2 Samuel 7 Part 1–No Palace Necessary

David was not the typical king.  As he settled into the life of a king, he was displeased with the idea that he lived in a palace while God lived in a tent.  He wanted to build a temple for God–but God had a different plan.  First, God wanted David to not be concerned about his dwelling. God created the entire universe and frankly could not be contained in a palace! The tent of meeting was simply that–it was not where God lived.  God loved David and now wanted to give him peace, give him a name and give him a legacy.  As David continued to follow God, God would do amazing and mighty things for David.  God did not want David the warrior to be David the architect.
 
We often try to do things for God.  We think that if we do amazing things for God, we will somehow curry favor in His eyes and become one of His special ones. The truth is that God loves us UNCONDITIONALLY! He loves us at our best and at our worst. He does not need us to do tasks to earn that love.  He simply needs us to follow Him and allow Him to bring peace and provision to our lives. It is not that the Lord does not recognize our desire simply to please Him–it is that our trust in God and desire to follow God’s lead is the greatest “gift” we can give the Lord.  God loved to bless David. He also wants nothing more than to bless us. We must simply trust and follow Him–no palace building is necessary.
 
God Bless You

After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”

Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”

But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:

“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling.Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’

“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders[a] over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

2 Samuel 6 Part 2–The Ark Comes Home!

It had finally reached Jerusalem, The Ark of the Lord was resting again in the center of Israel. David was so excited to see the Ark back where it belonged that he was celebrating with all his might. The people responded with celebration as well. Everyone was pleased, except for Saul’s Daughter, Michal. Still bringing the Ark to Jerusalem was a sign that God was back in charge of His people.  The great news was that the person that was most glad was David, the king.  Since Samuel anointed Saul as king, God was clear–if your king will honor me, then I will lead Israel and he will be blessed.  David actually understood and followed God’s lead.  As a result–Israel would be blessed!
 
The same holds true today.  If we will continue to honor God with our lives, and, if we will follow the Lord’s lead; then God will protect us, provide for us and prepare us for a glorious life here and for eternity.  It will not always be easy; but, we will have peace and purpose whatever life throws at us.  If there was ever anything worth celebrating, knowing that we will be loved and guided by our Father is clearly reason to do the happy dance!  Thanks, Father for your love and grace! 
 
God Bless You

Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. 13 When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, 15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

16 As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.

17 They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord.18 After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord Almighty. 19 Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes.

2 Samuel 6 Part 1–Reverence

David was bringing the kingdom back in line with God’s plan.  He had already reestablished Israel as a nation under God’s lead. Now the King set out to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem. Sadly, on the journey, one of the men caring for the ark reached out and grabbed it to hold it steady–when he did, he died.  David was furious and scared all at once.  He decided to park the Ark at a place right there.  The Ark was sacred. God was clear, no one was to touch it. So when the Uzzah did, no matter his intention, the response from God was also clear–he died.  
 
It is critical to understand that God is and does command reverence.  We tend to want to claim God’s gifts and favor–but, we refuse to honor His deity.  God is God he is powerful beyond measure. He deserves reverence.  We, as His children need to show that reverence in our lives. It is not that God will strike us down if we do not, but, we lose so much in our relationship with God if we fail to honor the Lord for who He is.  Reverence is critical! 
 
God Bless You

 David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. He and all his men went to Baalah[a] in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name,[b] the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it,[c] and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets,[d] harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.

When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.

Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.[e]

2 Samuel 5 Part 2–God Retakes the Lead

For the majority of Saul’s reign, he quit hearing from the Lord.  Now as David began leading the people, He was seeking God first and God was responding.  What’s more, God was not only responding to David’s inquiries, the Lord was actually going before Israel in battle.  God assisted David in the defeat and retaking of Jerusalem–and next, He led David and assisted in the utter destruction of the Philistine armies.  Israel was once again a nation led by God and ruled by a king that sought God with his heart.
 
In our lives, We see a dramatic difference when we allow God to lead in our lives.  If we seek the Lord and humbly follow, He will do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever hope or dream.  That is why we have to focus on our walk with God and allow Him to direct our path. It does not mean that we will not encounter battles, it simply means that God will go before us and lead us through those battles.  There is no better way to live.
 
God Bless You

 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold. 18 Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 19 so David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?”

The Lord answered him, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.”

20 So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, “As waters break out, the Lord has broken out against my enemies before me.” So that place was called Baal Perazim.[c] 21 The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.

22 Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 23 so David inquired of the Lord, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. 24 As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” 25 So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon[d] to Gezer

2 Samuel 5–David Becomes King of a United Israel

7and 1/2 Years David lived in a divided kingdom. He reigned in Hebron but Israel was held at bay. Then the Elders finally submitted to God and at 37 years old, David became God’s king.  Immediately upon becoming king, David began the work of regaining the territory lost in the time of disarray.  He took Jerusalem–the Jebusites had fancied themselves unbeatable…They were–until they weren’t.  David recaptured his city and expanded his territory.  It was a time of restoration for David and for Israel.
 
If we follow God closely and trust him completely, We will see our share of hills and valleys. Life will throw curves and we will make dumb mistakes. God will make a huge difference in our lives, however, that will last an eternity. We must never give up.  We must never give in.  We must always seek God and trust him to do as he promised in our lives.  If we will, then that trust will carry us through the tough times and encourage us in the times of joy. We will always point to God and his blessing and never need to point at our accomplishments or treasures.  It had to be a time of pure peace for David–even as he battled Israel’s enemies. God had restored him to be king–just as he promised David when he was a teenager!
 
God Bless You

All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood.In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’”

When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.

David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron, he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem, he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.

David Conquers Jerusalem

The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there. The Jebusites said to David, “You will not get in here; even the blind and the lame can ward you off.” They thought, “David cannot get in here.” Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David.

On that day David had said, “Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water shaft to reach those ‘lame and blind’ who are David’s enemies.[a]” That is why they say, “The ‘blind and lame’ will not enter the palace.”

David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the terraces[b] inward. 10 And he became more and more powerful because the Lord God Almighty was with him.

2 Samuel 4–The Lives of Kings

It was becoming a free-for-all. Now that Saul was dead, opportunists were seeking to gain favor with David by killing off Saul’s house.  It broke David’s heart.  As these latest raiders brought the head of Saul’s son to David, they expected a reward. David was furious.  Instead of a reward, David had them executed and publicly humiliated.  That is what was done to men that murdered kings.  David sent the message such behavior would not be tolerated.  
 
The world simply does not value life.  Make no mistake, each person values their own life, mostly above all else.  But apart from God, most do not value others lives.  So given the opportunity, the evil men do to promote themselves becomes worse each passing generation.  As God’s chosen, we must live lives that are selfless and that promote life.  We cannot act only for our interest, but we must live with the truth that others matter as well.  David understood that–that is what made him a great king and the man after God’s heart.  Help me, Lord to have the same heart as did David.
 
God Bless You

When Ish-Bosheth son of Saul heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he lost courage, and all Israel became alarmed. Now Saul’s son had two men who were leaders of raiding bands. One was named Baanah and the other Rekab; they were sons of Rimmon the Beerothite from the tribe of Benjamin—Beeroth is considered part of Benjamin, because the people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim and have resided there as foreigners to this day.

(Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became disabled. His name was Mephibosheth.)

Now Rekab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out for the house of Ish-Bosheth, and they arrived there in the heat of the day while he was taking his noonday rest.They went into the inner part of the house as if to get some wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rekab and his brother Baanah slipped away.

They had gone into the house while he was lying on the bed in his bedroom. After they stabbed and killed him, they cut off his head. Taking it with them, they traveled all night by way of the Arabah. They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to kill you. This day the Lord has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.”

David answered Rekab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, 10 when someone told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news! 11 How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!”

12 So David gave an order to his men, and they killed them. They cut off their hands and feet and hung the bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-Bosheth and buried it in Abner’s tomb at Hebron.

2 Samuel 3 Part 2–Sad End to A Sad War

 David came to terms with Abner, general from the house of Saul. He made peace and looked to end the conflict.   Sadly, as he sent Abner on his way, Joab, David’s general, found out that the guy that killed his brother was just set free.  So Joab chased Abner down and killed him.  It was such a sad day for David and for Israel.  Joab and his family would be cursed. David and his army would not be done and Abner, the one to bring peace, was murdered. David commanded all mourn for Abner’s death.  He mourned and fasted the entire day.  They honored the general, even though Abner was in Saul’s house.
 
In truth, war just stinks.  The costs are high, the unintended damages are often great and senseless.  That is why we do not go to war thoughtlessly or at a whim.  It is critical that while we ready ourselves for battle, that we become men of peace and reason.  David was clearly a great warrior.  But, he knew the value of peace.  His deal with Abner was a deal for the peace of Israel, not simply for himself. We have to live our lives the same.  We must always be ready for the spiritual battles we face, but, we need to be peaceful people.  Joab was cursed because he could not do that. David was great because he could. Let’s choose to be peaceful people ready for battle.
 
God Bless You

Just then David’s men and Joab returned from a raid and brought with them a great deal of plunder. But Abner was no longer with David in Hebron, because David had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23 When Joab and all the soldiers with him arrived, he was told that Abner son of Ner had come to the king and that the king had sent him away and that he had gone in peace.

24 So Joab went to the king and said, “What have you done? Look, Abner came to you. Why did you let him go? Now he is gone! 25 You know Abner son of Ner; he came to deceive you and observe your movements and find out everything you are doing.”

26 Joab then left David and sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern at Sirah. But David did not know it. 27 Now when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into an inner chamber, as if to speak with him privately. And there, to avenge the blood of his brother Asahel, Joab stabbed him in the stomach, and he died.

28 Later, when David heard about this, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever innocent before the Lord concerning the blood of Abner son of Ner. 29 May his blood fall on the head of Joab and on his whole family! May Joab’s family never be without someone who has a running sore or leprosy[a] or who leans on a crutch or who falls by the sword or who lacks food.”

30 (Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.)

31 Then David said to Joab and all the people with him, “Tear your clothes and put on sackcloth and walk in mourning in front of Abner.” King David himself walked behind the bier. 32 They buried Abner in Hebron, and the king wept aloud at Abner’s tomb. All the people wept also