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LESSON IV (17). — July 25.
DAVID SUCCEEDS SAUL AS KING.
2 Samuel 2:1-7; 5:1-5.
GOLDEN TEXT. Trust in Jehovah with all thy heart, and lean not upon thine own understanding. — Prov. 3: 5.
Devotional Reading : Psalm 18:1-6.
4 : 12.
Lesson Material : 1 Sam. 16:4-13; 2 Sam. 5:1-5.
Memory Verse : Trust in Jehovah and do good. Psalm 37 : 3. Junior Topic : How DAVID BECAME KING.
Lesson Material : 2 Sam. 2 : 1-7; 5:1-5.
Memory Verse : 1 Sam. 16 : 7 (Jehovah seeth, etc.).
Additional Material : Matt. 25: 14-30 ; 1 Cor. 9 : 24-27 ; 2 Tim. 2:5;
THE TEACHER AND HIS CLASS. 1017.
David became almost at
king of Judah. The development of both David and David was crowned king of all Israel the nation are inseparably woven to- seven and a half years later, B.C. 1055 gether in this lesson and both are worthy (Beecher) or B.C. 1010 (Assyrian). of careful consideration. The lesson also Place. David was made king of offers a good example of the truth that Judah at Hebron, and was crowned king Christ taught by the parable of the of all Israel at the same place. Later talents: Thou hast been faithful over he made Jerusalem his capital. few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.” The younger grades will confine them
THE ROUND TABLE. selves almost entirely to the story of this lesson, becoming familiar with the facts,
FOR RESEARCH AND DISCUSSION. and, where they are sufficiently advanced, The story of David's life as a preparation for being with the map of the country.
king. The older grades can, through a care
Why was Hebron the best capital for David's first
kingdom? ful reading of the chapters in which David's reign at Hebron. David's story is told, trace the reasons
The reign of Ish-bosheth.
How did this period prepare David for his larger for David's success, and contrast them
kingdom? with those which brought failure to Saul. How did it prepare the kingdom for David's rule? The Young People and Adults can add How did David become king over all Israel?
David's to this the general subject of the nature What was the advantage of Jerusalem as capital of all
conquest of Jerusalem. of true success, and the secret of its win- Israel? ning. What does the world consider The reasons for David's success. success ? Is it success from the Chris- Is success won to-day by the same methods? tian point of view ? The lesson can be made vivid by illustrations of histori
THE TEACHER'S LIBRARY. cal cases or of public men of our own times.
Commentaries on 2 Samuel. Books Use in the class not only the account on David, such as Dr. Taylor's David, in the present lesson, but the parallel King of Israel ; Deane's David, His Life account in i Chron. 11 :1-3.
and Times ; Alexander Maclaren's Life
of David ; David and His Friends, by THE LESSON IN ITS SETTING.
Louis Albert Banks. Geikie's Hours
with the Bible. Charles Kingsley's Gospel Time. The death of Saul and Jona- of the Pentateuch and David. than was B.C. 1063, according to Beecher's Palestine and Its Transformation, by Dated Events of the Old Testament. The Ellsworth Huntington. Jerusalem from Assyrian inscriptions make it about B.c. the Earliest Times, by George Adam
Smith. The Holy Land and the Bible, PLAN OF THE LESSON. by Cunningham Geikie.
SUBJECT: David Winning His Kingdom.
I. THE YEARS OF PREPARATION. THE LESSON IN ART.
II. THE DEATH OF SAUL AND JONA
THAN, 1 Sam. 28–31 ; 2 Sam. I. David Crowned King, Memling. III. DAVID KING OF JUDAH, 2 Sam. 2-4.
King David, Rubens, Domenichino, * IV. DAVID KING OF ISRAEL, 2 Sam. 5. and an unknown artist.
V. THE SECRET OF DAVID'S SUCCESS. I. THE YEARS OF PREPARATION. As David is now entering upon the great work for which God had been preparing him during thirty years, it is well to cast a brief glance over this period, and note the steps in his preparation. .
1. He had a good inheritance of an honest, intelligent, and pious parentage. The atmosphere of a home of piety and intelligence is one of the greatest and most blessed factors in a child's training.
2. Just what his education was we cannot tell, but he certainly had an education, especially in the Scriptures then known, which would include the history of his nation up to nearly his own time. His duties led him to spend much time alone with nature and nature's God.
“One impulse from the vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Than all the sages can.” Wordsworth. 3. David was trained to work. His daily duties with the sheep gave him an opportunity for training in skill, attention, courage, government, business. Through them he became physically active and strong. In order to do his work well he must be an adept at defence, and he gained great DAVID
skill with the sling. 4. He had been dedicated to the
KING kingdom. When he was about fifteen years of age he was
anointed by Samuel, at the command of God, to be the
of all future king of Israel. Having been faithful in his
DAVID PALESTINE youth the time came when he could understand
the work and place to which God had chosen
him. His ideal was now clearly established.
It is a good thing for a young man to DAVID'S
know somewhat early what he is fitted
for, and to bend all his efforts in Skill with men
that direction. Such a preparation Several years
would prevent many
wasted years. exploits with
5. David's life at court gave SAUL
him a new experience, in a very SAUL Gaining wisdom
different kind of life ; and yet a Philistines
knowledge of that life was necessary to
his future work. Goliath
He learned the art of Childhood of Skill
war; he was trained in courage ; he had exDAVID Courage
perience in resisting the temptations of the court
life; he became acquainted with the leading men of Shepherd
the nation, and they learned to know him; he gained Attractive Sling
some of that courtly manner which adds lustre and power Music
and attractiveness to his stern sense of justice and duty. EveryFaithful
one should gain “ the beauty of holiness.”
6. David's exile life taught him many lessons of another side of life, which every wise ruler needs to know. He learned his weakness and the need of divine help. He learned entire trust in God under all circumstances. He became acquainted with the people ; their grievances under Saul; their needs ; their dispositions and tendencies. He had practice in the art of government. He gained further experience in war. He obtained a first-hand knowledge of the country and of its enemies. He had the opportunity to form a little band of fighting men who should be trained in his ways, given the same experience in the same kind of fighting, and become the trained generals and the “ wise strategists who in the golden days of David's rule commanded his armies, and raised Israel from the obscurity of an ' Arab' tribe, who with difficulty held their own among the ancient Canaanites, to the position of one of the great nations of the old Eastern world.” – Ellicott.
DAVID'S Stairway upward to Success
PLAIN of ESDRAELON
RIVER KIS HON
Route of Philos fines
te bof Souls army
7. David's religious life, expressed in many of his Psalms, was an essential factor in his preparation. None but a deeply religious man could have accomplished David's task. He was far from faultless. He was wounded in some battles with temptation. He was affected in his outward conduct by some of the moral ideas of his time. But David's heart was right. He had many and splendid virtues; his failures were incidental, the weakness of humanity, for which he repented as in dust and ashes.
II. THE DEATH OF SAUL AND JONATHAN, 1 Sam. 28–31 ; 2 Sam. 1. The Philistines, the great enemy of Israel on the east, who had made trouble for Saul during a large part of his reign, finally made an excursion farther north than usual,
into the rich plain of Esdraelon, the most fertile part of Palestine. Saul and his army must necessarily move northward from his capital Gibeah, near Jerusalem, in order to defend this fair country from its invaders. They finally met near the base of Mount Gilboa, where the disastrous battle was fought, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines.
And the Philistines slew three of Saul's sons, including Jonathan. Saul himself was severely, if not fatally, wounded, and rather than fall into the hands of the enemy, for a possible torture, he first asked his armorbearer to kill him, and when this request was refused, he killed himself. So Saul died, and his three sons, and his bearer, and all his men, that same day together.
There are several incidents The Philistines were encamped near Shunem, where the Midianites were defeated by Gideon, whose army was at the fountain of connected with this last battle Harod, near where Saul and his army were encamped.
of Saul which are worthy of brief
study in this connection. 1. David's Dilemma, 1 Sam. 29. David had a little more than a year before taken refuge from Saul in Gath, a city of the Philistines. From Ziklag, which was given him by the king, as a home for his family and his fighting men, he made numerous forays against the enemies of Israel who lived between his home and Egypt. When the king of the Philistines inquired where he had been fighting David always told him that he had been fighting against some portion of the people of Israel, and thus gained the full confidence of the king, who was assured that David shared the enmity which he knew was in the heart of Saul.
Therefore, when the Philistines gathered for this great conflict David, as one of the tributary chieftains of Achish, king of Gath, must of necessity go with him. This put him in a hard place, and shows how unwise he had been in' his deceit.
But the “ lords of the Philistines " did not share the confidence of Achish, and feared that in the presence of the host of Israel David and his 600 men would desert them for their own people. They therefore insisted that he be sent home before this chance presented itself. Achish against his own judgment yielded to them, and David returned to Ziklag, and found that some of his enemies had raided the city and taken his people captive. He pursued them, conquered them, probably on the very day of the battle of Gilboa, and rescued his people and his property.
2. Saul and the Witch of Endor, 1 Sam. 28. Saul was very down-hearted when the time came for the battle. He felt that God had deserted for “ when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. On the night before the battle he hunted up a witch, the whole tribe of which he had previously driven from his kingdom, because they led the people away from God. His officers found in a cavern near Endor, eight or ten miles away, a woman who had the reputation of being a fortune teller. Under cover of
2:1. And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron.
the darkness Saul-went around the Philistine army and consulted her. He opened his whole heart to her but received no relief (2 Sam. 28).
3. The Exploit of Jabesh-gilead, 1 Sam. 31 : 11-13. The inhabitants of the little city of Jabesh-gilead had reason to be grateful to Saul, and they showed their gratitude by going by night to the place where the Philistines had displayed the bodies of Saul and his sons, and taking them down, and burying them with the regular Oriental mourning. (See i Sam. 11:3, 9, 11.) Later David rewarded these men for their loyalty to their king (2 Sam. 2 : 4-7).
4. The Amalekite, 2 Sam. 1:1-16. It was thought by some that David would not only be rejoiced at the death of his enemy, but would liberally reward the first to tell him the good news. One, an Amalekite, hastened to take the message, claiming for the sake of a larger reward that he himself had killed Saul, and bringing Saul's crown and bracelet in proof thereof. But he did not know David. He was rewarded, most certainly, but not in the least as he had expected. “ David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord's anointed ? And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died. And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head, for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the Lord's anointed."
5. The Song of the Bow, 2 Sam. 1:17-27. This is one of the noblest odes of sorrow ever written by a poet. It is a most striking thing that in that ode there is not the faintest allusion to the personal troubles caused to him who wrote.” Rev. W. J. Knox Little. From a reference in it to Jonathan's bow, it came to be called “ The Song of the Bow." “ All' after generations have recognized the lyric grandeur of this noble poem. ...
And to this day, when a great man is carried to his sepulchre, the most appropriate music for the occasion is found in that exquisite composition which seeks to express in sound this threnody of David, and which is known among us as 'The Dead March in Saul.'” —W. M. Taylor.
It was included in “the Book of Jasher,” evidently a collection of national poetry, compiled in, or soon after, the reign of Solomon.
III. DAVID, KING OF JUDAH, 2 Sam. 2-4. 1. After this. The death of Saul and his sons, which opened the way for David to come to the throne. David enquired of the Lord. Herein he was both wise and religious. He would not take one step that was not right. The kingdom was from God, and God would guide him into the right and best way of reaching it. Whither shall I go up ? The northern part of the
From a photograph by Wilson. kingdom was held by the Philistine
The Old Mosque at Hebron. invaders, and David was in no. Containing the Cave of Machpelah, the most interesting sepposition to drive them out ; it ulchre in the world. Inside are the graves of Abraham, Sarah, would have been madness for
Rebekah, Isaac, and Jacob. him to attempt it. The portions open to David were the regions east of the Jordan, and the hill country of Judea of which Hebron was the center. And
2. So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail, Nabal's wife, the Carmelite.
3. And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.
4. And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabesh-gilead were they that buried Saul.
5. And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have showed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him.
6. And now the LORD show kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing. he said, Unto Hebron. This was plainly wise (1) because Saul's son Ish-bosheth and his general Abner were east of the Jordan attempting to hold the kingdom in Saul's family. (2) The region around Hebron was the home of David, and of many of his men (v. 3). He had spent most of his life near by, and his prowess as a leader and a statesman was well known. (3) Hebron was centrally situated in that part of the land over which David was at first to rule. (4) The ancient city of Hebron had been the home of his ancestor Abraham. In the side of a neighboring “ravine was the cave of Machpelah, where the fathers of the nation slept in God.' Isaac and Rebekah had lived there. Says Professor Blaikie, To live in Hebron, and not feel faith quickened to new life, would have indicated a soul dead to every impulse of patriotism and piety.”
The Contrasted Spirits of Two Kings. Bring your own wits to bear on your action, and then do not obstinately stick to what seems right to you, but ask God to negative it if it is wrong, and to confirm you in it if it is right. If we humbly ask him, “To go, or not to go ? 'we shall not be left unanswered. We note the contrast between David's submission to God's guidance and Saul's self-willed taking his own way, in spite of Samuel. He began right, and, in the main, he continued as he began. Self-will is sin and ruin. Submission is joy and peace and success. God's kings are viceroys. They have to rule themselves and the world, but they have to be ruled by his will. - Dr. Alexander Maclaren.
2, 3. So David went up to Hebron, and his two wives also . . . and his men the 600 of his chosen band
every man with his household. Henceforth there was to be no roaming in exile, but each was to settle down to the duties of peace. David was planning for peace, not for war, awaiting patiently the time when the larger kingdom should come to him. Most of the 600 doubtless belonged to this region, and were returning to their own homes.
4. And the men of Judah anointed David king over the house of Judah. David had already been anointed privately by Samuel. But this was his public, formal inauguration by the people. The kingdom came to him, not only by divine appointment, but by choice of the people themselves (v. 7; i Chron. 11:1-3). The two coincided.
Why didn't the Philistines object ? (1) Because David was still in name the friend and ally of the Philistine king Achish. (2) The men of Judah apparently took little or no active part in the battle of Gilboa. (3) The position of king of Judah did not mean very much. The Philistines looked upon it as a petty honor given by his own countrymen in token of their respect and friendship. (4) David led no uprising against his country's enemies. For seven and a half years he quietly worked and waited another illustration of his patience and self-control.” When David was made king of all Israel the Philistines at once attacked him, but were defeated (2 Sam. 5:17–25).
David Reigned at Hebron in a quiet and peaceful manner, growing in favor with God and man, and laying the foundations for his great work of consolidating and reconstructing the nation. He took two wise measures. He had already, before coming to Hebron, sent presents to the local chiefs of the various districts of Judea (1 Sam. 30 : 26-31). And, second, he sent messengers to the people of Jabesh-gilead concerning their rescuing of Saul's body from the Philistines (see above). This period was a good preparation for the larger work that was to follow. Pro