THE UNSTOPPABLE FORCE!
Almighty God, help me to see your hand in all that I do, to see you always as the one who gives me wisdom and strength to do what is right.
Read 2 SAMUEL 8
8 In the course of time, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Metheg Ammah from the control of the Philistines.
2 David also defeated the Moabites. He made them lie down on the ground and measured them off with a length of cord. Every two lengths of them were put to death, and the third length was allowed to live. So the Moabites became subject to David and brought him tribute.
3 Moreover, David defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when he went to restore his monument at[a] the Euphrates River. 4 David captured a thousand of his chariots, seven thousand charioteers[b] and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He hamstrung all but a hundred of the chariot horses.
5 When the Arameans of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down twenty-two thousand of them. 6 He put garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to him and brought tribute. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.
7 David took the gold shields that belonged to the officers of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. 8 From Tebah[c] and Berothai, towns that belonged to Hadadezer, King David took a great quantity of bronze.
9 When Tou[d] king of Hamath heard that David had defeated the entire army of Hadadezer, 10 he sent his son Joram[e] to King David to greet him and congratulate him on his victory in battle over Hadadezer, who had been at war with Tou. Joram brought with him articles of silver, of gold and of bronze.
11 King David dedicated these articles to the Lord, as he had done with the silver and gold from all the nations he had subdued: 12 Edom[f] and Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistines, and Amalek. He also dedicated the plunder taken from Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah.
13 And David became famous after he returned from striking down eighteen thousand Edomites[g] in the Valley of Salt.
14 He put garrisons throughout Edom, and all the Edomites became subject to David. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.
15 David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people. 16 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; 17 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelek son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was secretary; 18 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; and David’s sons were priests.[h]
- 2 Samuel 8:3 Or his control along
- 2 Samuel 8:4 Septuagint (see also Dead Sea Scrolls and 1 Chron. 18:4); Masoretic Text captured seventeen hundred of his charioteers
- 2 Samuel 8:8 See some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 18:8); Hebrew Betah.
- 2 Samuel 8:9 Hebrew Toi, a variant of Tou; also in verse 10
- 2 Samuel 8:10 A variant of Hadoram
- 2 Samuel 8:12 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Syriac (see also 1 Chron. 18:11); most Hebrew manuscripts Aram
- 2 Samuel 8:13 A few Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Syriac (see also 1 Chron. 18:12); most Hebrew manuscripts Aram (that is, Arameans)
- 2 Samuel 8:18 Or were chief officials (see Septuagint and Targum; see also 1 Chron. 18:17)
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’1
Revisiting the barbaric events in this passage through our modern lens is difficult. However, we must read as beneficiaries of them, while we balance our disquiet. This text stands as a capstone to David’s great reign. Together with the capture of Jerusalem (chs 5-6) and the dynastic promise (ch 7), these verses produce a portrait of an Israelite kingdom that captures the imagination of subsequent generations.2 We must view these events as the chronicler does, but without circumnavigating the tough questions, even if an answer is unlikely. How could God allow such things? Worse still, command and control such acts? Saul faced justice, as do others, yet evil still prospers and many still endlessly suffer through mankind’s selfish desires. God alone is truly just and will bring judgment. Meanwhile, as disciples, we are called to bring his light into the darkness.
Here we see a man anointed by God in ways which meant that no enemy plan or terror could halt him in his pursuit of what God was doing through him. The narrator shows David’s great victories over all who stood against him, but the overriding narrative is that this is because of God’s anointing. This is the difference between Saul and David. David’s obedience to God’s commands reinforces what God truly requires of us (v 15).3 God had promised David, and therefore his people, rest from their enemies and peace on the borders.4 David is the embodiment of the Lord’s rule on earth, the Lord who would defeat death’s valley (which was never his intention for us) and lead us into conflict-free, green pastures.5 As we face another day, whether in green pastures or death’s valley, we can trust that this everlasting kingdom fulfilled in Jesus has come near.
The kingdom is near. We can be still, knowing that he is God.6 He is leading us to peace and victory. No weapon forged against us can prevail.7
To you, O God, be all the glory! You are worthy of my praise and my devotion. Thank you for making yourself known to me.
1 Ps 139:23,24 2 Bill Arnold, NIV Commentary, 1 & 2 Samuel, Zondervan, 2003, p493 3 Mic 6:8 4 2 Sam 7:11 5 Ps 23 6 Ps 46:10 7 Isa 54:17
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