Even in times past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them back. And to you the LORD said, 'You will shepherd My people Israel, and you will be ruler over them.'"
I. THE GROUNDS OF THEIR ACCEPTANCE OF HIM.
1. Close relationship. "Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh" (comp. Ephesians 5:30). God has given to us a King who is one with us in nature. The Ruler of the Church, yea, of all things, is a Man; the throne of the universe is filled by a human form (see Hebrews 2:5, et seq.) - a fact which endears the Christ to his willing subjects.
2. Previous service. (Ver. 2.) "In time past," etc. In which service David had both displayed and increased his capacities for ruling men. With this may be compared Christ's period of service when on earth, especially during his public ministry and last sufferings. By these he was trained and prepared for his throne (made "perfect through sufferings," Hebrews 2:10); and it is in and by these that he reveals himself and attracts the hearts of men.
3. Divine appointment. (Ver. 2.) "The Lord said to thee, Thou shalt feed ['shepherd,' 'be the shepherd of'] my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain [literally, 'foremost man, leader'] over Israel." A king is to be as a shepherd to his subjects, not only ruling them, but caring for, watching over, protecting, guiding, uniting them; guarding and preserving the weak from violence and oppression, as a shepherd his lambs. The image was natural to the Hebrews, and runs through the Scriptures, extending even to the visions of heaven (Revelation 7:17). The king was also to be leader in peace or war, ever "to the front," worthy to be followed, first and foremost in all noble deeds, accepting courageously the perils of such a position. David was such a king, imperfectly; Christ is such a King, perfectly. Both were divinely designated to the office of Ruler of God's people, Kings by Divine right in the strictest sense. As such David is here recognized at length by the tribes of Israel, as before by the tribe of Judah. As such the Lord Jesus is recognized by his followers. These reasons had existed and should have been as powerful immediately after Saul's death; but they had not been allowed to operate. But the experience of these tribes whilst holding aloof from David, their present disorganized condition, possibly also their knowledge of the benefits of David's rule to Judah, combined to open their eyes, and so impress these considerations on their hearts as to produce a general willingness to accept him whom they had been rejecting. And thus it is with many in respect to the great King. His claims are known, but other lords are preferred, until, after delay more or less protracted, they become convinced of their sin and folly, and surrender themselves to him. Let those who are thus procrastinating beware lest they become convinced too late.
II. THE SOLEMNITIES BY WHICH THEIR ACCEPTANCE OF DAVID, AND HIS OF THEM, WERE SIGNIFIED,
1. A mutual covenant. He engaging to rule them, and they to serve him according to the Law of God (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). In like manner, when men receive Christ as their King, promising loyalty and obedience, he on his part promises to be to them all that his gospel represents him. These Israelites, indeed, may have imposed special stipulations not expressed in the Law; but we, in accepting Christ, have simply to submit to the terms of the Divine covenant, as we are not in any degree independent parties.
2. The anointing of David as king. The third time he was anointed - once by Samuel, once by the tribe of Judah, and now by the rest of the tribes. For the people could in a measure give him authority over them. But our King Jesus can receive no authority from us. He is the Christ (the Anointed) of God; we have simply to recognize his Divine authority.
3. The presence of God was recognized. "Before the Lord." This was fitting, as he was supreme Monarch, to whom both king and people were bound to submit, whose blessing was necessary to render the union happy; and an engagement made as in his sight would be felt as peculiarly binding. So should we, in accepting Christ, place ourselves in the presence of God, first in secret, then in his house, and at the Lord's Table.
4. A joyful feast concluded the proceedings. (See 1 Chronicles 12:39, 40.) It was to the whole people a suitable occasion for rejoicing. They were again one nation. Their union would be cemented by eating and drinking together. They would the better retain the feeling of union when they had separated to their various localities and homes, and would be the better prepared to perform their common duties to the king and the nation. Thus also our Lord enjoins his subjects to eat and drink together in his Name, that they may recognize each other as his, rejoice together in their privileges, and be more closely united to him and the whole "Israel of God." In conclusion:
1. Happy is the nation whose rulers and subjects alike recognize God as the supreme Ruler over them, and his will as their supreme law; act as in his sight, and invoke his blessing.
2. Closer union amongst Christians must spring from more thorough acceptance of the royal authority of Christ. They are one in him, and they will become more completely, more consciously, and more manifestly one in proportion as they, all alike, renouncing merely human authorities, come to Christ himself, listen to him, and submit to his authority in all things. - G.W.
Thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel.
(H. Clay Trumbull.)
PeopleDavid, Eliada, Eliphalet, Eliphelet, Elishama, Elishua, Gibeon, Hiram, Ibhar, Japhia, Jebusites, Nathan, Nepheg, Saul, Shammua, Shammuah, Shobab, Solomon
PlacesBaal-perazim, Geba, Gezer, Hebron, Jerusalem, Millo, Tyre, Valley of Rephaim, Zion
TopicsAforetime, Bring, Bringing, Broughtest, Campaigns, Captain, Feed, Hast, Heretofore, Keeper, Lead, Leader, Led, Leddest, Military, Past, Previously, Prince, Ruler, Saul, Saul's, Shepherd, Wast
Outline1. The tribes come to Hebron and anoint David over Israel,
4. David's age
6. Taking Zion from the Jebusites, he dwells in it
11. Hiram sends to David,
13. Eleven sons are born to him in Jerusalem
17. David, directed by God, smites the Philistines at Baal-perazim
22. And again at the mulberry trees
Dictionary of Bible Themes2 Samuel 5:2
LibraryOne Fold and one Shepherd
'Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. 2. Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the Lord said to thee, Thou shalt feed My people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. 3. So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord: and they anointed David king over Israel. 4. David was …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Sound in the Mulberry Trees
God's Strange Work
The Quotation in Matt. Ii. 6.
A Cloud of Witnesses.
The Blessing of Jacob Upon Judah. (Gen. Xlix. 8-10. )
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