SHEPHERD OF MY PEOPLE
2 Samuel 5
The tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron after the deaths of Abner and Ish-bosheth to endorse him as their king. The idea that the rivalry would end and their exposure to David as a leader made the prospect of making him king appealing. David had not tried to seize the throne, and he had been patient, trusting that God would do as he had promised. The time has finally come for the prophecy of Samuel to be realized and for David to be established as king. The elders of Israel came to David in Hebron to explain their reasoning. They declared they were David’s bone and flesh, he had been their military leader, and God had promised David that he would be the shepherd of Israel. David made a covenant with the elders of Israel before the Lord, and he was anointed as king. David was a young man when he began to reign, and he reigned over all of Israel for thirty-three years.
David Establishes The Capital
David’s first order of business was to build a new capital and political center for the nation. Jerusalem which was strategically situated was selected. David and his men went to Jerusalem where the fortress was still occupied by Jebusites. The Jebusites were confident that no one could enter the city, so they bragged that even blind and lame men could defend the place against David. David was not deterred and challenged his men to capture Zion. David's strategy for getting into Jerusalem was to enter the fortress through the water tunnel. He along with his men succeeded in taking the city from the Jebusites. David took up residence in the stronghold and called it the city of David. Jerusalem’s fortifications were repaired and extended. David's fame and reputation grew because God was with him. King Hiram sent messengers with gifts to congratulate David on his achievements. The Tyrian king sent cedar trees, carpenters, and masons to build David a house. David understood that the favor he enjoyed was due to the fact that God had established him as king over Israel and his kingdom was exalted for the sake of his people Israel. However, not all of David's decisions were wise, and he took a large harem for himself, fathering many children.
David's Victories Continue
The Philistines heard that David had been made the king and they went in search of him. David went into the stronghold as the Philistines sought to divide Israel militarily. David asked the Lord how he should proceed, and the Lord told him to go up against the Philistines. David defeated the Philistines and gave glory to the Lord for breaking through his enemies. Some time later the Philistines returned to the valley of Rephaim. David sought the Lord about a possible attack, and God instructed him to around behind the enemy until he heard the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees. That would be the sign that the Lord had gone before him and he should attack. God would go before him and strike the Philistine host. David obeyed the Lord, and the Philistines were struck down from Geba to Gezer.
Things To Consider:
- Do you think it was difficult for David to be patient? Why?
- Did David's patience pay off? How?
- What wisdom do you see in the way that David treated the elders of Israel?
- How did David's previous service aid him in moving to this place of leadership?
- How are faith and obedience related?
- What can we learn from the fact that David had to face battles after becoming king?
- Why must our every accomplishment be tempered with humility?
- How do we measure what makes someone great?