2 Samuel 5:10
And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him.
I. THE TIDE OF PROSPERITY.
1. David as sole ruler over Israel. Every tide has a turning, and at last the ebb-tide of David's misfortunes began to flow. Judah had for seven and a half years been subject to David's sway, and now all Israel was anxious to array itself under his banner. The account given in our lesson is very meagre, but a fuller account in (1 Chronicles 12:23-40) will prove that the whole proceeding was full of pomp. Adding up the military escorts there mentioned, we find that they reached the grand total of three hundred and forty thousand eight hundred, For three days there was universal rejoicing and festivity. Thus with ceremonies of appropriate dignity, the former shepherd was at last recognized as sovereign over all God's chosen people.
2. As military conqueror. Soon after his installation as king over all Israel, David began to cast wistful glances at Jerusalem. It was really the Gibraltar of Canaan. But thus far, by reason of its impregnable situation, it had defied the efforts of the Israelites to capture it, though on one occasion they had been partially successful. David therefore laid plans for its complete subjugation. Thus David gained a kingdom, a capital, and a religious centre from which to rule his people.
3. As king among nations. Prosperity at home was followed by the recognition of the sovereigns of other nations. Among them was Hiram, king of ancient Tyre. Distant rulers sought alliance with the king of Israel, and courted his favour. So he advanced, and became great. The tide of prosperity swept far up on the sands of David's life, and the promise of happiness and usefulness was golden.
II. THE CAUSE OF PROSPERITY.
1. David recognized that it was not for his own individual sake that God had thus prospered him, but that it was "for his people Israel's sake." If he had stopped to think, he would have recognized that he was no more talented a man than Saul had been. Saul began well, when raised to the throne. In some respects, indeed, Saul had the advantage over David. At this time in his life David probably recognized all this, and ascribed the glory to Him to whom it belonged. Had he only always borne this in mind, he would have made fewer mistakes and committed fewer sins than he did. So long as his thought ran God-ward he was safe; but as soon as his mind began to say, "by mine own might," he lost power and fell. These first few years of David's reign were among the happiest of his whole life. His hardships as an exile were at an end. He no longer lay down and rose up in fear of his implacable enemy. He was no longer separated from family and friends, and driven from post to pillar like a wild beast. His heart was not tried by the apparent contradiction between God's promise and God's performance. The promise of the kingdom had been made good, and David felt that "all's well that ends well." Moreover, the people had not yet become alienated from this ruler. The enthusiasm of a united and prosperous nation, led by a wise and talented military chieftain, still pervaded all classes. The great and overwhelming temptations of royalty had not yet enfeebled the moral character of the king. Enlarged life, filled with unusual opportunities for usefulness, spread out before him, and filled him with the enthusiasm of full manhood. This was David's "golden age." He stood at the beginning of a career which might be almost perfect in its achievements. So stands many a young man and woman. Life stretches out before them, and is full of grand possibilities. The restraints incident to childhood and the years of tutelage are over. Powers of body and mind are in full vigour, and hope stands with face erect and confidence on its brow. Friends applaud, and predict great success in future days. Well is it for such persons to remember that God is the source of all their talents and of the conditions of their future success.
(A. F. Schauffler.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him.