2 Samuel 2:1-4
And it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?…
David inquired of the Lord (ver. 1). A new chapter in the life of David now opens. By the death of Saul and Jonathan the obstacles to his accession were, in part, removed. The time of patient waiting was gone, and the time for decisive action come. As he had not run before he was sent, so he did not expect, without running, to attain. But he would not take a step without the approval and direction of God. His inquiry pertained to the Divine purpose he was chosen to fulfil, and the Divine guidance he needed for its accomplishment. In this inquiry, as in his subsequent conduct and experience, he was a pattern to us; since there is forevery man a Divine plan and purpose of life, which he should seek to ascertain and strive to realize. Consider Divine guidance (in the way to a crown) as -
I. URGENTLY NEEDED. We are liable (like travellers in a strange country) to go astray from the right path and fall into danger.
1. This liability arises from many erroneous paths presented to our view; their attractive appearance and strong temptations. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12).
2. And from the imperfection of our own nature; our ignorance, and our disposition to please ourselves rather than deny ourselves and please God. "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself," etc. (Jeremiah 10:23).
3. It is evident from experience of past failures. David had taken many false steps. And there is no man but has reason to feel, in looking back over departed years, that his greatest folly has been to walk in the light of his own wisdom, and his greatest wisdom to depend upon the wisdom of God.
4. The need of it is specially felt by us when about to enter upon a new enterprise, or a course of action to which we are impelled by outward circumstances or inward conviction, but the exact nature of which is uncertain, or which is dependent for its success upon the disposition and cooperation of other persons.
II. DILIGENTLY SOUGHT. Although the Urim and Thummim are gone (see 1 Samuel 14:16-23; 1 Samuel 23:1-12), yet:
1. There are certain means which must be employed for a similar purpose - such as considering our own capacities and condition; listening to the voice of conscience; seeking the advice of good men; observing the ways of Providence; studying "the Scriptures of truth;" and, above all, offering prayer to the Father "in the Name" of Christ.
2. And to their proper employment a right spirit is essential; viz. sincerity, docility, trustfulness, perseverance. Such was the spirit of David, as it appears in his psalms; and therefore, while Saul exclaimed, "God answereth me no more" (1 Samuel 28:15), he could say, "I sought the Lord, and he heard me" (Psalm 34:4).
III. GRACIOUSLY AFFORDED.
1. In various ways, in accordance with the means just mentioned, and especially by the Holy Spirit, who prepares the heart, teaches the meaning and application of the written Word, and produces impressions and impulses in harmony therewith. "Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and know all things" (l John 2:20; John 16:13).
2. Individually, and in a measure fully adequate to the requirements of the case and the capacity of profiting by it.
3. Certainly. As of old, so now. God is as desirous as he is able to lead us in the way wherein we should go, and he has given many faithful promises to this effect. "I will guide thee with mine eye" (Psalm 32:8; Psalm 37:23; Psalm 48:14). "Thine ears shall hear a voice behind thee," etc. (Isaiah 30:21; Isaiah 42:16; Proverbs 3:6).
IV. FAITHFULLY FOLLOWED. "And David went up thither" (ver. 2).
1. With humble obedience and entire dependence, as a child relying on the superior wisdom of his father.
2. Without hesitation, questioning, or delay.
3. With cheerfulness, zeal, and energy. It is always given with a practical end in view.
V. GRADUALLY CONFIRMED in the experience of him who obeys. "And his men... and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron" (ver. 3). God went before them and prepared their way, so that they met with a peaceable reception and found "a city of habitation."
1. The operations of Providence concur with the teachings of the Word and the Spirit.
2. A stronger assurance of the Divine leading is possessed. "If any man willeth to do his will," etc. (John 7:17).
3. More light is given for further advancement. "Then shall we know, shall follow on to know the Lord. His going forth is fixed like the morning dawn" (Hosea 6:3); and it will brighten on our path into the radiance of perfect day.
VI. WIDELY BENEFICIAL. More especially it contributes to the good of those who are associated with him, and who, having shared his perplexity and distress, now share his prosperity. Those who are guided by God are thereby enabled and disposed to guide and bless others (Numbers 10:39).
VII. GLORIOUSLY TERMINATING. "They anointed David king" (ver. 4). And all who truly fulfil the Divine plan and purpose as David did (Acts 13:22) are made "kings unto God," and receive exalted honour among men, increased power over them, and at length a crown of life, of righteousness, and of glory. But, alas! how many go stumbling through life without an aim, or only with one which is unworthy, and contrary to the will of God, and then sink into "the blackness of darkness forever"! "The wise shall inherit glory; but shame shall be the promotion of fools" (Proverbs 3:35). - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron.
WEB: It happened after this, that David inquired of Yahweh, saying, "Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?" Yahweh said to him, "Go up." David said, "Where shall I go up?" He said, "To Hebron."