His place as King of kings and Lord of lords (I Tim¬othy 6:15). Why not let Jesus be the King and Ruler of your heart and life now?
God was a witness to the league made by David and all the elders of Israel. For the third time, David was anointed to be king. David was thirty years old at the time he began to reign. He was the same age as the Le-vites when they were appointed to do service for the Lord in the Tabernacle (Numbers 4:47). David was the same age as Jesus was when Jesus began His public ministry (Luke 3:23).
David reigned forty years. Part of this reign was in Hebron, a city famous throughout the history of the Children of Israel. It had been the place of some memorable events. At Hebron, Abraham built an altar unto the Lord. There Sarah, his wife, died, and was buried in the nearby cave of Machpelah, in the family tomb (Genesis 12:8; 23:2,19, 20). Hebron was the inheritance of Caleb because he wholly followed the Lord (Joshua I4: 14). Hebron was later given to the Levites (Joshua 21:11 13) and it became a city of refuge. (See Lesson 139.)
David reigned for a longer period of time in Jerusalem. It became the capital and is even better known than Hebron, being mentioned to the end of the Bible. It was situated almost in the centre of the Holy Land. “Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her” (Ezekiel 5:5). The Psalmist sang about Jerusalem, “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion” (Psalm 48:2). Jerusalem was about twenty Roman miles north of Hebron, and was located on a high tableland – a mountain city through which all travellers passed as they journeyed north and south through Palestine. Jerusalem was considered a sacred place of worship because the Temple of the Lord was built there. God heard and answered prayers that were uttered in that place and towards that city (II Chronicles 7:12-15). It is a type of the new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2), the Holy City of the living God (Hebrews 12:22), the Heavenly City whose Builder and Maker is God (Hebrews 11:10) and which is prepared for His people (Lesson 169).
The Ark of the Lord
Once again the chosen men of Israel gathered with David, their king. They all decided that it would be a right and good thing for them to move the Ark of the Lord (I Chronicles 13:3, 4). For many years the Ark had been in the house of Abinadab, neglected by the Children of Israel. The Ark was a token of God’s presence; and, when in their midst, had been a blessing to them. When the Philistines had the Ark in their possession, much trouble came to them. What is a blessing to God’s people can be a curse to the world. God’s Word is life to us, and death to those who do not abide by it.
David had good intentions in bringing the Ark to Jerusalem, but no mention is made of his praying to ask God’s guidance in the removal of this holy symbol of God’s presence. It was honourable for the Children of Israel to want the presence of the Lord in their midst. The presence of the Lord brings conviction for sin, which leads to salvation. The presence of the Lord brings peace, confidence, protection, and hope. Without the Lord there is only emptiness.
The Wrong Way
David and the Children of Israel did not make a mistake in wanting the Ark of the Lord with them. The les-son they had to learn was to do God’s work in God’s way. They put the Ark on a new cart driven by Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab. According to the Law, it should have been carried on the shoulders of the Levites. The Children of Israel moved it in the same way that the Philistines had moved it (I Samuel 6:7, 8). How many people have had to suffer because they have patterned after the people round about them rather than obeying the command of the Lord!
Smitten by God
As the Children of Israel moved the Ark toward Jerusalem, they were very happy. They sang unto the Lord, and the musicians played with all their hearts. Suddenly they were filled with fright and sadness. The oxen stumbled and the Ark on the cart shook. Uzzah put out his hand to hold the Ark -– and dropped dead. God had given instructions that those who carried the Ark should “not touch any holy thing, lest they die” (Numbers 4:15). Uzzah touched the Ark; so he was smitten by God and died beside the Ark. Uzzah may have had good intentions to steady the Ark, but he was careless with his privilege of attending the Ark. If it had been carried as directed by God, there would have been no need for Uzzah to touch it. Uzzah’s error was an example of the fact that good intentions do not justify bad actions. May we learn to speak of and to treat the holy things of God with fear and reverence.
David was vexed and afraid. Lest all of them be smitten by God, the Ark was stored at the house of Obed edom, the Gittite. With the Ark was the blessing of the Lord. Obed edom and his household found that it pays to serve the Lord, for they were blessed while they had the Ark.
David prayed and asked God how the Ark should be moved. If he had prayed the first time, Uzzah would not have died at this time and they would have had the blessing of the Lord sooner. David prepared a place for the Ark and pitched a tent for it. After three months the Children of Israel took the Ark to Jerusalem. This time they moved it according to God's way -- on the shoulders of the Levites (Numbers 7:9; I Chronicles 15:2, 12 15), covered with badgers' skies (Numbers 4:6), and borne with staves (Exodus 25 :14). The Ark was placed in the tabernacle that was prepared for it, and sacrifices were offered to God in praise and thanksgiving. When the Ark was moved in the manner that pleased God, the Children of Israel were successful. There was great joy, because they were obedient.
1. Name the times that David was anointed to be king.
2. In what two cities did David reign?
3. Why was David made king over all Israel?
4. Of what was the Ark of the Lord a symbol?
5. What happened to Uzzah? Why?
6. What mistake did the Children of Israel make in moving the Ark the first time?
7. Why did the Lord bless Obed edom and his household?
8. Where was the Ark of the Lord finally placed?