- 2 Sam. 2:1-4:12
- 1 Chron. 11:1-3
- 2 Sam. 5:4-5
- 1 Chron. 12:23-40
David moved to the town of Hebron in Judah. The men of Judah came to Hebron and made David king over Judah. David praised the men of Jabesh Gilead who had recovered the body of Saul from the Philistines and buried him. Meanwhile Abner, commander of Saul's army, had taken Saul's son Ish-Bosheth and made him king over Israel. Ish-Bosheth reigned over the tribes of Israel for 2 years while Judah followed David. During this time there was significant division among the Israelites.
In the course of time, Ish-Bosheth accused Abner of behaving improperly toward one of Saul's concubines. This infuriated Abner, who went and proposed allegiance to David, which David accepted. However, as Abner was on his way home, Joab had messengers secretly go and bring him back to another place where Joab met them. It was there that Joab killed Abner in order to avenge the blood of his brother whom Abner had killed while escaping from David's force.
When David heard of Abner's death he and all the people mourned greatly. David cursed Joab for killing Abner. Abner was buried in Hebron. When Ish-Bosheth heard that Abner had been killed he became greatly afraid. Two brothers named Recab and Baanah, who had been leaders of Saul's raiding bands, killed Ish-Bosheth by stabbing him in the stomach. Afterward they slipped away and went to David. When he learned of what happened to Ish-Bosheth, David killed Recab and Baanah.
With Ish-Bosheth dead all of Israel came together at Hebron and anointed David as king over all Israel just as the LORD had promised David. David was 30 years old when he became king and he reigned 40 years.
Despite being involved in frequent conflict and turmoil, David looked to GOD to deliver him from his enemies and to justify him before the people. It is sad that all of this violence took place within GOD's chosen people. This was not His will, rather it was the result of stubborn sinful people insisting on having their way rather than submitting to an all-knowing, all-wise GOD. Recall that GOD told them the tragedy that would come upon them if they sought an earthly king yet they insisted.
In the history of the Jews before Jesus, David shines the brightest as an example of the success that GOD looked to bring upon the nation. Also, we can see the pattern from Saul that will replay itself over and over with numerous wicked kings of both Judah and Israel in the future. The nation derived its spiritual and moral direction from its human leader, sadly, rather than from its GOD. This is human nature, however, and I believe one of the primary reasons why GOD established elders as spiritual shepherds over the church.
It is important that we learn the lessons from David as he trusted in GOD, and eventually as his focus shifted to worldly desires, and the result of his decisions.