Lord’s Day Evening
2 Samuel 1-25
“Long Live the King!”
Derek W. H. Thomas
Now turn with me if you would
to 2 Samuel 5. And if you were listening carefully to Denny Terry’s wonderful
prayer earlier on you’ll have got some of the salient details of this chapter.
We come finally to the point where David will be anointed king in the city of
You remember that Ish-bosheth,
the last son, well, there was another son, Mephibosheth, who was lame, he was a
cripple, and therefore could never have been king. But Ish-bosheth has been
murdered by two ambitious young men who in turn were also killed by David and
their bodies hung from the walls of Hebron.
I cannot promise in chapter 5
that there are no more deaths. There are no more deaths of Israelites, for sure,
but there are going to be some deaths of Philistines in this chapter.
Now before we read the chapter
together let’s look to God in prayer.
Father, we thank You for the scriptures.
Thank You for the privilege that is ours to not just have a copy of the Bible,
but multiple copies in various forms; physical, and electronic and otherwise.
Thank You for this extraordinary privilege of living in these days. There’ve
been so many centuries when Your people would have to sacrifice a great deal to
acquire even a part of scripture.
And so grant to us, Lord, that
we might treasure the Bible, love it. Help us now as we read this chapter in the
life of David that You would open up the word to us, that by Your spirit You
would grant that our minds and hearts and affections and wills might respond
God-ward and Christ-ward. Come, Holy Spirit, and enable us to read, mark, learn,
and inwardly digest and all for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Word of God:
all the tribes of Israel
came to David at Hebron
and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king
over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord said to you,
“You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over
Israel.” So all the elders of Israel
came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a
covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and
they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old
when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. At
he reigned over Judah seven
years, and six months, and at Jerusalem he
reigned over all Israel and Judah
king and his men went to Jerusalem
against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will
not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off”–thinking, “David
cannot come in here.” Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. And David said on that day, “Whoever
would strike the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack ‘the lame
and the blind,’ who are hated by David’s soul.” There it is said, “The blind and
the lame shall not come into the house.” And David lived in the stronghold and
called it the city of David.
And David built the city all around from the Millo inward. And David became
greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.
Hiram king of Tyre
sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built
David a house. And David knew that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for
the sake of his people Israel.
David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem,
after he came from Hebron,
and more sons and daughters were born to David. And these are the names of those
who were born to him in Jerusalem:
Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama,
Eliada, and Eliphelet.
Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, all the
Philistines went up to search for David. But David heard of it and went down to
the stronghold. Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. And David inquired of the Lord,
“Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand? And the
Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your
hand.” And David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he
said, “The Lord has burst through my enemies before me like a bursting flood.”
Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim. And the Philistines
left their idols there, and David and his men carried them away.
Philistines came up yet again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim.
And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to
their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. And when you hear
the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for
then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the
Philistines.” And David did as the Lord commanded him, and struck down the
Philistines from Geba to Gezer.”
Thus far, God’s holy and
Now, this morning, I’m told,
at ten minutes past ten it was 10-10-10-10-10. It only happens once in a
thousand years and you missed it. [Laughter] But 10-10 is the date of this
chapter. At least most Bible histories record that the date of David’s anointing
is 10-10–10-10 BC. I didn’t plan it. It just happened that way.
This is David’s coronation. I
don’t remember a coronation. The coronation of the queen, the formal coronation
of Queen Elizabeth II was about a month or so after I was born. I have
somewhere, and my wife and I are still looking for it, a coin that all babies
born that year were given in honor of her coronation. I have it somewhere. It’s
more and more precious to me.
It’s been a long time coming,
this coronation; ever since that secret anointing of David by Samuel in 1 Samuel
16. This coronation pales into almost insignificance by comparison with some
coronations or investitures of presidents. Some of you might have seen the
brouhaha in North Korea.Was it yesterday or
Friday. I forget. All pomp and circumstance and soldiers marching and lots of
memories of Communism of a bygone era, almost.
no throne here. Not yet. There’s no palace in
Hebron. There’s no, well,
Jerusalem. That is yet to be. Elders, messengers from the
northern tribes come to David and they say, “We are your bone and flesh.”
You might suspect their
motive. After all, their rump, which was the Northern Kingdom is now almost gone. They had little
choice. They were wise in doing what they did, of course. Ish-bosheth has been
murdered. The only other surviving son of Saul was Mephibosheth and he was a
cripple. There was no future for Israel
so they were very wise to come down to David in Hebron to throw in their lot with David. Truth
is, of course, they’d been trying to kill David. But all of that is in the past
and God, they now declare, had said to David that he would be the shepherd of
Israel and that he would be the leader of
It’s been a long time since
that secret anointing in 1 Samuel 16 down to this point. Perhaps it’s difficult
to trace their timeline exactly, in terms of years backwards. It may be fifteen
years. It may be a little more than that. God’s purposes in David’s life have
been extraordinary. The providence – you wouldn’t have written it this way. The
threats on his life, the moments of despair, the time when he throws his lot in
with the Philistines. You remember when he feigns madness at one point for
survival’s sake, when he hid in caves.
God’s purpose will come to pass.
That’s one of the lessons of this chapter stamped all over 2 Samuel 5. What God
says will happen. God’s promises will always happen. When God says something, He
will do it. He may not do it according to our chronology. He may not do it
according to our timepiece. He may not do it according to our measurement of
comfort. God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.
Some of you tonight have
sadness in your life; melancholy, things that you don’t want to even to think
about tonight so we won’t dwell there. But all the while, from the past to the
present, to this day that you were here tonight, it’s all part and parcel of
God’s extraordinary providence, His care of you just as He has cared for David
and kept David.
David’s coronation. David has been anointed as king–king over a united twelve
tribes over the entirety of what there is of
Israel; his coronation.
I have six ‘C’s tonight.
That’s the first one–coronation.
It’s a lesson about providence. We can’t get ever tired. We can’t ever get
tired of reminding ourselves that God is a God of providence and that the One
who oversees, the One who superintends is Jesus. The one who died on the cross
for us, He’s the One who superintends our lives.
is always cross-shaped. The love that is expressive of the cross of Calvary is at the heart of God’s providence in our lives
however harsh, however difficult it may appear to be. David is King. At last,
David is King.
second ‘C’ is conflict-conflict. And in this chapter there are two
episodes. They occur toward the end of the chapter. The Philistines, when the
Philistines here, and it’s difficult to know the chronology and some
commentators think this event with the Philistines may have taken place before
he captured Jerusalem.
The Philistines must have been nervous that finally there’s a king over all of
the tribes of Israel,
that there is a united policy of North and South.
And if you were to look at a map, and I urge you to look at the maps in
the back of your Bible sometime or get hold of the extraordinary detailed
English Standard Version book of maps. It’s one of those things that you can’t
almost live without when you’re reading the Old Testament and just look at what
the Philistines are trying to do. They’re trying to do what has been tried and
attempted always and forever, divide and conquer. Divide and conquer. If the
Philistines were to prevent David, they must divide the kingdom. They must
divide the kingdom in some way. And they camp in the Valley of Rephaim.
Now, notice with me here,
David in verse 19 and again in verse 22, David inquires of the Lord. What kind
of king is David? He’s a king who trusts in the Lord. He’s a king who is
prayerful. He’s a king who looks to God for guidance. He’s not a king to do his
own will. He’s not there to rule and reign simply out of his own power. He wants
to do what God wants him to do and he inquires. We’re not told the method here.
No doubt involved prayer. It probably involved asking the High Priest, the
descendant of Aaron, probably involved the Urim and Thummim and that method of
guidance in the Old Testament, but the point is that God guided him and that He
guided him at the request of David. David inquired of the Lord.
You might have thought the
answer was obvious. The Philistines are threatening so David really has no
choice. He must deal with this threat to the stability of his kingdom, but he
inquires of the Lord. He inquires about the strategy and the strategy in both
cases was different. In the first strategy it was a frontal attack. It was a
classic choreographed battle, but in the second occasion, perhaps to test David,
perhaps to teach David a sense of dependence. You might think having been
victorious in the first battle that David would do the same in the second
battle, but again he inquires of the Lord. And this time God says, “No. Don’t go
up. Go behind.”
And he must wait, he must wait
for a signal and the text seems to be suggesting that there is some kind of
sovereign, miraculous event; the sound of marching troops in the leaves of these
trees. Perhaps God sent a wind. Perhaps it was just a pure miracle. And the
sound of these marching feet almost terrified the Philistines and a great
victory was won.
He’s a king who meets
conflict. All through David’s life there’s been conflict. There’s always been
tension. There’s always been opposition. There’s been a battle. There’s always
been the Lord’s army and there’s an opposing army. There’s an opposing threat.
Here’s the Lord’s anointed king, crowned, but he faces conflict.
Bear that thought in mind for a minute while I go to my third ‘C’ and my
third is conquest. It has to do with the city of
Jebus where the Jebusites, the native Canaanites who were in the land
before Israel ever came into the land. They
were there when Joshua came. But this city of Jebus
on Mt.Zion, situated right by the place where
Abraham would have offered Isaac as a sacrifice, and God told Abraham to stay
his hand and provided a ram caught in the thicket in the place of Isaac. Right
there, that city had never been conquered, and with that had come pride and
conceit so that they say, in this taunting fashion, that even the blind and the
lame would be able to withstand David, that David had no hope of conquering this
city. No one had ever conquered this city. It was a strategic city.
Geographically it’s a strategic city. Topographically, if you’ve ever been to Jerusalem, you know immediately that it’s a
city that’s set on a hill. It’s on
Mt.Moriah. It’s on Mt.
Zion. It’s strategic geographically because the
of Israel will stretch all the way down
to the south and to the sea in Solomon’s time and all the way up to the north
would be central. It was strategic because in fostering the union of the twelve
tribes, Jebus didn’t belong to anybody. There was no sense of favoritism and
therefore capturing this city and making it the capital city was politically
strategic for David to foster and coalesce the twelve tribes into a form of
union, but how was he going to capture this city.
And engineers here tonight,
and there are several engineers here tonight, will be fascinated as to the way
in which David captured this city. Archeologists have excavated this tunnel,
this water tunnel. This isn’t Hezekiah’s tunnel that some of you, like myself,
have actually walked through: one of the great marvels of the city to this day.
That was a tunnel–Hezekiah’s tunnel was a tunnel to bring water into the
city. This was a tunnel that they walked through. There was a thirty-five, forty
foot drop, vertical drop, down into a pool of water. The Gihon pool, and that
pool no doubt was camouflaged, but David knew all about it.
And it seems that when David heard of this tunnel that probably the way
they captured this city and the parallel account in Chronicles suggests that
David took some of his men to the front gates of the city, but Joab, David’s
nephew, you remember, who had killed Abner at the gates of the city of Hebron,
Joab led some men and managed somehow to get through that tunnel and into the
city and captured this city–a conquest, a strategic conquest.
it’s a fulfillment of a promise way, way back in Genesis 15. God had said to
Abraham when God entered into a covenant with Abraham, God had said that one of
the things that would happen would be that they would conquer the Jebusites.
It’s right there in Genesis 15:18-21. This is the fulfillment. Maybe a thousand
years and this is the fulfillment of that promise to Abraham that the Jebusites
have been conquered. You’ve got to smile a little bit because David calls it
‘David’s city’, ‘Davidopolis’, this is the city of
You and I know, because we are
three thousand years ahead of David, we know how strategic
will be. We know that this will be the place where great David’s greater Son
will be crucified. This is where the temple will be built. David, I don’t think,
had even thought about a temple at this point. It will be his son who will build
that temple and he will build it here in this city of Jerusalem. To this day,
it’s a center of world politics. And here’s the account through a water tunnel
in some kind of military way David captures this extraordinary important city,
redemptively, politically, geographically.
fourth ‘C’ is cedars. And you have to go back to the section that
discusses the king of Tyre, verse 11, Hiram the king of Tyre. Now, there’s a Hiram, a king of Tyre in Phoenicia
up in the north where the mountains were and great big trees–think Seattle, think
WashingtonState. Think of those
extraordinary trees, all that water, all that rain that pours on the northwest
There’s a Hiram king of
that occurs right at the end of David’s reign. He will provide the wood for the
temple that Solomon will build. This can’t possibly be that person. This is
probably the father of that person so that that Hiram king of Tyre is the son of this king and this king
sends wood, timber, quality wood, the best wood imaginable and masons and
understand the point. Tyre is outside of Israel. This is a little glimpse of
the nations of the world bowing to the king of Jerusalem. That kingdom that you spoke of this
morning, that kingdom that’s like a mustard seed and grows and grows and grows
until it’s so big that the birds make their nests in this kingdom and there will
be people from every tribe and tongue and nation in the kingdom of God and
you’ve just got a little glimpse of it here. This foreign king is bowing and
acknowledging the king of Jerusalem.
‘C’ is covenant. It’s in verse 3. It’s very strategic. When the tribes
come down, representatives of the tribes, the elders of the tribes come down in
this coronation ceremony in Hebron
in verse 3, what does David do? He enters into a covenant. Just as other kings,
Josiah at the time of Josiah’s reform will do something very similar. He will
enter into a covenant. He’ll have the law read. He will remind them of God’s
promises and God’s threats and he will enter into a covenant. David enters into
a covenant. He becomes, do you see, a covenant mediator between God and the
people of Israel.
He will represent God to the people and he will represent the people to God.
It’s a little glimpse that here the king, this king who faces conflict, this
king who conquers, this king to whom the nations of the world seem now to be
bowing, this king is a covenant maker. He makes a covenant. He reminds the
people that he is the Lord’s servant and he’ll bring to the attention of the
people the Lord’s word and the Lord’s promises and the Lord’s threats, the
Lord’s gospel, the obligations that now are incumbent upon the people of God to
heed the terms of that covenant and to, as we did this morning at the Lord’s
table in reading the Ten Commandments.
And Ligon explained to us that a part of the reason we read it at the
Lord’s Supper as God’s people is to remind us of the pattern, the shape of
the Christian life, and that’s what David is doing. And he’s a covenant
there’s a sixth ‘C’, you see. Are you following? Because there’s a king who
experiences conflict, who conquers, to whom the nations of the world are bowing
and enters into a covenant. Ah, tell me you’ve got it. It’s Jesus. Right? It’s
Jesus. It’s a little glimpse. The little flashes of light in the Old Testament
and they’re saying this is what God is doing. This is where redemption is going.
It’s going in the direction of a King who will experience conflict, who will
conquer, to whom the nations of the world will bow, who will enter into a
covenant with His people.
Ah, but there’s a sixth ‘C’
here. It’s compromise. See David, ah, David is such a great figure in the
Old Testament. You know, Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, that’s it! That’s the
Old Testament. This is David, verse 13, and David took more concubines and wives
Ah, David, David, David, David, what are you doing? He’s a man of his time. He’s
doing what conquering kings did. This is what they did. This was the measure of
their greatness and stature as if he didn’t have enough. We already read in a
few chapters earlier that he had six of them, Michal. And he will rue the day of
bringing Michal back in a few chapters. It’s compromise. Here’s the Lord’s
anointed king and here are the seeds of what will be David’s downfall. In just a
few chapters, in just five chapters from now we’ll read of David and Bathsheba,
his Achilles’ heel, his failing, his sin.
For all of David’s greatness, he’s not
Jesus. He’s not Jesus who’s pure and spotless and undefiled and separate
from sinners and there’s no one like Him. He’s a King who experiences conflict
and He conquers and the nations of the world will bow to Him and He will enter
into a covenant. Held that little cup in my hand this morning and Ligon so
graciously asked me to say those words ‘cause I love those words this morning,
“This cup is the New Covenant in my blood, shed for many for the remission of
sins. Drink of it because it’s for you.” David can’t save me. I’m looking
forward to meeting David in heaven. He’s such a great figure, but he can’t save
me. But through
this fallen, marred, perishable figure, little glimpses of great David’s greater
we thank You. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the patient way in which
history enfolded in the Old Testament to find its apex and culmination and the
coming of Jesus, the seed of David, the Son of David, David’s Lord, great
David’s greater Son.
You for providing Him and we thank You for His conquest and triumph over death
and hell and the grave and, as the little children were reminded, of the
prospect that we will spend eternity, Lord Jesus, in Your presence.
grant Your blessing on the close of this Sabbath day. May Your Word burn in our
hearts. For Jesus’ sake we ask it. Amen.
stand. Receive the Lord’s benediction:
mercy, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
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