It's hard to imagine a young shepherd boy becoming the king of Israel, yet that's exactly what happened. And to this day, David, the boy on a hillside, is a celebrated model of courageous leadership. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll presents his midpoint message in the Biographical Teaching Series on David.
We've come to a pivotal point in our study. as we witness David's ascent to the highest office in the land. In this message, Chuck invites us to pause, reflect, and take a panoramic view of David's remarkable life. toward God's hand upon his life.
No wonder God called him a man after his own heart. However, decades later, after shepherding Israel as their king, his heart would stray and, tragically, his life would spiral downward toward a bittersweet ending. We're going to take a panoramic view of David's life in this particular message. To cover just one segment of David's ascension to power, I want to prepare you for that by reading the fifth chapter of 2 Samuel from the message. Please follow along as I read three separate sections from that fifth chapter of 2 Samuel. Before long, all the tribes of Israel approached David in Hebron and said, Look at us, your own flesh and blood.
In time past, when Saul was our king, you were the one who really ran the country. Even then, God said to you, You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will be the prince. All the leaders of Israel met with King David at Hebron, and the king made a treaty with them in the presence of God. And so they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he became king, and he ruled for forty years. In Hebron, he ruled Judah for seven and a half years.
In Jerusalem, he ruled all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years. David and his men immediately set out for Jerusalem to take on the Jebusites who lived in that country. But they said, You might as well go home. Even the blind and the lame could keep you out.
You can't get in here. They had convinced themselves that David couldn't break through. But David went right ahead and captured the fortress of Zion, known ever since as the City of David. That day, David said, To get the best of these Jebusites, one must target the water system, not to mention this so-called lame and blind bunch that David hates.
In fact, he was so sick and tired of it, people coined the expression, No lame and blind allowed in the palace. David made the fortress city his home and named it City of David. He developed the city from the outside terraces inward. David proceeded with a longer stride, a larger embrace, since the God of the angel armies was with him. It was at this time that Hyrum, king of Tyre, sent messengers to David along with timbers of cedar. He also sent carpenters and masons to build a house for David. David took this as a sign that God had confirmed him as king of Israel, giving his kingship world prominence for the sake of Israel his people. David took on more concubines and wives from Jerusalem after he left Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to him. When the Philistines got word that David had been made king over all Israel, they came on the hunt for him. David heard of it and went down to the stronghold.
When the Philistines arrived, they deployed their forces in Rephaim valley. Then David prayed to God, shall I go up and fight the Philistines? Will you help me beat them? Go up. God replied, count on me.
I'll help you beat them. Finally verse 25, David did exactly what God told him. He routed the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.
You're listening to Insight for Living. To dig deeper into the Bible with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures studies by going to insightworld.org slash studies. And now the message titled, New King, New Throne, Same Lord. Psalm number 78, the last three verses, provide us with a general survey of the life of David. Since we've come about halfway in our study of that life, it's a good place to stop and take a panoramic view of that life. Carl Sandburg is probably best known to all of us as a poet rather than a historian, but one of my treasured set of volumes in my library happened to be four volumes marked Lincoln in the war years. Sandburg does a real job of covering the darkest years of Lincoln's life as he traces those events that led up to ultimately that assassination, one of the saddest points in our American history. But in the chapter that follows the death of Lincoln, chapter 75, in the fourth volume, he draws the title of that chapter from an old woodsman's proverb, which says, a tree is best measured when it's down. Now think about that when I come to a life like David or other great biblical characters, I think I'm glad that they're down because you couldn't measure their life while they're still standing. A tree is not only best measured, it's best appraised, evaluated, and it has to be down for you to reach it. And it took the felling of the tree of Lincoln for us to appreciate the character that was in the man. And so it is with David. And since he's fallen, it's a good chance for us to measure the tree and we want to do that rather than each little meticulous detail, we want to just take an overview of his life. It's a good refreshing breath of air because we've dug into it up till this far in his life when he's now aged 30. Just before we look to the next 40 years of his life, we're going to look at him in general survey, verse 70 of Psalm 78.
Here's the tree, best measured. He, that's God, he also chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds from the care of the ewes with suckling lambs he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people and Israel his inheritance. So, he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart and guided them with the skillfulness of his hands. Now just keep looking at the verses.
You can earmark 70 years in these three verses. Beginning with verse 70, he chose David his servant that was about age 17. He was not yet 20.
He took him from the sheepfolds, that's when he slew the giant. He left the sheep from the care of the ewes with suckling lambs he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people, that's age 30. Between ages 17 and 30, David is on the run. And finally at age 30, he comes to that pinnacle moment in his life physically where he takes the throne of Israel. And he, verse 72, shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, parenthesis, ages 30 through 70. You can put it right in your Bible. You got a pinpoint of his life, age 17 or 18.
You got the next stop off, age 30. And finally you trace him all the way to the end, age 70 when he dies. As a matter of fact, the life of David could be measured like the roof of a house. For the first 30 to 50 years of his life, everything is on an upswing. In fact, he never knows defeat in the battlefield, he never knows what we would call an immeasurable failure though there were excursions in the flesh. No measurable failure is experienced by David from the shepherd life to the king life. For these 30 years and more, David is walking in the integrity of his heart. But when it comes to Bathsheba, there is a turn and there is tragedy. The first 35, 50 years of his life triumph, the last 20 years, tragedy. The first part of his life is a model of character and integrity and the last part of his life is a downhill slide in which I believe David died a broken man with a broken heart.
And we're going to sort of scope out his life this evening. Look at 2 Samuel 5. We're going to measure this tree called David. 2 Samuel 5 will give us a good general statement, verse 4, as far as time is concerned.
There's so much more here than just chronology, however. 2 Samuel 5, 4. David was 30 years old when he became king and he reigned 40 years.
2 Samuel 5, 4. Now, it is very easy for us to forget because he is now exalted as the king, as we'll see in the study tonight. It's easy to forget what led to it. Our tendency is to see the now and to forget the yesterday or the tomorrows. Now, some of the yesterday needs to be forgotten and some of the tomorrows need to be left to the Lord without worry. But there is a real sense in which we need to keep a perspective like God keeps on life.
Cynthia and I were listening for a few minutes this afternoon to an excellent speaker as he was sharing psychologically some things about our past. And he used a beautiful expression of yesterday as he talks about walking down the corridor of our past. And it's like an art gallery and on those walls are hung pictures of yesterday, our homes, our childhood, our rearing, the heartaches, the difficulties, and even the abuses, the inequities of our life. And he says if Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever, then you can take the Christ of today and walk with him into yesterday and from those walls have him remove the pictures that bring bad vibes, in fact, defeating kind of memories.
And that is so very important for the Christian to let Jesus invade the yesterday and to deal with those years of affliction in which the locusts have eaten. And to remove from the corridors of our lives those scenes, I have them, you have them. He needs to leave the murals that bring pleasure and victory. He needs to take from the walls those things that bring defeat.
Thinking more and more about that these days. It's easy for us to just look at the kingship and say what a life David had, how great it must have been, and to forget the fact that for years he was a fugitive and no doubt spent some days in disillusionment in the wilderness. He was a broken, humbled man during those days as a fugitive. Well now he comes to be the king. Now you might wonder how did he take the throne? Did he storm it? Did he take over like a trooper would?
No, he's a sensitive man. He's learned that in the afflictions of yesterday. See chapter 2 of this book? Locate verse 1.
2 Samuel 2. I want to show you how he took the promotion. We're often better at handling afflictions than we are at handling promotions.
Carlisle said that for every man that can handle success there are a hundred that can handle affliction. Here's a man who's faced with success. His predecessor is dead.
He killed himself. I mean if there was ever a chance for a person to take life by his own two fists and walk into it, it was David. But he didn't. See verse 1? It came about afterwards. That's after he heard the news of Saul that David inquired of the Lord saying, shall I go up to one of the cities of Judah? See he remembered when Samuel anointed him and said you will be the next king.
He remembered that from his years as a teenager. And he says, Lord, shall I go up to one of the cities? So he waited. And the Lord said to him, go up.
He didn't run out. He said, where shall I go up? He said, to Hebron. Just a simple conversation. In those days I take it that the Lord spoke audibly to his servants.
Today he speaks from his word. You might wonder, how do I take this decision? God's obviously opened the door. I'm about to walk into it.
Our tendency would be to race in when there is some benefit that will be accrued to us. And the Lord says through the life of David, no wait, even in taking promotions, walk carefully. Be sensitive. Shall I go up? Go up. Where shall I go?
Go to Hebron. And that's precisely what he did. Chapter 2 verse 11. And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
So don't lose the train of thought now. We brought David to age 30. And then he goes to Hebron, and he has a limited reign over the people of Judah for seven and a half years. He doesn't go to Jerusalem to take over the whole nation.
There are some satellite kings. There are some self-appointed men who would ride in the shirttails of Saul, and David lets the Lord take care of every one of them. He goes to Hebron and he lives there, and he's settled to live in that limited place knowing that he has the ability to handle the whole nation, but not unless it's God's time. So he goes to Hebron and he lives there. He stays there seven and a half years.
Well, he made some decisions there that he lived to regret. If you turn the page to chapter 3, you'll see a couple of them. Verse 1. We're looking at the king as he's in Hebron over Judah for seven and a half years. There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. David grew steadily stronger, but the house of Saul grew weaker continually.
Now note, it's going to sound like an uninteresting genealogy, but if you keep it in your mind, you'll learn something about this man's failure. Sons were born to David at Hebron. His firstborn was Amnon, remember that name, by Ahinoam the Jezrelitess. The second was Keliab by Abigail, the widow of Nabal. The third was Absalom, the son of Mayacah. What have you read so far? You've read not just of three children, but of three wives.
Keep that in mind. Absalom, Ahinoam, Abigail, Mayacah. Verse 4. He had a fourth son named Adonijah, remember that name. The son of Hagith, that's a fourth wife. And the fifth, Shephathiah, the son of Abittal, that's a fifth wife. And the sixth, Ithream, by David's wife, Eglah, that's a sixth wife. These were born to David at Hebron. I know that all of you who have been studying with us the life of David have wondered at times, when are you going to get around to talking about the polygamy in his life?
Well, tonight's a good night to do it, and we'll do it later as well, because it was one of the bad spots in his life. If I count correctly, the total size of his family was enormous. See the wives that he took in Hebron? Ahinoam, Abigail, Mayacah, Hagith, Abittal, Eglah.
And he took Michael back. She had married again, but she went back to David. And then when he was in Jerusalem, one wife is named Bathsheba. But there are other wives, according to the Chronicles, and from those other wives there were these children born, beginning with Iphar and ending with Jeremiah.
You don't know anything about most of them. You know something about some of them, of course, namely Solomon, one of Bathsheba's sons. But if I count correctly, we have twenty sons and one daughter. The daughter is Tamar. She's listed among the children of Mayacah up there in Hebron. She had Absalom, and then Absalom's blood sister was Tamar.
Why would I spend time on something like this? Well, I want you to keep it all in mind, because it's very important. David had a sizable family. He had, along with the wives, and by the way, some of the wives aren't even mentioned, a number of nameless concubines. Along with the wives, a number of concubines. And from them were born children. So David's family was enormous. Now, back to the study. If you just hang on to that thought, we'll wrap it up in a moment.
Go to chapter 5 again. 2 Samuel 5, verse 5. At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months. But in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah. So now we move in our outline to the king as he lives as king over all Israel, and headquarters is Jerusalem.
He has a limitless reign, great power, great blessing from God. Drop down to verse, well take verse 6. Now the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, so there was a war, and they had to drive out the Jebusites.
And he did that. Verse 7, David captured the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David, that's Jerusalem. David said on that day, whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him reach the lame and the blind, who were hated by David's soul through the water tunnel.
Therefore they say, the blind and the lame shall not come into the house. David lived in the stronghold and called it the city of David. He was the one who named it such. David built all around from Melo and inward, David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him. Hyrum, king of Tyre, sent messengers to David with cedar trees and carpenters and stone masons, and they built a house for David. David realized that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that he, God, had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people, Israel. Before you read the next verse, let me share with you what G. Frederick Owen, a very fine historian who writes like a novelist, says about this reign of David.
Everything favored national prosperity for Israel. There was no great power in western Asia inclined to prevent her becoming a powerful monarchy. The Hittites had been humbled, and Egypt, under the last kings of the 21st Dynasty, had lost her prestige and had all but collapsed. The Philistines were driven to a narrow portion of their old dominion. The king of Tyre sought friendly alliance with David. With a steady hand, David set out to force back and defeat Israel's enemies, who had constantly crowded and harassed the Hebrews.
To his people, David was king, judge, general, but to the nation's roundabout, he was the leading power in all the Near Eastern world, the mightiest monarch of his day. We're going to hit pause right here because we're running out of time, but please stay with us because Chuck Swindoll is in the studio to share a closing illustration in just a moment. This is Insight for Living, and Chuck titled today's message, New King, New Throne, Same Lord. To learn more about this ministry, we invite you to visit us online at insightworld.org. We're already receiving wonderful feedback from people who are enjoying not only this broadcast series, but Chuck's full-length biography on David. It's nearly 300 pages in length and titled David, a Man of Passion and Destiny. This would make a great read because it chronicles the unfolding story of David from his years on a hillside as a shepherd boy to his ascent to the highest rank in Israel. And it's all told in a fashion you've come to enjoy on this program. One of your fellow listeners said, It's a wonderful book and well worth reading. Another wrote, Check out his book on David twice now, and I am loving this series. To purchase a copy of Chuck's biography on David, give us a call.
If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888, or visit our website at insight.org slash offer. Here's Chuck. Thanks, Bill. Okay, for a moment, picture this. Imagine walking on a pair of crutches down an open sidewalk. All of a sudden, someone kicks your crutches, making you fall to the ground. Somewhat miffed, you look back at the perpetrator, and to your surprise, it's none other than God. All right, all right.
I realize that's an unpleasant picture. Nevertheless, that's really how God works at times. All of us rely on crutches. We are leaners by design, but in reality, only one crutch can give us the true support we need. So, why does God remove our crutches? Well, David gives us a clue, remember? One by one, God kicked his crutches away.
Good position? Gone. His wife? Gone. Homeland? Gone. His friend, Jonathan?
Gone. Here's the point. David needed to feel the pain of leaning on anything other than God, so he could then feel the stability of leaning on nothing other than God. It saddens me that so many of us lean on shaky crutches. And for that reason, day after day, Insight for a Living invites our global audience to take God's hand and lean wholly on Him. So, as we approach the end of another ministry year, will you join me in helping others depend on the stabilizing support of Jesus Christ alone? The Lord has been generous to us this year, and we believe He will continue to bless our efforts through the generosity of people just like you. So, let me hear from you today, okay?
June 30 is our final deadline for this fiscal year. Together, let's help others lean on Jesus. He's all sufficient.
Jesus Christ is all we need. Thanks Chuck, and here's how you can respond. If you prefer to give online, just go to insight.org, or if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Many people depend on Insight for Living as their source of Bible teaching and spiritual direction.
Occupying that space is an honor and a privilege, because we too have tasted the goodness of God, and we want every life to enjoy His stability, even when the crutches are kicked out. To join us in this worthy mission, you can give your donation by calling us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888, or it may be quicker and more efficient to simply give your gift online at insight.org slash donate. I'm Bill Meyer, inviting you to join us when Chuck Swindoll continues to describe David's appointment as King of Israel.
Tomorrow on Insight for Living. The preceding message, New King, New Throne, Same Lord, was copyrighted in 1978, 1988, 1997, 2009, and 2022. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
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