2 Samuel 5
-Finally, after many years of trusting the LORD and eluding his enemies, David is anointed the rightful and ordained king over all of Israel. All the tribes came to David in Hebron after the death of Ish-bosheth (see 2 Samuel 4) and acknowledged him as their sovereign who had shepherded his people Israel as a great ruler. Even when King Saul had positional authority, the people recognized the actual man of God who was to be their eventual leader. “So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them before the LORD at Hebron; then they anointed David king over Israel.” This happened when David was 30 years old. It had been a long and arduous, but faithful, journey. His time had now come, the LORD had lifted him up and exalted him to what he had been called. He would eventually reign for 40 golden years, 7 ½ years in Hebron as the leader of Judah and 33 years in Jerusalem as the king of all Israel and Judah united (2 Samuel 5:1-5).
-Now, David took decisive action with his men by going up to Jerusalem. They went against the Jebusites, who controlled this mountainous stronghold that would eventually house the Temple of the Living God. The conventional thinking at the time was that the city was so well fortified that even the lame and the blind could protect it. A more accurate rendering of the text might explain the wording “let him reach the lame and the blind, who are hated by David’s soul, through the water tunnel.” This could actually in the Masoretic Text take a Qere option that would make it passive to mean, “…the blind and the lame, who are hateful to (or towards) David (see http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1322).” Whatever one’s understanding and interpretation of this passage, David used a cunning tactic to invade this coveted real estate and capture it. The stronghold of Zion was taken. The blind and the lame were excluded from coming into the house, which is more than likely referencing the future Temple of God, which was to be built during the reign of David’s son, Solomon. David now lived in this stronghold and at that time it became known as the “city of David” by the king’s own choosing. In fact, David strengthened it by some building projects from the Milo (citadel) inward. “David became greater and greater, for the LORD God of hosts was with him.” At that time, alliances began to form as well. Hiram, king of Tyre, sent messengers to David with cedar trees along with carpenters and stonemasons. These built a house for the king to live there in Jerusalem. David now realized his good fortune from the LORD in establishing him as king over Israel. God had exalted him and his kingdom for the sake of His people, Israel. Also notated in the text was the fact that King David took more wives and concubines from Jerusalem at this juncture. More sons and daughters are born, which are listed in the text (2 Samuel 5:6-16).
-But all was not pleasurable and peaceful in the beginning of David’s reign after the conquering of Jerusalem. The Philistines, upon hearing that David had been anointed king over all Israel, went up to seek out their notorious enemy. When the king caught wind of this, he went down, presumably with his trusted fighting men, to the stronghold. This was somewhere in the vicinity of the valley of Rephaim because this is where the Philistines came and spread themselves out. The valley of Rephaim is pretty much due west of Jerusalem toward what was still known as Canaan. It was about mid-way between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean Coastline in some pretty mountainous regions of the hill country. There, David inquired of his LORD once again as to whether or not he should go up against his foe. God told him to, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” Therefore, David and his men went and came to Baal-perazim and defeated them there. David proclaimed, “The LORD has broken through my enemies before me like the breakthrough of waters.” This is why it is named Baal-perazim (the master of breakthrough). The Philistines abandoned their idols there at Baal-perazim with David and his men carrying them away. But the trouble wasn’t over just yet. The Philistines remobilized and came back up once again in the valley of Rephaim. David again inquired of his LORD, and the LORD provided him specific advice on how to handle the battle. Israel was to go directly up, circle around behind them, and come at them in front of the balsam (or baka-shrubs) trees. When they heard marching in the tops of the balsam trees, they were to “act promptly, for then the LORD will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines.” David followed through exactly with what the LORD commanded him, and the Philistines were struck down from Geba as far as Gezer (2 Samuel 5:17-25).
-*Application* God is indeed the Master of the breakthrough. He will come to our aid at the critical times of our lives when we yield whole-hearted devotion to His plans. This is a lesson for us in persistence, faithfulness, endurance, steadfastness, patience, and devotion among many other things. David gives us hope when we see all the testing and hardships that he had to go through in order to be exalted as the king over a united Israel. Keep trusting God, keep inquiring of Him at every juncture, and enjoy the breakthrough when He ensures the victory!
Verse to Memorize: 2 Samuel 5:3