Chapter 4 is quite gruesome and gives you a sense of how Saul’s dynasty was slowly crumbling while people from Saul’s camp defected to David. The memo must not have reached everyone that David didn’t honor traitors.
Chapter 5 has a couple points I’d like you to ponder today.
David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years. 2 Samuel 5:4,5
Let’s do some math here. If David was ten years old when he was anointed king by Samuel, that means he was on the run from Saul for twenty years before he actually became king over Judah (the southern kingdom). It was 27 years before he became king over the united kingdom of Israel.
That means David was in training for a full 27 years before achieving his calling of king over Israel. Think about that for a minute. Think about that in light of anything you hope to achieve in life. If what you desire has any depth to it at all, it will take time. You need to develop into the person that is required for your desire.
The word patience literally means, “long suffering.” This is a concept that is almost totally lost in our world today. We are like two-year-olds: we want it, and we want it now. We don’t appreciate the hard work required to achieve great things.
If you long for something great: a career, to be married, to have a good marriage, to make an impact with a gift or talent, to be a leader, etc. it will take time. Fight against the idea of being an instant success and submit yourself to the work God wants to do in you to bring it about.
Now, a few verses later I want you to see the cracks that started to develop in David’s character.
And he became more and more powerful, because the LORD God Almighty was with him. Now Hiram king of Tyre sent envoys to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David. Then David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel. After he left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him. 2 Samuel 5:10-13
Reread this text, first reading what I put in italics, then the rest. Do you see the contrast? God raised David up for the sake of the people. But David used his position to acquire a palace, concubines, and wives.
I’m sure David didn’t even notice what was happening. His heart was still after God. He was just doing what all the other kings did. It was standard practice. But he didn’t realize that these cracks in his character would lead to tragedy.
Christian culture today accepts many things that was never tolerated in the early church. So, it’s easy to have a heart for God while allowing yourself to disobey God.
We would all be wise to honestly compare God’s word to our lives and make the necessary corrections. Just because “everyone is doing it” doesn’t mean God approves of it or is pleased. Remember what we’ve learned before: God honors those who honor him.
Prayer: Father, thank you for giving me the story of David to both inspire me and warn me. I’m inspired to learn that David suffered long to become king. Help me be willing to do the same to achieve my sense of calling. I also feel warned by David taking advantage of his position. Help me to see where I might be doing the same thing so I can change my behavior so that I might live a life that honors you in ALL things. Amen.