David defeats Jerusalem & the Philistines — David’s battles & commitment to pray.
Reading 1: 2 Samuel 5
Reading 2: 1 Chronicles 11:4-9
Reading 3: James 1:2-8
Today we see the conclusion of David’s path to the kingdom. He is finally approached by all the tribes of Israel and recognized as king. Scholars generally agree that David was about 15 years old when Samuel anointed him to be king, and today’s reading tells us he was 30 when he became king of Judah, so he waited 15 years to be recognized as the ruler God said he would be, and a further 7½ years to become the king of the whole nation.
Reflect for a moment on that journey – it took David as long to be recognized as king as it took to be anointed as king. The appointment was only the beginning of the journey. And even when he had kept a good attitude and obeyed God all that time, he still had half as much again to wait until he was recognized as the king of the united nation. Have you ever felt you were called to something and then found it took longer than you wanted?! Maybe God is in the waiting?
Now the nation has united under his rule, David leads them to attack the stronghold of Jebus (Jerusalem). This was the strongest city of the original people of the land – whom God had commanded Israel to overthrow in their taking of the promised land. Sometimes challenges are so great that they can only be faced in unity – and God will bring together those needed to face the enemy and emerge victoriously. Also, notice how the defeat of the Jebusites was partly due to their own pride (which had no doubt increased in all the years of resisting the incoming Israelites and all their other enemies). The Jebusites became complacent, saying “even the blind and lame could keep you out” but David saw the weakness of the city, and David’s nephew Joab led the army to victory.
So David becomes king of the united nation, and defeats the strongest city, making it his capital. Now all the enemies of Israel are drawn to fight, in fear that their freedom to oppress Israel is coming to an end. And David defeats them repeatedly, by following God’s instructions.
James confirms this for us. When we face challenges, God will often make us wait for a solution. During this time He is both strengthening our dependence on Him and preparing our opposition for defeat. Unifying His people and growing their faith and endurance are God’s strategies for bringing victory and directing them with wisdom.
May that be your experience today, and every day!
Have a great day!