2 Samuel 5:1-16 – David becomes king over all Israel



2 Samuel 5:1-16




ILLUS.: Both my grandmothers lived into their nineties – one of them was a bit miserable and humanly speaking not without cause as she had a very tough life. The other one was delightful and everything one could want in a grandmother – we called her Pidge. I used to love listening to her talk about her life – she was born in 1896 – she remember the South African Anglo-Boer War, her husband fought in France during the First World War and her son in the desert and Italy in the second World War. She used to talk about the time the first car came to Johannesburg – the first aeroplane, the cat’s whisker wireless, as a young lady she had worked as a photographer and would show her big box camera with the black cloth she would put over her head ……… and on and on.


What would strike me as she talk – as I am sure it has many of you in your lives – the massive changes that have taken place this century. I think of the massive changes that have taken place in my lifetime and I was born in the second half of the century.

The question is, however, has all this change caused us as human beings to grow?  Are we better people? Do we care more? Love more?


David’s life had changed enormously. He had move from being an obscure shepherd in the hills of Bethlehem to being on the threshold of becoming King over all Israel. How has David changed? What has he learned? How has he grown?


  1. 1.     CROWN – KING AT LAST! [v1-5]


David is now 37 years old. God has so worked the circumstances around David that the people want him to be their king. All the posturing and intrigue amongst the men [Abner and the sons of Zeruiah that we talked about last time]   surrounding David God has work to David advantage and to his [God’s] plan to make David his king.

For 7½ years David had been king of the single tribe of Judah, in the town of Hebron. Two years before that he was the leader of a guerrilla band at Ziklag. For 8-10 years before that he had been a fugitive in the desert, hiding from the jealous king Saul. Prior to that he was a musician in Saul’s court and a local hero as a killer of Philistines. He had made the headlines when he killed Goliath. We first met him as the youngest of Jesse’s eight sons when he was pulled out of the sheepfolds of Bethlehem and anointed future king of Israel.


Now some 20 years later he is the king – anointed by God and proclaimed king by popular consensus. 2 Samuel 5:3

3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a compact with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel. (NIV)


David has been patient – he has waited for God and now he has seen God fulfil his promises. Things hadn’t simply changed for David but he had learned to wait on God.




David now king over all Israel. His next task is to establish a capital city. If he stayed in Hebron he would be seen to be favouring Judah – if in a town of any other tribe he would be accused of the same thing. The was an ideal place Jebus, occupied by the Jebusites, a natural stronghold that seemed impossible to conquer. [MAP]


2.1. God has a habit of overthrowing strongholds.


It was thought to be impossible to overthrow – it had deep valleys on two sides [Hinnom to the south and Kidron to the east] the city walls and these deep valleys made it difficult to attack. It had once been occupied by the tribe of Benjamin but they had lost it to the pagan Jebusites. The Jebusites were confident that their city would never be taken by any invader … 2 Samuel 5:6

6 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.” (NIV)


So often human thinking in its pride imagines that it is secure. Often the world has felt confident that it can resist and even overthrow Jesus Christ. Many have attacked the gospel of Jesus Christ and his church, they have ridiculed the Bible as superstition.


This was not the first time David had faced ridicule – as a boy he had stood before a giant who ridiculed and mocked and despised him and we know what happen to that giant. David had learned that those who despise God are near to falling. He does not react to their sneers and insulting language, nor has he any personal animosity towards them. But he is determined to stand with God against those who oppose God.


For the modern Christian it is the same – we do not wage war as the world does – 2 Corinthians 10:3 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. (NIV)

We are involved in a war – a spiritual battle – yet the insults that come to God and his people only serve to strengthen our resolve to stand for God. These strongholds that Christians are up against can be anti-God political empires [Communism with its atheistic teaching seemed so strong yet within 70 years this stronghold crumbled] It could me modern godless philosophies and there are plenty of those. It could be worldly wisdom or demonic opposition. These may cause Christians difficulties, even suffering but they can’t destroy. On the contrary …… 2 Corinthians 10:4 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (NIV)


2.2 God can bring unexpected victories.


David wasn’t intimidated by the Jebusites confidence. David was given a surprising idea from God to go through the water tunnel and so capture the city from within. This water tunnel is still there today – it was rediscovered in 1867 – it is vertical at one point were buckets were lower to get water.


David had said on that day .. 2 Samuel 5:8

8 … “Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water shaft to reach those ‘lame and blind’ who are David’s enemies.” That is why they say, “The ‘blind and lame’ will not enter the palace.” (NIV)


They were so confident that even Lame and blind could defend the city but David under God had other ideas.

If we are in touch with God there are times when God leads us in surprising ways. Things that we may have thought impossible that we have struggle over for years can suddenly be overcome.

May be a friend or family member who you have prayed for years can sudden and often unexpectedly come to faith in Christ.

ILLUS. My Dad – for whom we prayed for many years – my mom for 25 years – sudden and dramatically came to faith for a life of alcoholism.


Never give up wait on God and trusting him. David had learned that… 2 Samuel 5:9       9 David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the supporting terraces inward. (NIV)




3.1. God wanted David to have a Headquarters.


Jebus = Jerusalem. Jerusalem has since that time been highly symbolic and had great spiritual significance but we must be careful not to get over excited about the physical city of Jerusalem today. For centuries it was the centre of God’s work – the temple was there. BUT the spiritual symbolism is far more important than the physical city.

Jerusalem is a picture of heaven and of the people of heaven.

The king in his city with his people is a picture of the KING in his heavenly city amongst his redeemed people.

The earthly Jerusalem was David’s capital – the Heavenly Jerusalem is God’s capital from where the Greater son of David – the Lord Jesus Christ reigns.

[We must resist the temptation to find application to Christ in every detail. These are pointers to the coming Christ. Also, we must not think that David at the time was aware of any symbolism or messianic significance in his actions or the sequence of events surrounding him. All we can say is that David became king of Israel AND we with NT hindsight and the teachings of the prophets long after David can see the ultimate goal of history and redemption in Jesus Christ!!!]


In the story of the church different cities have been centres of influence – at the beginning for a while it was Jerusalem [destroyed on AD.70] Later it was Antioch, Rome, London, Geneva, Canterbury and more recently Manila, Nairobi, Bangkok and Sao Paulo. NONE of these is our capital city.

Heaven is our HQ. Heaven is where our instructions come from. Heaven is where our resources come from. Paul in .. Galatians 4:26 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. (NIV)

Our reward is the heavenly city. By faith we enter it now and find it to be a city of peace.


3.2. God wanted David to have a place beyond the reach of enemies.


Jerusalem was almost invulnerable. The heavenly Jerusalem is the home of God’s people and is beyond defeat.

The earthly Jerusalem was so secure it was famous for its peace – name means “City of  Peace”. [Although because it is earthly it did fall – more than once] BUT our heavenly Jerusalem is a place of safety and peace, a truly impregnable city.

The world we live in is a turbulent, ever-changing place, full of uncertainty and instability. Consider how fragile the world economy is at the moment!

It is comforting and reassuring to know that as Christians we belong to a place / or rather a person who will keep us safe – forever! God is our security – not the DSS / NHS / our PPP’s / our life or endowment insurance policies!




This time is David’s life is a watershed. So far in the story we have been looking at the Rise Of David. From now on he is not the future king – he is the king! From now on it is the Reign Of David.


Some things to learn from this phase of David’s life:……


4.1. David reaped the blessings of many years of preparation.


2 Samuel 5:10 10 And he became more and more powerful, [And David went on, and grew great, -kjv] because the LORD God Almighty was with him. (NIV)


David had been in preparation for years. He had learned many lessons of faith and of forgiveness. He had persisted in days of great opposition, fro the Philistines, from Saul, from Saul’s family. By years and tears of persistent constant faith had brought him to a time of reaping and fulfilment.







4.2. David received unexpected practical blessings.


2 Samuel 5:11

11 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David. (NIV)


David had been consolidating the capital for God’s kingdom. Now someone else builds him a house while he is working for God.

He seeks God’s kingdom and finds other things being added to him.

Matthew 6:33 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (NIV)


4.3. David recognises that his ministry was not for his own sake.


God’s choice of any of us is never merely for our own sake. God chooses us to use us. He appoints us for the service of others. So David was made to know that he was being blessed for the sake of Israel.

2 Samuel 5:12 12 And David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel. (NIV)


4.4. David continued in his polygamy.



In this he was following the practice of ancient kings. The story of Genesis 2 must have been available to David in one form or another. It could have taught him another approach to marriage which would have brought him greater happiness had he been able to follow it.

The royal wives were a source of trouble for David – some were pagan. Four of David’s sons gave him great trouble and heartache as none of them came from a stable home background.

BUT remember the situation he lived in — and that God did not condemn him.


4.5. David continued to live in dependence on God.


Now that he was in a position of power we could understand if David had gone ahead and done things off his own bat – BUT NO! He consults God! Should he take the city? Should he fight the Philistines? Should he build a temple? ……




David’s life has changed dramatically. Would he change and become a Middle Eastern tyrant? v.10 tell us that David “became more and more powerful” – only militarily and politically? I believe it was more than that! KJV says “he grew great..” –

This is not just a story of change BUT also of growth – this doesn’t always happen – for David or us – it can diminish us, it can stunt our growth and panic us into withdrawl, it can make us selfish and self-protective!

BUT change can be a catalyst for growth – it can stimulate and deepen and develop and enlarge our lives – it can make us bigger, not smaller, if we allow God to teach / mould us through all the changing scenes of life.


David could have lived on his passed victories against the Philistines and Goliath – on the past experiences of the wilderness and his youthful achievements – David was not content to live lazily on the past experiences – he wanted a vital life with God – so he allows God to make him into a man of prayer and obedience – a man with a heart for God. A man led deeper and deeper into life with God.


Peterson – “When we grow in contrast to merely change, we venture into new territory and include more and more people in our lives – serve more and love more. Our culture is filled with change; it is poor in growth. New things, models, opportunities are announced, breathlessly, every hour.  But instead of becoming ingredients in a long and wise growth, they simply replace. The previous is discarded and the immediate stuck in – until, bored by the novelty we run after the next fad. Men and women drawn always to the new never grow up.”


Don’t get me wrong. Change is inevitable – if we are not changing we are not growing. But change doesn’t automatically make us grow. On the other hand we can’t grow if we are never willing to change. If David had resisted change he would have remained a shepherd in the Bethlehem fields and missed all that God planned for him.


God wants us to grow – not merely change – and he wants us to grow in him. The Christian life is not something that we learn about and then put together with instructions from the manufacturer; it is something we become as God works his salvation in us and as we accustom ourselves to a life of belief and obedience and prayer.


Peterson – “The mistake we make in our technologically conditioned world is to look for what is wrong in our lives so WE can fix it, or what need doing so we can have something worthwhile to do. There are things wrong that need fixing and there are jobs that need doing. BUT the Christian life starts at the other end – not with us but with God. What is God doing that I can respond to? How is God expressing his love and grace so that I can live appreciatively and in obedience?”


God wants to change us – individually and as a congregation – not for the sake of change BUT to make us grow – “…to grow great..”


David was learning to have a heart like God. David didn’t change into a power-hungry, ego-centric despot when he became king, like other pagan kings.

He came to the people like a shepherd – David had grown to have a shepherd heart like God. 2 Samuel 5:2 2 …. the LORD said …., ‘You shall shepherd my people Israel, and you shall become their ruler.’ ” (NIV)

David would be king – not by lording over Israel but by being their shepherd!


Remember what was said of Jesus when he was born – Matthew 2:6

6 ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;   for out of you will come a ruler

who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”


Everything that David knows about God he experiences – enters into, embraces, takes into himself.  It is not academic – God is not a doctrine he talks about – God is person who he knows , who leads him, who cares for him. God is not remote / abstract / distant – God is there with him in his day to day living. This is the stuff of salvation. What he experiences in God doesn’t just change his circumstances it changes David for the better – it makes him grow great / mature.

The Shepherd boy of Bethlehem becomes the shepherd king of Israel!


You may have been a Christian for many years – Are you willing to change and grow?

Maybe you are a young Christian – you look at the church and you would like much to change – and there are always things that need to change – BUT change for its own sake accomplishes little. Are you willing to allow God to mature you like he did David?

Apart from God we achieve nothing –  Following God / learning his lessons / obeying his words / …….. makes us more, not less. It makes us grow great!




2 Samuel 5:1-16


1. CROWN – KING AT LAST!                           [v1-5]




       – God has a habit of overthrowing strongholds.

       – God can bring unexpected victories.



       – God wanted David to have a Headquarters.

       – God wanted David to have a place beyond the reach

              of enemies.




       – David reaped the blessings of many years of


      – David received unexpected practical blessings.

       – David recognises that his ministry was not for his

              own sake.

      –² David continued in his polygamy.

       – David continued to live in dependence on God.




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