1 Chronicles 11:1-3
Then all Israel gathered themselves to David to Hebron, saying, Behold, we are your bone and your flesh.…
The fact is brought prominently before us in these verses that eventually, after long waiting and much trial of faith and patience, the promised throne was secured for David, and that in a most hopeful way, by the good will of the people and the providential removal of all possible rivals. It has been said that "They who wait on providence will never want a providence on which to wait." But we must guard against making providence something operating distinct from God. It is really the living God working in the sphere of material things for the highest good of his people.
I. GOD'S PROMISE OF THE THRONE TO DAVID. It had been made long years before, when David was but a youth (1 Samuel 16:13). It was made by the significant act of anointment, and by the inward witness of God's Spirit. But it was not accompanied with any assurance of immediate fulfilment. God's promises still may serve for years unto the culture of our dependence and trust, until he finds the fitting time for their realization. The Christian man now has the promise of the "inheritance undefiled," but only the promise; yet to him "faith is the substance of things hoped for."
II. WHEN THE PROMISE WAS GIVEN THE FULFILMENT SEEMED MOST UNLIKELY. Another king was actually seated on the throne. There were no outward signs of weakness in his rule; no perilous dissatisfactions among the people; and he was a strong, hale man, and likely to live and rule for many years. Moreover, this King Saul had a family, and, in the natural order of things, it would be expected that they should succeed him on the throne. And, as time advanced, Saul's enmity against David could not fail to create such party feeling as would greatly hinder, if not absolutely prevent, his ever securing the full allegiance of the nation. Taking these things fully into account, any one, looking on from his youth-time to David's future, would say that it was of all Possible things the most unlikely that he should ever occupy the royal throne. But one has skilfully said that "the unexpected is the thing that happens," and the seemingly impossible often becomes the fact. A man who holds fast God's promises need never be troubled by disadvantageous appearances. Following the Divine lead, a man's way unfolds step by step.
III. THOUGH HE HELD FAST THE PROMISE, DAVID NEVER FORCED ITS FULFILMENT; herein setting us a most noble and pious example. He never tried to make a national party; he never pressed himself into high court positions; he never resisted the enmity of Saul; when his enemy was actually in his power, and a spear-thrust appeared to be the step on to the throne, he would not take matters into his own hands (1 Samuel 26:9-11). And even when Saul was dead, David did not press forward or attempt to seize the full kingdom. It may be urged that this was good policy, but it was really something far deeper - it was that true piety, which finds its best expression in waiting on God and waiting for him. A common Christian sin is saying we trust God, yet taking life into our own hands.
IV. GOD MAKES HIS PROVIDENCES EVENTUALLY WORK OUT HIS PROMISES. We may conceive of all things and all events as under his control; and the hearts of all men are in his hands. He is the Divine Master of all man's wilfulnesses. The long ages are his to work in. He can not only use forces, but fit forces together, and compel them to serve his ends. Perhaps the greatest marvel of human life is the way in which things unfold, and seemingly impossible issues are reached. In St. Paul's thought, "All things work together for good." Full illustration is found in the events which led David to his throne. What, then, becomes the duty of the child of the Divine promises? Simply this - let him do the right, so far as he knows it, and in dependence on God's strength, day by day; and let him rest assured that the faithful Promise-keeper will find the fittings, and lead on to the final issues. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.