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A Simple Overview Of The Life Of David
by Rik Charbonneaux
8/06/2017 / Christian Living
"Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." Psalm 23:6 NIV
If you have heard of and wondered about the God of the Jews and Christians, you might really enjoy hearing about the life of David, a man that God chose to lead the children of Israel as king. If you are just not very likely to read the Bible at all, please take the time to read the following article about David and of his loyal service to God. If you might be interested in reading more about David, read of him in the Books of 1st and 2nd Samuel and 1 Kings of the Holy Bible.
David - The Warrior King of Israel
"But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lords command." 1 Samuel 13:14 NIV
When Saul, who was the very first King of Israel, lost favor with the Lord for failing to kill King Agag, and for keeping that king's choicest livestock instead of destroying them. He had killed all the people of Amalek, but Samuel the Prophet had to kill Agag the King by himself. For this act of disobedience, the Lord took His Spirit off of Saul and would replace him as King of all Israel with David, the son of Jesse of Bethlehem.
"The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
For David, being born the youngest of seven [six] brothers in the ancient Near East was not the same as today where we spoil the youngest child, so it is not surprising that David is introduced to us as a shepherd boy, an important job for the lowest ranking son of the family. Even the Prophet Samuel [the last effective Judge of Israel] had to have David brought in from the field to anoint him as King because even his own father did not guess that David was the one. "And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he." 1 Samuel 16:12c KJV David would soon be introduced into the service of King Saul for his musical playing ability with the lyre when Saul thought that the playing soothed the effects of the suffering an evil spirit was causing that had come upon him and David would became the king's squire.
"So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him." 1 Samuel 17:50 NIV
When later being sent to Saul by his father with a cargo of bread and cheese for the King and for David's older brothers, he saw the army of Israel being challenged in the Valley of Elah by a giant Philistine Warrior named Goliath. The challenge was for any Israelite to fight him to the death with the winner's army automatically gaining the uncontested victory over the other army. No Israelite wanted to accept this challenge, but David told King Saul that he would, as he had already killed a bear and a lion as a shepherd and had no fear of Goliath. Refusing the armor that Saul wanted David to wear, David simply picked up five smooth stones from the Wadi es-Sant stream and with his sling and these stones, he went to meet Goliath. As Goliath taunted him with curses from his gods, David made it clear to Goliath that the Lord God would deliver him in to David's hand and then struck Goliath in the forehead with a stone from his sling, killing him. David beheaded Goliath with the giant's own sword and the entire Philistine army withdrew from the battlefield. It is recorded that David took the head of Goliath to Jerusalem, where he would later defeat the Jebusites who had held the city every since the occupation of Canaan by the children of Israel.
"So Jonathan made a covenant with the House of David..." 1 Samuel 20:16a KJV
Upon his return, Saul's son Jonathan met with him and gave David his robe, sword and bow in recognition of David as being God's choice to be the next King of Israel. He pledged to aid and support David and they struck an agreement that any their sons would remain safe when David would actually become king. Saul would recognize David's victory over Goliath by setting him in honor over all of the fighting men, to which all of the people were pleased and they turned out to greet him with music and dancing. A comparison between Saul and David was made by some of the people that indicated David as being 10 times the commander that Saul was, to which Saul attempted to kill David twice with a javelin, then fearing that the Lord was with David, he sent him off and away to command 1000 men. After Saul's several deceptions against David had failed and as the giving of his daughter Michal to David did not prove to be a problem for David, Saul sent him against the Philistines, hoping they would kill him. When David returned victorious, Saul truly became the enemy of David. Saul's son Jonathan and others were told to kill David and Jonathan advised Saul that he should not sin against the innocent blood of David. Saul again tried to kill David with a javelin and David escaped from the area with the help of his wife Michal.
"And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand." 1 Samuel 23:14b KJV
From this point on in David life, he would be constantly under the threat of death from Saul until the king died. The events during that time of living as a fugitive are summarized as follows: David and his men first sought help from Ahimeleck the priest at Nob who gave him the hallowed Show Bread to eat and the great sword of Goliath. When Saul heard of this, he had all of the priests killed. Escaping to City of Keilah, David heard that the Philistines were raiding the grain stores. Having asked the Lord of what to do, the Lord said for David to rise up with his six hundred men and engage the Philistines, and He would give them into David's hand. The Philistines were stopped and soundly defeated, thereby saving Keilah. When Saul heard of this victory, he called all for all of his men to leave and search out Keilah to kill David. David asked the Lord if the people of Keilah would hand him over to Saul and the Lord said they would and for David to depart Keilah immediately. David would fight daily with Saul's soldiers and the Lord did not let David fall into Saul's hands. When the Philistines invaded again, Saul retired from seeking David and left the wilderness to go out and meet against the Philistines. When the Philistines had been defeated, Saul returned to the hunt for David in the wilderness of En-gedi. When Saul stopped at a cave in the area, David slipped in behind him and quietly cut off the hem of Saul's robe. He did not want to kill Saul because of God's annotating of Saul when he had made him king. Saul was unaware of anything until David called out to him after following Saul out of the cave. He told Saul that he could have easily killed him and of why he did not, with the missing hem of the robe as proof. Saul said he realized that David would someday replace him as king and asked that David not kill any of Saul's sons when that time came. David agreed and left to go into the wilderness of Param. It was about this time that the great Judge and Prophet Samuel died and was mourned by all Israel.
"And David said to Abigail: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent you this day to meet me: And blessed be thy advise, and blessed be thou, which has kept me this day from coming to shed blood.." 1 Samuel 32,33a KJV
While in the wilderness, David sent 10 men to find a man named Nabal whose many livestock and shepherds David had been protecting with the presence of his large fighting force. Politely asking for some consideration in the way of provision for having done this, David not only had his request refused by Nabal, the man even threw insults at David's men. When David was told of Nabal actions and answers, he was livid and drew up four hundred fighting men to deal with such arrogance. One of Nabal's men had told Nabal's wife Abigail that David's men had done them a great favor by guarding everything at night from walls while they slept to be rested for the work of the next day. Without telling her husband, Abigail took choice food and wine to David and his men, telling David that Nabal did not know of David's kindness to his household and servants in protecting them night and day in the fields. She asked that the comments and conduct of Jabal be forgiven and to accept the food and drink as a show of her appreciation for what David and his men had done. David relented of his thoughts of killing Nabal and Abigail told him that the Lord would truly make him King over all Israel. Abigail then went home and prepared a great meal for Jabal, who promptly became drunk from the wine and when he had sobered enough, Abigail told him of what she had done for David. Nabal became silent and died ten day later. When David hear of Jabal's passing, he sent for Abigail to become his wife. He would take Ahinoam as a wife also, as Saul had already given David's first wife Michal to another man.
"..Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things and also shalt still prevail." 1 Samuel 27:25a KJV
When Saul once again had heard of where David was, he rose up with three thousand men and went to find David in the wilderness of Ziph. David's spies were able to locate the camp of Saul and told David where it was that Saul himself was camped. By quiet movement, David and his scout were able to come very close to where Saul and his commander Abner were sleeping. As was the custom to display royal power, Saul had stuck his own spear into the ground next to his head. David told his men that he was not going to kill God's anointed [Saul] and so he crept alone up to within reach of Saul and took Saul's spear right from under the nose of the king's guard, as God had sent a deep sleep upon them. David withdrew to a hill in the distance and then cried out to Abner asking if he was a brave man who failed to protect the king and thereby worthy of death. Then David told Abner to look for Saul's spear and Abner and Saul saw that Saul's spear was gone and understood that David had once again spared the life of Saul because Saul had been anointed by God. Saul told David that he would not pursue him any more, but David's heart told him that he best go into the land of the Philistines and to live among them to avoid any further deadly confrontations with Saul.
"David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God." 1 Samuel 30:6 NIV
David moved with six hundred men to Gath where Achish, the son of the king, gave them the town of Ziklag to live in. David went throughout different areas making total war upon certain peoples who were actually the enemies of Israel, killing all of the people engaged and bringing back their livestock and possession to Ziklag. Achish did not question any of these actions that David had taken and only saw that David was dealing with what he thought were Hebrew people and therefore made David one of his chief guardians to accompany him in battle, which would be happening very shortly. When the Philistines began to gather against Israel, Saul saw their number and tried to inquire of the Lord as to what to do, but the Lord did not answer him. He then went to the medium of En-dor, a woman seer with a familiar spirit that foretold the future. With his assurance that he would not kill her as he had been doing with other mediums, she envisioned an old man in white raiment coming that Saul knew had to be the spirit of the great Judge and Prophet Samuel who had died. Samuel told him that the Lord had taken away the kingdom from him this day and has given it to David and that Israel would be given into the hands of the Philistines and that Saul and his sons would be joining him in death the very next day by the hands of the Philistines. At that same time, David was accompanying Achish to the rear of main Philistine invasion force and some of the Philistine Princes recognized him. They demanded that Achish send David back to Ziklag as they did not trust his loyalty and therefore Achish sent him and his men away.
When they had returned to Ziklag, it had been burned to the ground by the Amalekites and all of the women and children had been taken captive. The men were grieved and enraged against David, wanting to stone him, and David turned to the Lord once again for strength and direction. The Lord answered him and told him to follow and overtake the Amalekite force and recover all of people and possessions they had taken. David had to separate two hundred of his men who were too ill to continue and post them at the brook named Besor as a rear guard. Closing in on the Amalekite force, they found an Egyptian servant who had been left behind because he was ill. Receiving a promise that he would not be killed, he lead David's men to the camp of the Amalekites where all but four hundred of the enemy forces were killed. Recovering all of the people and property stolen, David's forces started making their way back to Ziklag. Some of the men with David worshipped false gods and they began complaining that none of the two hundred men left as a rear guard were not worthy to share in all that had been recovered. David made it quite clear by statue that all of his men would share alike. David had grow in the skills and knowledge of warfare during his time in Ziglag and and gained a great deal of administrative and diplomatic skills as well.
"Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines." 1 Samuel 28:19 KJV
When David had been dismissed by Achish to return to Ziglag after the Philistine Princes said that they did not trust him, the Philistine army proceeded on to engage the Israelite army. The main battle occurred at Mount Gilboa and was so fierce that the Israelite army fled before the Philistines. As the Pastiness followed up, they killed the three sons of Saul and archers severely wounded Saul. After his armor bearer refused to kill him, Saul fell upon his sword and died, as did all of his men who were captured by the Philistines. The death of Saul and his sons fulfilled the prophesy of the spirit of Samuel given to Saul the previous day. Further, the Philistines beheaded Saul and hung his body and the bodies of his sons upon the city wall of Beth-sham to celebrate the victory and to warn any who would dare oppose them. When the people of Jabesh-gilead heard of the bodies being displayed in Beth-sham, they bravely went and took the bodies down, burning them and burying the bones at Jabesh. So ended the reign of Saul, the first king of all Israel.
"Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." Psalm 23:6 NIV
When David heard of the death of Saul, he asked God if there is anywhere in Judea that he should go and the Lord told him to go to Hebron. David arrived in Hebron with his entire household and was soon anointed by men of Judea to be the king of Judea at thirty years of age. In response to this action, a son of Saul named Ishbosheth was made king of Israel by Abner, the captain of the army of the former king Saul. The conflict that followed was to be first settled by having a number of men from each king's army do battle and the winning army's king would prevail. That fight ended with all the combatants being killed, therefore the conflict remained unresolved. The two armies then immediately engaged into a very fierce battle that was won by David's men. While Abner was escaping from the battle, he killed the brother of Jobee, the captain of David's army. Joab would close in on Abner that day but would reserve his revenge upon Abner until later. When Abner sought to make peace with David and subject all of Israel to David as their king, Abner was told to present David's first wife Michal as a condition. Abner did as instructed, made the peace and departed Hebron only to be killed by Joab to avenge the death of his brother Asahel. David publicly denounced the killing of Abner to let the people know he did not order it, so as to keep the new peace. He would deal with Joab in his own way later. Certain men of Israel would capture and kill Ishbosheth, the son of Saul that Abner had made the king of Israel. Bringing his head to David for a reward, David had them all executed with their bodies displayed in Hebron and then ordered Abner's head to be buried. All of the important men of Israel came to Hebron and confirmed that they wanted David as their king and anointed him king of Israel. He was now king over both Israel and Judea.
"Nevertheless, took the stronghold of Zion: the same is the City of David." 2 Samuel 5:7 KJV
The city of Jerusalem, where David had taken the head of Goliath, had been occupied by the Jebusites since the time of Joshua. David wanted the city to be the new capital of the now united Israel, because of its central location for political and religious purposes. When he prepared to take the city, the Jebusites told him that the strength and security of the city walls could be successfully defended against him by the blind and the lame among them. David took the city by conquest and gave it the official name of Jerusalem. David would later purchase the upper part of a hill from Aravnah, a Jebusite and it would be known as Mount Moriah, where his son Solomon would be permitted by God to build the Temple that David would not be allowed to build.
"And David went on, and grew great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him." 2 Samuel 5:10 KJV
As the new king of the unified Israel, David was first recognized by a foreign government when Hiram, the king of Tyre sent to him cedar lumber, carpenters and masons to build David a new house. Affairs of state went well for David and he increased his greater family by eleven more sons being born to him. When the Philistines heard that David had been made king over Israel, they massed men to war against him in the valley of Rephaim. David consulted with God and the Lord told him to go out against the Philistines and he would deliver them into David's hand, and it was so. The Lord had preceded David's army in the battle and would do it again when the Philistines again spread out in the Rephaim valley to fight David once more. When David has asked God if he should go up against them and the Lord told him "Thou shalt not go up, but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And let it be, when you hearest the sound of a going on in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the Lord go out before thee. to smite the host of the Philistines." 2 Samuel 23,24 KJV The Philistines were then utterly defeated from Geba to Gazer. Because the Philistines had been soundly defeated in two consecutive battles, united Israel's new capital city of Jerusalem was thought to be safe and sound enough, in the view of Israeli leaders, for the Ark of the Covenant to be brought up to Jerusalem.
"So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet." 2 Samuel 6:15 KJV
Following the defeat of the Philistines, David went with thirty thousand of the "chosen ones" of Israel to Baale of Judah to bring the Ark back to Jerusalem. They set the Ark upon a brand new cart and began the journey. The Ark was never to be moved with a cart, rather it was prescribed by the law that the Ark should be carried by the sons of Kohath. This action and that of Uzziah to steady the Ark by placing his hand upon it brought the immediate wrath of God upon Uzziah, who was struck dead. David ordered the Ark placed in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite, where it rested for three months because David greatly feared the consequences of how the Ark had been handled. When David later received the report that the household of Obde-edom had been greatly blessed by God during all of the time that the Ark had been there, he was overjoyed and went up to properly bring the Ark on into Jerusalem. All the way to Jerusalem, there were sacrifices being made to the Lord with singing, dancing and music being played by the people, with David dancing with all of his might before the Lord. When the procession came into the city, David had the Ark placed in the tabernacle he had set and he proceeded to make burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. When he finished, he blessed the people and sent all of them home with bread, meat and wine in celebration. When he went to his house to bless his household, his wife Michal scolded him for dancing the way he did in front of all of the women as he came into the city with the Ark. David told her that he was dancing before the Lord and promptly sent her into separation from him where she would remain childless until she died.
"Go and tell my servant David, thus saith the Lord, Shalt thou build me a house for me to dwell in?" 2 Samuel 7:5 KJV
When the Lord gave a period of peace in the land for David, he set in his house of cedar and made the comment to Nathan the Prophet to look at how David lives in a fine house of cedar and at how the Ark of the Lord lives within curtains. Understanding David's desire that the Ark be housed as well or better than David was being housed, he told David to do what was within his heart, as the lord was with him. That very night the Lord spoke to Nathan, reminding him that He had always moved about in a tent and a tabernacle with His people every since He had brought them out of Egypt. The Lord said that David would have a son who would build a house for His Name after David went to be with his fathers in death and that his house and his kingdom and his throne would be everlasting. When Nathan told David what the Lord had said to him, David was grateful to God for what we now call the Davidic Covenant, the promises of which will be totally fulfilled with the universal rule of the promised Messiah.
".. And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went." 2 Samuel 8:6b KJV
Once again it was a time of war for David and Israel as they took more land by conquest. First they defeated the Philistines and took the Metheg-ammah from them. Next they subdued the Moabites and made them servants to Israel. David then pushed to the Euphrates and conquered the army of Rehob, the son of the king of Zobah, capturing one thousand chariots. When the Syrians came to help the king of Zobah, David's forces defeated them as well, killing over twenty thousand Syrian warriors and making them the servants of Israel as well, and David created garrisons throughout the area to maintain the Syrians as servants to Israel and to defend the newly expanded northern border of Israel. David dedicated to the Lord all of the gold, silver and brass metals and vessels that they had captured in the conquests and then he established garrisons through out Edom and made the Edomites servants of Israel as well. He now ruled a much larger kingdom and set his sons as priests. During the next period of peace, David remembered his departed friend Jonathan and wanted to do a kindness to any of Jonathan's house that may still be left and was told that a son Mephibosheth, who was lame, was left. David sent for him and the young man came before David truly in fear for his life. David told him that he would restore Mephibosheth's land to him and Saul's servant Ziba, and than the young man would dwell in Jerusalem and eat at David's table as one of his sons. David had an entirely different situation to deal with when the King of Ammon died. David enjoyed a good relationship with the old king, but the king's son Hanun resisted David's attempts to show kindness to him, saying that David's messengers were spies. To humiliate David's messengers, Hanun had one-half of their beards shaved off and sent them away. When David heard of this action, he told the messengers to wait in Jericho until their beards had grown back to normal and then responded to this great insult by sending Joab and the army of Israel out against Hanun's army and those of the armies of Hanun's allies. Upon accessing the deployment of the enemy forces, Joab divided his forces against two fronts, with his best warriors going against the Syrians and his brother Abishai commanding the smaller Israelite force against the Ammonites. The Israelites routed both enemy armies and they fled in full retreat. When Joab returned to Jerusalem, David organized another offensive and took the entire army to Helam and engaged the main Syrian force. The record indicates that this lose to the Syrians was of over 700 chariots and that forty thousand horsemen were destroyed.
"Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the LORD, the son born to you will die." 2 Samuel 12:12-13 NIV
Instead of going out with the army in another offensive against the Ammonites, David chose to stay in Jerusalem for a time. When going out onto his roof one evening, he saw a woman bathing on another roof top. Impressed by her beauty, David had inquiry made as to her identity. He was told her name was Bath-sheba and that she was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of his soldiers. David has her brought to him to lay with her and she became pregnant as a result. Seeking to hide his sinful conduct, he had his commander Joab order Uriah in from the battlefield to give him the opportunity to lay with his wife Bath-sheba, hopefully to cover up David's involvement in the matter. Uriah did not do the expected and David then ordered Joab to position Uriah on the battlefield where he would surely be killed. When Bath-sheba had finished mourning her husband, David had her brought to him. She became his next wife and was soon to be expecting another child. The Lord was greatly displeased with David and sent His prophet Nathan to speak with him. Nathan told David the story of a rich man who took advantage of a poor man. The rich man had many lambs to choose from to serve as a meal for his honored dinner guests, but cruelly choose to take the poor man's hand raised lamb instead. When asked for his opinion of the conduct of the rich man, David's opinion was that the rich man should have to repay the poor man four-fold. Nathan then said that David was in fact that cruel man and that the Lord said that for his evil deeds concerning Bath-sheba and Uriah, the sword would never leave his house and further said that one of David's wives and another would disgrace David publicly by laying together. Shaken to the depths of his soul by fully realizing his accountability for these great offenses to God, David admitted to Nathan that he sinned against the Lord, Nathan told him that the Lord had put his sin away and would not take his life, but that his son that Bath-sheba was expecting would die instead. When the Lord struck the child with sickness, David pleaded with God for the life of his son with prayer and fasting, all the time being stretched out upon the ground. David knew that the child had died on the seventh day when he saw his servants whispering to each other. He got up off of the ground and asked for food to eat, whereupon his servants asked him why he would not eat while he was in prayer for the child, but now he askes for food when the child is dead. David told them: "And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now that he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." 2 Samuel 12:22,23 KJV David comforted Bath-sheba and she gave birth to another son who was named Solomon, who was loved by the Lord.
"Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, let my brother Ammon go with us." 2 Samuel 13:26a KJV
It is recorded that David had a daughter named Tamar who was forced by David's first born son Ammon to lay with him against her will. David's younger son Absalom loved his sister Tamar and wanted Ammon killed for this offense. David could not bring himself to punish his first born and Absalom bided his time and two years later he thought up a plan by which to lure Ammon to his death by inviting all of David's sons to a banquet at Baal-hazor. Ammon was one of the sons David released to go to attend the banquet and he was killed by Absalom's servants, having been ordered to do so by Absalom. Absalom fled to Geshur in Syria where Talmai, the son of the king of Geshur received him. After three years, Joab asked David if he could send for Absalom to return to Jerusalem. David consented but said that Absalom had to reside in his own house and to completely avoid being seen by David, which is what Absalom did for two years. Over that period of time all of Israel knew of Absalom and was popular with many because of his good looks and beautiful thick hair.
"And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel" 2 Samuel 15:6 KJV
After two years, Absalom sent for Joab to request that he ask the king if Absalom could finally come to see him. Joab avoided coming to see Absalom and Absalom had Joab's barley field burnt in retalation. Joab then successfully received David's permission for Absalom to come and meet with him, whereupon David accepted Absalom back into his court and good graces. For the next four years, Absalom worked to establish himself into the role of being the people's advocate. He would station himself at the city gate and offer judgment to all who were patiently waiting for an audience with King David for the same purpose. He would always agree with the complaining party, telling them that he thought they had a good case against their opponents and always shaking their hands. When traveling about, he had a fifty chariot guard before him so as to catch the peoples eye that he was powerful and a highly regarded man, so as to try and become more popular with the people than King David was.
"And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom." 2 Samuel 15:12b KJV
Absalom asked his father to be allowed to go to Hebron to fulfill a vow he had made in Geshur to the Lord that he would serve the Lord if God would return him to Jerusalem. David consented and Absalom departed for Hebron with two hundred men, while at the same time sending out his spies throughout all Israel to tell everyone that he would be shortly ruling as the new king of all Israel in Hebron. He also sent for Ahithophel, one of David's counselors to join in the conspiracy. When David heard of this revolt against him by his son, he ordered all of his servants to depart Jerusalem with him to escape any attempt by Absalom to put David and Jerusalem to the sword. The only people of his household he would leave behind were ten of his concubines to care for the house. Departing by way of the Mount of Olives to the wilderness, David was accompanied by his whole household with a sizable escort force plus six hundred Gittites under the command of Ittai the Gittite. David had ordered the Ark of God that had accompanied their departure back into the City of Jerusalem, saying that he was leaving his future return to Jerusalem in the hands of God. When David had reached the top of the Mount of Olives, his loyal friend Hushai the Archite met with him and was also sent back into the city by David, knowing that Hushai could be trusted to counter the advise that Ahithophel would be giving to Absalom. Hushia would also be able get important word of anything to Zadok, the priest, who knew how to get messages out of the city to David who would be waiting for such word in the wilderness. So sure were some of the residents that Absalom's revolt would be successful, that Ziba, who David has restored land to, told David an outright lie concerning Jonathan's son Mephibosheth now supporting Absalom. Another resident named Shimei was bold enough to throw rocks and dust at David, his household and fighting force and called David a bloody man [the blood of the house of Saul]. When Abishai immediately offered to strike off the head of Shimei, David would not permit it and said to let Shimei continue cursing, saying that the Lord had told Shimei to "Curse David". David had turned over these events and the likelihood of his full restoration as king of Israel to the will of God.
"Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him." 2 Samuel 17:24 KJV
With David gone from the city, Absalom and all his men of Israel came to Jerusalem along with David's former trusted advisor Ahithophel. When Absalom asked for Ahithophel advise on what he should do next concerning his father, Ahithophel told Absalom to lay with one of his father's concubines in full view of Israel and thereby impresses everyone with his confidence to strengthen their support of his reign. As Absalom did so, this outrageous action against his father's authority fulfilled the prophesy of Nathan as told to David: "Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lay with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do it before all Israel, and before the sun." 2 Samuel 12: 11,12 KJV Absalom then asked both Ahithophel and Hushia for their advise on how best for him to prepare to go forth to find and defeat David and his forces. Ahithophel wanted to leave immediately that night to engage David before his forces had a chance to rest and regroup for battle. Conversely, when Absalom called upon David's still loyal friend Hushai for advise, he called for caution and to wait until all of the men of Israel could be mustered together to fight and for Absalom to lead the battle. Absalom decided to take Hushai's advise, and the Lord was with David in that He allowed Ahithophel's advise to be passed over for that of Hushai, as it would give David additional time to rest and provision his forces to better prepare for the ensuing battle to regain his throne from Absalom. Feeling insulted when his advise was ignored, Ahithophel departed from Absalom to go to his own house where he hung himself. At his first opportunity, Hushai sent word to David through the priests that he was not to camp on the plains of the wilderness as he said he was going to do, but to immediately cross over the Jordan, which David did and then took the army on to the city of Mahanaim.
"And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away." 2 Samuel 18:9
Absalom, his commander Amasa and the army departed from Jerusalem and crossed the Jordan to pursue and destroy David's army. Having been supplied with additional food and bedding by loyal local subjects, David's army was rested and waiting to engage Absalom's army. When they approached, David divided his men into three fighting forces under the commands of Joab, Abishai and Ittai the Gillite. When David told them not to kill his son Absalom and announced that he would be going out with one of the groups, all of them told him not to enter the battle as they wanted their king who they were fighting for to remain alive to regain the throne. Absalom's army was destroyed in the ensuing battle at the woods of Ephraim with twenty thousand Israelites killed by David's army. When Absalom escaped on a mule from the battlefield, his thick long hair caught in the branches of an oak tree and was left hanging by his hair. Although Joab had been told by David to spare Absalom, when he found Absalom in this condition, he then killed Absalom and blew a trumpet to stop the battle. When it was revealed to David that Joab had killed Absalom, he was overcome with grief so deeply that he hesitated to return to Jerusalem until he could regain his composure. The people began to wonder about David's motives in not immediately returning to his throne and the capital city. David then broke his grief and returned to Jerusalem, receiving the cheers of all Israel, in part because he was announcing that he was replacing Joab as commander of the army of Israel with Amasa, who had lead Absalom's army against Joab. Although this action was an effective means of reconciliation for the defeated rebel forces to rejoin David's forces, it would cause more problems later for David.
"..We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel." 2 Samuel 20:1
Although the rebellion was over and all Israel welcomed and supported David's return, the old differences between the northern tribes and the southern tribes of Israel were still very much of an issue. A man of the tribe of Benjamin named Sheba said that the northern tribes will have no part of David as king and pushed the issue until he had all of Israel [the northern tribes] with him to go to war against David. With all of Judea supporting David, he told Amasa to gather the men of Judea in three days for war against Sheba's army. Because Amasa did not make it back in three days, David ordered Abishai to go out against Sheba's forces before they has time to escape to the walled cities and he did so with Joab's men. When Amasa was finally able to, he arrived at Gibeon where Joab killed him with a sword. Joab and the army then pursued Sheba and his army and caught them at the walled city of Abel, where Joab had a trench and bank built up against the wall of the city in order to break it down. In an attempt to save the city, a woman came out to speak with Joab and to ask him if he would spare the city if the head of Sheba would be delivered to him . He agreed and the head of Sheba was later thrown down to him from the city wall. Joab then blew the trumpet to end the siege and the army returned to Jerusalem, having ended Sheba's rebellion.
"Even as I swore unto thee by the Lord God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day." 1 Kings 1:30 KJV
Before King David's fourty year reign would end, his oldest son Adonijah sought to declare hinself king with the help of Joab and the priest Abiathar. When Nathan the Prophet heard of this conspiracy, he spoke to Bath-sheba and told her to go to David and tell him that Adonijah was trying to reign as king and to remind David that he had promised Bath-sheba that their son Solomon woud be the next king of Israel as the Lord had chosen, and not Adonijah. Nathan confirmed all of this to David and also said that Adonijah was hosting huge feasts to gain the support of the kings sons and other important allies. When David had heard of what was transpiring, he affirmed what he had promised to Bath-sheba about Solomon reigning as king after David and he then summoned Zadok the priest and Nathan to take Solomon to Gihon to be annointed king of Israel. They placed Solomon on the king's mule and departed for Gihon with David's personal bodyguard providing escort. Solomon was publicly anointed with oil by Zadok the priest and all Israel cheered and said "God save King Solomon. When the noise of the celebration reached Adonijah where his feast was being held at En-rogel, they were told that David had made Solomon to be king of Israel. All of Adonijah guests fled the feast and Adonijah went to the altar and grabbed the horns of the altar in his hands and held on tightly in fear of his life. When Solomon honored hs plea for mercy, he had Adonijah brought before him and told him that if he proved to be a worthy man, he would live, and if he proved that he was wicked, then he would die, and then told Adonijah to go to his own house.
"Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and show thyself a man." 1 Kings 1:1,2 KJV
When David was near death at age seventy, he advised Solomon on matters as was the custom for a king to pass on instructions to his successor. First and foremost, David charged Solomon to faithfully observe the ways, statues, commandments, judgements and testimonies of the Lord as is written in the law of Moses. David then advised Solomon that Joab needed to be removed from being a threat in the future and that Shemei needed to finally answer for his indiscretions also. David then asked that Barzilla the Gileadite be allowed to eat at Solomon's table for all of the kindness and resources that Barzilla had given to David and his army when they needed it so badly in preparing to engage and defeat Absalom's army.
When Davis died and was buried with his fathers in the City of David, Solomon had both Joab and Shemei put to death. Further, when Adonijah requested that Solomon give him the David's concubine Abishag the Shunammitte for a wife, Solomon saw this as an obvious claim on the throne and had Adonijah put to death. One final matter concerning Adonijah was dealth with by Solomon by removing Abiathar as priest for his participation in Adonijah's attempt to sieze the throne. This final action fulfilled the prophecy of 1 Samuel 2:30-35 regarding the house of Eli.
Through his love and respect for God, David was an extraordiinary person of personal courage, capability and commitment in leading Israel, but it is those times when he was humbled before God and was repentant of his sins that he was unbeatable before his emenies. We remember David the shepherd and David the king, so let us remember him as David the Psalmist too:
The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want ... (Psalm 23)
The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear ... (Psalm 27)
I lift my eyes to the mountains ï from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth ... (Psalm 121)
Rik Charbonneaux is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.
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