Sermon Insights: 2 Samuel 5:1-10

Saul’s reign had finally come to an end. With the Israelites’ defeat at Mt. Gilboa, the king and his heir Jonathan had been killed in battle, and in the wake of their deaths, the nation was divided. The tribe of Judah followed David, the popular general who, despite his lack of favor with the king, had grown in favor with the people by protecting them from and avenging them against the Philistines. And all the other tribes followed one of Saul’s other sons, Ish-Bosheth. But Ish-Bosheth was weak, and there were others who were vying for control, including his own military commander, Abner. Eventually, Abner made a play to usurp the throne by sleeping with one of Saul’s concubines, and when Ish-Bosheth called him on it, the general deserted and headed for David’s camp. The desertion was perceived as the penultimate sign of Ish-Bosheth’s weakness, and when Abner ended up dead at the hands of David’s general Joab, two of the northern king’s commanders orchestrated his demise.

With Saul’s second son dead, in 2 Samuel 5, the people of the eleven northern tribes sought peace with David, and the kingdom was consolidated with him as king. The man who had started out the youngest of eight, the leftover and shepherd of his family; threatened Saul to the point that the king tried to kill him a number of times; and ended up a fugitive hiding in the desert; had been raised to power by God Most High. It was an amazing turn of events, to say the least. A real climax to this young man’s life. But this wasn’t the end of David’s story. In fact, in many ways, it was just the beginning.

So often in this life, we have a tendency to think that, if we can just get to that point right there, we will have a real accomplishment under out belts. We will have reached the full extent of God’s blessing. We will have fulfilled God’s ideal for our lives, and all the rest of our time on earth will be ours to do with as we please. But while 2 Samuel 5 certainly marks a climax, it is certainly not the end of David’s account. And in many ways, it’s not even the biggest climax.

As followers of God, we must all recognize that He has something more for us to do, regardless of the great stuff we may have already accomplished for Him. After David became king, his job was just beginning. By the tenth verse of this fifth chapter, he had captured Jerusalem, the Jebusite fortress which had stood in the middle of Israelite territory since the time of Joshua, and started a massive construction project to transform the palace there into a capital fit for the people of the Lord. In chapter six, he would bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem and re-establish God in His rightful place at the heart of the kingdom. In chapter seven, he started preparations for a temple that his son would build. In chapter 8, he prosecuted a military campaign to expand and secure the nation’s borders. In chapter 9, he brought reconciliation to the kingdom when he sought out and showed kindness to Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s crippled son, as the last descendant of Saul. And in chapter 10, he defeated the Ammonites. There was the whole mess with Bathsheba which, although clearly not in God’s will at the outset, became a shining example of repentance and God’s grace by the end. The birth of Solomon, who would become king. And the establishment of a dynasty which would last generations and ultimately lead to the advent of the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus the Christ.

No, David wasn’t done just because he became king.

And we’re not done just because we attend church. Just because we were saved or sanctified. Just because we witnessed. Just because we taught a Sunday School class. Just because we…

We’re not done yet because God’s not done with us yet. And He won’t be done with us until we get to heaven.


2 Responses to “Sermon Insights: 2 Samuel 5:1-10”

  1. 1 Sharon November 5, 2009 at 3:21 am

    David’s greatest accomplishment, both as King and as a man, was to be completely devoted to God. Yes, he did amazing things as king. But he did them because he was seeking to do God’s will. And when he sinned and followed his own sinful lusts, he ended up with a broken heart and spirit, and had to return to God.

    So you are right…his becoming King was not the end of the story, it was a beginning. He now not only followed God for himself, but now he had the responsibility of leading an entire country in following God.

    Kind of like you, Pastor! 🙂

  2. 2 jgeerdes November 5, 2009 at 3:30 am

    Thanks for the sobering reminder, Pastor Sharon!

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