Lord, teach me to submit to Your duly appointed authorities.
Read 2 SAMUEL 5:1–12
All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’”
3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.
4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.
David Conquers Jerusalem
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.” 7 Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David.
8 On that day David had said, “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.”
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 terraces inward. 10 And he became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him.
11 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent envoys to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David. 12 Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.
New International Version (NIV)
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Before you read the text for today, pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psa. 122:6).
One by one, all the credible leaders of the other side are eliminated in the civil war until they come to accept the inevitable and send emissaries to David to ask him to become their king as well. He is only thirty, but what an eventful thirty years! He has been called from shepherding his father’s flocks to a secret anointing by Samuel. He becomes the national hero for killing Goliath and is made son-in-law of the king. He has struck up an enduring friendship with the king’s son and then fallen out of favor at court. Then, fleeing for dear life, he has led an outlaw band of guerrilla fighters on murderous raids. For the past seven years he has been the de facto king of the southern tribe of Judah. Now, he is recognized as ruler of the united kingdom of Israel.
For his capital city he chooses Jerusalem. Referred to as Urusalima, meaning “city of peace” in ancient cuneiform writings, this is possibly the city of Salem ruled by the mysterious King Melchizedek to whom Abraham had given tribute (Gen. 14:18–20). When the children of Israel entered the promised land, its king, Adoni-Zedek, was the one who organized the five kings to attack Israel’s vassal and ally, the Gibeonites. It was then allocated to Judah, but Judah has failed to dislodge the Jebusites as God commanded (Josh. 15:63), so David now must conquer them all over again, capturing the fortress of Zion and establishing the City of David (6–10).
From then to now, Jerusalem, “the city of peace,” has seen very little peace. All efforts through the millennia to establish peace there, by force of arms or by human ingenuity, have met with failure. Thankfully, the day is coming when the Prince of Peace will bring true peace to the New Jerusalem.
Pray today for the Palestinians and the Jews and all who seek to bring lasting peace between the two.
Lord, help me to be a peacemaker. May peace begin with me.