Today’s reading begins with David crowned the King of Israel and concludes with the listing of David’s chief kingdom officials.
After the death of Saul’s son Ish-bosheth, the kingdom of Israel was without a king. The elders of the remaining tribes of Israel came to David at that time and made a covenant with him and handed over the crown of the kingdom of Israel to David. Although the text doesn’t give any indication of this, I would venture to state that David’s swift action in executing Ish-bosheth’s murderers ingratiated him to the people of Israel. Seeing that David would deal justly with wrong-doers and was angered enough by the actions of those in his command to have them executed probably won over the hearts of the people of Israel.
Not long into David’s reign over Israel, the LORD came and spoke to the prophet Nathan about His plans for David. David had found favor in the eyes of the LORD because of his heart for the LORD and his righteous deeds. Nathan spoke to David all of the words of the LORD, how the LORD would bless David and would keep a man of his household over the kingdom of Israel forever. David was greatly honored by this and thanked and blessed the LORD for the great mercy and grace that he had shown him.
Although God had promised to establish David and his family over Israel, the LORD also promised David that when he disobeyed that the LORD would punish him, but in spite of any punishment, the LORD would keep his covenant with David forever. It’s difficult for me to imagine why God would promise anyone his abiding favor forever. When Saul strayed from the LORD, Samuel’s word to Saul was that the LORD would seek out a man to rule over His people Israel who would be a man after (the LORD’s) own heart.
Although I’ve known that word from God about David for quite some time, I’m still not certain exactly what it means. What does it mean to be a man (or woman) after God’s own heart? As we’ll see shortly in upcoming passages, David committed great acts of wickedness and although it’s important not to compare ourselves with others to define our own righteousness, it’s difficult not to look at David and think, “I’ve got this whole walking with God thing all wrapped up!” Maybe you don’t think that, but certainly it’s been a thought that’s crossed my mind.
I haven’t gotten down my walk with the LORD to any sort of a science. I know I still blow it and I’m quite certain that I don’t have a heart for the LORD like even some of my friends, let alone a person spoken exclusively of in the Bible as being a man after God’s own heart. A long way off…