2 Samuel 8
-This chapter gives the reader an understanding of the regional conquests of David in the nations that surrounded Israel during this unified time in their history. He took control of the chief city of the Philistines defeating them and subduing them. Moab was defeated with many being put to death, the rest becoming servants of King David and his people. They brought tribute to their conquerors. Then David’s armies defeated Hadadezer, the son of Rehob of Zobah, as rule was reestablished at the Euphrates River. 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers were captured. David had their horses hamstrung, but reserved enough of them to provide for 100 chariots. When the Arameans came to ally themselves with Hadadezer, 22,000 of them were killed by David’s legions. He put garrisons among the Arameans of Damascus (present day Syria), and these also became servants to David and Israel, bringing tribute. In fact, Scripture states repeatedly that “the LORD helped David wherever he went (2 Samuel 8:6, 14). Shields of gold and large amounts of bronze were brought as spoils of war to Jerusalem from Betah and Berothai, which were previously cities of Hadadezer. When King Toi of Hamath, who had been at war with Hadadezer, heard that David had defeated his enemy, he sent his son, Joram, to King David with greetings and blessings. He also gave the Israeli king articles of silver, gold, and bronze, which David immediately dedicated to the LORD his God along with all the other things he had gained from all the nations he had subdued. Some additional nations listed among the vanquished included Aram (some manuscripts read Edom), Ammon, and Amalek. David became more and more famous as 18,000 Arameans were cut down in the Valley of Salt (Dead Sea area). He then put more garrisons in Edom, and they became his servants too. “So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered justice and righteousness for all his people (2 Samuel 8:1-15).”
-Some of the important people in his regime are now listed. Joab stayed on as the man over his army. Jehoshaphat was the recorder, a historian of sorts. Zadok and Ahimelech were priests with Ahimelech being a vital asset in his ascension as king (1 Samuel 21-22). Seraiah was the secretary, an important person as anyone in leadership knows full well. Benaiah, who was one of David’s mighty valiant warriors (2 Samuel 23:22-23, 1 Chronicles 27:5-6), was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites, who were closely associated with the Philistines but sided with Israel historically. David’s sons were also appointed chief ministers (2 Samuel 8:16-18).
-*Application* When God is with us, nothing we do fails. The question for us becomes, “Why was God so with David in all of these events?” God knew his heart, and that it would rise to the mantle of leadership with “justice and righteousness for all his people.” He was not swayed by popular opinions or faddish impulses. He was focused on God’s commands, and he obeyed Him at all times. He was not perfect, but he was yielded in his heart to the will of the LORD. He feared Him and followed Him. This is the recipe for our own success if we dare to copy it.
Verse to Memorize: 2 Samuel 8:15