June 26, 2023
“Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and spoke saying, ‘Indeed we are your bone and your flesh. Also, in times past, when Saul was king over us...”
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“Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and spoke saying, ‘Indeed we are your bone and your flesh. Also, in times past, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the Lord said to you: You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over Israel.’ Therefore, all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord. And they anointed him king over Israel.” 2 Samuel 5:1-2 (NKJV)
Funny how things change. For several years, an army of Israelites pursued David to kill him. Now, a delegation show-up at David’s door, cap in hand, saying, “Oh, that? That was nothing! You have always been king in our hearts!”
The Northern delegates have their speech prepared and state their pro-David case in three arguments:
RELATIONSHIP: We are your bone and flesh.
LEADERSHIP: Previously, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who was leading our armies to & from battle.
PROMISE: The Lord said, “You shall shepherd my people Israel, and be leader over Israel.”
The last argument, “The Lord promised” is the climax. God’s promise to David began when the Lord commanded Samuel to inform Saul that someone outside of Saul’s family would inherit the throne. The promise to David became viable – at least to Samuel – when Samuel was sent to anoint someone from among Jesse’s family.
God’s promise to David began as a tormenting suspicion to Saul and eventually a foregone conclusion. Now, David’s opponents d his opponents are resigned to it.
Hence, when the Northern tribes mention the Lord’s promise at the Hebron negotiations, the writer wants us to highlight it in our Bibles! As if to say, “See there? See how The Lord’s promise to David came to pass? See how it weathered the wrath of Saul, the foolishness of David, the rebellion of the North, and the self-seeking of so-called “friends”?
God’s Word has proved firm through chapters & chapters of opposition! And the delegate’s affirming words encourage us because they imply that all of God’s promises are certain, no matter how much resistance they meet or how much time passes.
God’s Word can be trusted to be fulfilled, down to the slightest detail. So, we are exhorted to simply receive that truth and continue to hold on, pressing on toward the higher calling of our Lord!