1 Chronicles 11:1-8
Then all Israel gathered themselves to David to Hebron, saying, Behold, we are your bone and your flesh.…
All Israel now gave their adhesion to the person and house of David. The kingdom was knit together under one strong, wise leader (ver. 1). In the act by which the national acceptance of David was declared and ratified we have a suggestive instance of -
I. THE WISDOM OF THE COMMUNITY. All Israel:
1. Made their choice with discernment. The nation did not act precipitately, blindly, with a rash and ruinous impulsiveness. It had good reason for what it did. It elected to elevate David to the supreme post because
(1) he could claim very close relationship: "We are thy bone and thy flesh;" a fact which ensured his deep interest and patriotism;
(2) he had rendered valuable service in past days: "Thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel" (ver. 2);
(3) Divine designation: "The Lord thy God said unto thee," etc. (ver. 2); - three excellent reasons for their procedure.
2. Acted afterwards with wise precaution, Instead of trusting absolutely to the lasting virtue of a good man, they bound him to royal fidelity with a solemn pledge: they met the king in Hebron, and "he made a covenant with them... before the Lord" (ver. 3). This was most wise; they did not then know for a certainty what manner of monarch David would prove. It would have been blind and foolish on their part, in the last degree, to have committed themselves absolutely and without any guarantee into the new king's hands. Here are lessons for all communities (nations, societies, Churches, etc.) for all time.
(1) Think well before taking an important step which involves large issues.
(2) Choose for a leader the man who is likely to cherish a real and living interest in the well-being of the community.
(3) Prefer the man who has given assurance, by past action, of integrity and ability.
(4) Make much of Divine indications.
(5) Have a distinct understanding, carefully and solemnly ratified, before actually entering on the new relationship. Let there be no possible mistake on either side as to what is expected.
II. THE WISDOM OF THE KING. David did two wise things on this occasion.
1. He commenced his reign over united Israel by an act of courage and patriotism (vers. 4, 5).
2. He gave prominence and power to the man who earned them by his merit (ver. 6). Here are two lessons for leaders of all times.
(1) Strive to start well. To make a favourable commencement of a ministry, or of a government or office of any kind, is not everything; but it is much. It is a great step toward a real success; therefore, in beginning a new work with new workers, put forth the utmost energy and start promisingly.
(2) Show favour to the deserving. Let not kinship, nor friendship, nor the commendations of others, but personal merit shown in the face of duty and difficulty, be the condition of honour. Let the prize be to him who has won it. Partiality will soon destroy confidence and wear away affection. Impartiality will secure respect and love. Then as "David dwelt in the castle," will the wise leader of the community dwell in the stronghold of the esteem and affection of the Church or the community. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.