A Heart for God: David.
David enthroned as King
Readings: 2Sam 5:1-5
Sermon: Sun 25th October 2015
Setting the scene:
After Saul’s death, David is anointed King of Judah. Abner, the commander of Saul’s army, appoints Ish-Bosheth (son of Saul) as King of the tribes of Gilead, Ashuri, Jezreel, Ephariam, Benjamin & Israel.
A long war follows with twists and turns involving the scheming Abner. Following the death of Abner, Ish-Bosheth is weakened and then assassinated by two of his cavalry officers. Thinking David would reward them and welcome them transferring to his side, they approach David. He is enraged by their action and orders their immediate execution.
As in similar episodes (the ‘sword’ is a recurrent narrative theme in 1 & 2 Samuel) we are here confronted with someone who is portrayed as being ‘good’ doing something that we would categorise as ‘evil’. We may approach this in a number of ways. We may well feel that David’s actions here display the ease with which even those who are committed to the ways of God are captive to certain cultural expectations that sit uncomfortably with the expressed will of God (the command ‘do not kill’ had already been given). We may think that in some way the actions of David should be justified, or explained or condemned. Or conversely that in reality it is difficult to do any of these things in a meaningful way as David and his actions belong to a time and place very different from our own, with different rules and different norms.
How we engage with episodes such as this take on a particular importance as we look around our world and see the very same things happening in numerous cultures that are far closer to David’s than our own.
What we can do however is recognise that as disciples we believe that God has continued to reveal himself in time and space and most fully in Jesus, and make clear that any such actions now-a-days would be wholly contrary to the Jesus shaped life.
Ice-breaker: Show photographs of monarchs and/or leaders of organizations. See who can identify the most.
(See Helpful Hints)
Read 2 Samuel 5:1-25
A) Understanding David:
1. (Read verses 1-5) What is the significance of all the tribes coming to David?
2. Is it significant that David made a “covenant with the elders of Israel” (verse 3)?
3. This is the third time David has been anointed as King (see 1 Samuel 16:1-13 and 2 Samuel 2:4). How do you think David may have felt at this point? Read 2 Samuel 5: 6-25 3. What do you think were David’s priorities as King? How does what he did (as described in this reading) reveal this?
B) Learning from David
David endured many challenges during his 20 year wait to be anointed King of the united people of God. During this time, David remained faithful to God throughout (notice how in 2 Samuel 5:17-25 he continued to consult God).
Following his anointing as King, David continues to honour God and understands why God has appointed him – for the people of Israel & Judah, the covenant people of God. After the disastrous reign of Saul and the civil war, Gods’ people need a shepherd to love, lead, protect and provide for them.
1. What are the parallels between Jesus and David?
C) Praying with David
Using the photographs, pray for our leaders including our spiritual leaders.
Read Psalm 100 together and use it as a springboard to prayer.
A) Understanding David:
1. The people of God unite and ask David to unite them under His rule. The northern and southern kingdoms (Israel& Judah) are now united peacefully under the King, appointed by God and requested by the people. Finally, the people acknowledge the Lord’s choice.
3. David priorities were to: a) unite the tribes and form a nation b) establish a capital c) secure the new nation against possible attack d) establish Yahweh as the God of the united kingdom (Israel and Judah that is, not Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland!)
RJ / SB, 10/08/2015