I Chronicles 18


The course of last chapter’s parallel is continued here, and answers closely to II Samuel

8:1-18. The present chapter contains the wars and victories of David (vs. 1-13), with

the arrangements consequent upon them; and (vs.14-17) an enumeration of some of

his chief officers.


1 “Now after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines,

and subdued them, and took Gath and her towns out of the hands of

the Philistines.” - literally, her daughters. The compiler of Chronicles gives us

this plain statement where, in the parallel place, we find, “took Metheg-ammah,”

or more exactly, Metheg-ha-ammah, the explanation of which word (see

II Samuel 8:1) is not yet ascertained. Its literal signification is “the bridle or

curb of the mother city,” and may mark a special strong position which

commanded Gath, or it may describe Gath as owning itself to such a

position. Gesenius understands it to mean that David “subjected the

metropolis of the Philistines to himself,” quoting the Arabian proverb, To

give one s bridle to any one, as equivalent to submitting to him. He quotes

also Job 30:11. It may be noted that Ammah is spoken of (II Samuel

2:24) as the name of a hill, otherwise unknown, however. Although David

subdued so many places, he reigned over them, i.e, over many of them, still

by “their own kings” (I Kings 4:24; II Chronicles 9:26). Hence we find Gath

with a king still in I Kings 2:39.


2 “And he smote Moab; and the Moabites became David’s servants,

and brought gifts.” - i.e. in the light of tribute and of acknowledgment of subjection.

There are curious additions to this passage in the parallel place, telling the punishment

inflicted on Moab: “He smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them

down to the ground [i.e. causing them to lie prostrate]; even with two lines

 measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive.” This appears

to mean that he put to death two parts of them, and kept the third part alive. The

reason of this deliberate and severe punishment is not stated. Once David and the

Moabites had been on very different terms (I Samuel 22:3- 4; but see also Psalm 60:8).


3 “And David smote Hadarezer” – in the parallel places, Hadadezer; though our

present form is found both in II Samuel 10:16) and in other places in Chronicles, yet in

 all these places some manuscripts show Hadadezer - “king of Zobah” -  Part of

Syria, east of Hamath, and for the most part of Coelo-Syria, north of Damascus, and

stretching in the direction of the Euphrates. Possibly it is one with Ptolemy’s Zake

 (I Samuel 14:47; II Samuel 8:3-10; 10:9; I Kings 11:23-25) - unto Hamath,” - 

In the valley of the Orontes, the northern boundary of the Holy Land. It is traceable

from the time of the Exodus (Genesis 10:18; Numbers 13:21; 34:8) to that of the

Prophet Amos (Amos 6:12). Though in Zobah, it is probably not the Hamath-Zobah

of II Samuel 8:3 - “as he went to stablish his dominion” -  In (Ibid.) -“to recover”

or  restore, i.e., no doubt, to endeavor to do so, and that against the growing force

of David. He had already suffered at the hand of Saul (I Samuel 14:47-48 - “by the

river Euphrates.”


4 “And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand

horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also houghed all

the chariot horses, but reserved of them an hundred chariots.”

The parallel place (II Samuel 8:4) omits, probably by error merely, the word

chariots,” and reads for our seven thousand, “seven hundred.” As the form

of expression in the last two clauses of our present verse is the same in both cases,

it is more natural to render, David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved

 a hundred, i.e. a hundred horses unhoughed; he houghed all but a hundred. Our

Authorized Version, in the parallel, gets over the difficulty by inserting “for,” i.e.

enough for, “a hundred chariots.”


5 “And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadarezer king

of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men.”

The Hebrew text of Damascus, here, next verse, and also II Chronicles 28:5,

spells the word with a resh, omitting the dagesh forte in the mem following.


6 “Then David put garrisons in Syria-damascus; and the Syrians

became David’s servants, and brought gifts. Thus the LORD

preserved David whithersoever he went.”  The word “garrisons”

appears in the text in II Samuel 8:6, and would be justly supplied in our

Hebrew text here.


                                    God’s Preservation (vs.6,13)


The contrast between  the God of the Bible and the gods of the heathen, in respect to

moral character, is of the most thorough and striking kind.  Amongst other noticeable

points of contrast, observe this: the imaginary deities of the superstitious idolaters

are usually famed and feared for their destructive qualities, whilst the Lord is

ever represented as a God of salvation, delighting to preserve His people.

The bloodthirsty Shiva, one of the most widely worshipped gods of the Hindus, is the

destroyer. Jehovah, it is recorded, “preserved David whithersoever he went.”


  • THE DANGERS of ordinary human life are many. It is not only kings

and warriors who are exposed to peril, though the position of monarchs

exposes them to the violence of the assassin, and the occupation of the

soldier is in itself a challenge to the dart of death; but in every position of

life, at every age and in every clime, we walk encompassed by dangers

seen and unseen.  (Psalm 91:1-7)


  • DIVINE PROTECTION is a truth supported by revelation. Not by

reason of favoritism and caprice, not in response to any superstitious

observances or entreaties, but in virtue of His own attributes, GOD

IS A PROTECTOR.  He is not satisfied to create, and then to abandon

what He has made. His universal providence, general and particular, is

 the joy and comfort of His people. It is equally shown in their prosperity

and their adversity.



He is their Shield, and Buckler, their Defense, and Fortress.  He delivers their

eyes from tears, their souls from death, their feet from falling.  The confidence

of the psalmist was signal and most instructive.  (See Psalm 91).  It is a source

of security and consolation to know that our times are in God’s hands.


“An earthquake may be bid to spare

The man that’s strangled with a hair.”


And when Christians fall victims to the hate and hostility of sinners, or are

slain by the operation of natural laws, they still have the assurance that

no real evil can befall them.


“Angel-guards from thee surround us;

We are safe, for thou art nigh.”  (Ibid. vs.10-12)


Well may the friend of Jesus exclaim, “I will trust and not be afraid.”

(Isaiah 12:2)


  • The obligation is plain, GRATEFULLY TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE

PRESERVING MERCY OF GOD. The royal psalmist was not backward

in recording with adoring gratitude the delivering and upholding mercy of a

faithful God. Never should we forget that He that is our God is the God of

salvation.  (Psalm 68:20)


7 “And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of

Hadarezer, and brought them to Jerusalem.” The shields; Hebrew fl,v,.

Much doubt has been entertained as to the meaning of this word. Its etymology

is uncertain. Gesenius derives it from a root signifying “hardness.” For the most

part, however, the context of the seven places of its occurrence which he

instances (II Samuel 8:7; II Kings 11:10; here v.7; II Chronicles 23:9;

Song of Solomon 4:4; Jeremiah 51:11; Ezekiel 27:11) favor the rendering

shields,” though the quotation from Jeremiah (literally, “fill ye

the shields”) is not so satisfactory. The wealth of Zobah is, of course,

illustrated by these shields of gold.


8 “Likewise from Tibhath, and from Chun,”-  These names replace

Betah and Berothai in the parallel place, in the former case with possibility of

orthographic explanation, but not in the latter. The purpose for which

David was glad to take their brass is not mentioned in Samuel, but only

Here - “cities of Hadarezer, brought David very much brass, wherewith

Solomon made the brasen sea,” -  (See I Kings 7:14-47; II Chronicles 4:1-18).

In this latter place these subjects will be found treated more fully. This so-called

brazen sea” (tv,jG]h" μy;Atea) took the place in Solomon’s temple of the

earlier brazen laver (tv,jg] rwOYKi) of the Mosaic ritual (Exodus 30:17-21;

Leviticus 8:10-11;  I Kings 7:38). It is now called a sea, because of its large size.

The use of the original laver is plainly told, for the priests to wash at it their hands

and feet before offering sacrifices. It stood in the court of the tabernacle, between

the altar and the door. The ten lavers of Solomon’s temple were used for washing

the sacrificial victims themselves (II Chronicles 4:6). The brazen sea (which was

rather of copper than brass, however) rested upon twelve standing oxen, three

turning their faces to each quarter of the heavens. Its height was five cubits, its

diameter ten cubits, the thickness of its metal a handbreadth, and its capacity

variously given at two thousand baths (I Kings 7:26) or three thousand

(II Chronicles 4:5). It was removed from its supports of oxen by Ahaz

(II Kings 16:17), and placed on a pedestal of stone. And it was eventually

destroyed by the Assyrians (Ibid. ch.25:13) - “and the pillars,” -  (For

these pillars of the porch, named Jachin and Boaz, see I  Kings 7:15-22;

II  Chronicles 3:15-17) - “and the vessels of brass.”  (For these, see

I Kings 7:40-51; II Chronicles 4:16-18.)


9 “Now when Tou king of Hamath heard how David had smitten all

the host of Hadarezer king of Zobah;”  Tou. In the parallel place, spelt

Toi. Nothing else is known of this King of Hamath, who now proffers his

congratulations to David.


10 “He sent Hadoram his son to king David, to enquire of his welfare,

and to congratulate him, because he had fought against Hadarezer,

and smitten him; (for Hadarezer had war with Tou;) and with him

all manner of vessels of gold and silver and brass.” Hadoram.  In

II Samuel 8:10, written Joram. The Septuagint has the name spelt with d in

both places, which has led to the suggestion that possibly the real name was

Jedorum. Josephus suggests that Tou had been brought into subjection by

Hadadezer, and wished by his present congratulations and valuable gifts to

ingratiate himself with David for a purpose. Had war; literally, was a man

of war; i.e. he had shown his addictedness to war, or had warred abundantly

with Tou. It is evident that Tou had generally fared the worst in their encounters.


11 Them also king David dedicated unto the LORD, with the silver

and the gold that he brought from all these nations; from Edom, and

from Moab, and from the children of Ammon,” – Perhaps the events narrated

in chapter 19 are here referred to by the compiler - “and from the Philistines,

and from Amalek.”  (see I Samuel 30:1-20, 26-31).



Dedication of Gifts (v.11)


David was a generous giver. In his many campaigns he won great spoils

from his enemies. We need not approve his conduct in all these military

expeditions. But we cannot do other than commend the princely generosity

which he displayed in the disposal of his booty. Though not himself

permitted to build the temple, he was allowed to accumulate treasures to

be used by his son and successor in the construction of the sacred edifice.

He freely parted with his wealth for this purpose, and for the maintenance

of Divine worship in suitable dignity and splendor. His example in thus

dedicating gifts to the service of Jehovah is one which all Christians

should follow; the more so, as their motives to consecration are more

powerful, and their opportunities of service are more numerous.


  • ALL GIFTS ARE OF AND FROM THE LORD. “The earth is the

Lord’s, and the fulness thereof” (Psalm 24:1); “The silver and the gold are

the Lord’s”  (Haggai 2:8);  His are “the cattle upon a thousand hills”

(Psalm 50:10).  We can, accordingly, only offer unto the Lord of what is really

His. “Of His own” we give unto Him.  (ch. 29:14)



PURCHASE OF CHRIST’S BLOOD. When our Saviour redeemed us,

He ransomed all our powers and possessions. “Body, soul, and spirit” are

His of right. It is the Christian’s privilege to feel that nothing which he has is

his own; all is his Lord’s.


  • The gifts of Christians are THE EXPRESSION OF THEIR

GRATEFUL LOVE. They do not give to the cause of their Redeemer

merely because they feel that they ought to do so, but because they delight

in any opportunity of showing their affection. The most costly, lavish gifts

are poor and worthless, if not the expression of the heart’s love and

loyalty. When the heart is offered, the meanest gifts are sufficient to

represent its love. The “two mites” of the widow were accepted and

approved; for they cost her much to give, and yet she gave them with a

willing mind.  (Mark 12:41:44)



SPIRITUAL PLAN’S OF GOD. Some professing Christians disparage

expenditure for religious objects, on the ground that God cannot care for

such trifles as our material wealth. But they forget that, in the order of

Divine providence, God’s kingdom upon earth is mysteriously bound up

with both the wealth and the work of men. And they forget that Christ

regards what is given to His people and to His cause as given to

Himself (Matthew 25:40,45).  It is, therefore, an honor to be permitted to

dedicate of our substance to ends so lofty, TO A MASTER SO




GOD. There is much in Scripture which proves that this is so. “The Lord

loveth a cheerful giver” (II Corinthians 9:7); “It is accepted according

 to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” (Ibid. ch.

8:12);  He that soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully” (Ibid. ch.9:6).

If our offerings be dedicated from Christian motives, and to wise and scriptural

objects, we need be under no apprehension lest our Lord should despise the

givers or reject their gifts.


12 “Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah slew of the Edomites” – II Samuel

8:13-14 omits to say that it was by aid of Abishai that David slew these eighteen

thousand Edomites. They are there called Syrians.  Abishai, here named son of

Zeruiah, possibly served under Joab son of Zeruiah” (v. 15), who is spoken of

(I Kings 11:15-16) as very trenchant in this Edomite war, without any mention

being made of Abishai. Psalm 60 (title) probably speaks of an instalment of the

eighteen thousand spoken of here, as the nation now suffered all but extermination –

in the valley of salt” - Situate in Edom (I  Kings 11:14-17; II Kings 14:7;

II Chronicles 25:11). The word here used for “valley” is ayGe (Psalm 23:4),

not the more generic word qm,[e, and signifies rather “ravine.” The phrase

occurs twice with the article expressed, jl;M,jμ ayge. The place is celebrated

also for the achievements of Amaziah (in references just given), who proceeded

hence with ten thousand prisoners, to precipitate them down the cliff, i.e.

Petra ([l"S,h", II Chronicles 25:12). The real situation of this place is

still doubtful. Since the time of the German traveller Geethen (‘Reisen,’

2:356), and of Robinson (‘Bibl. Res.,’ 2:109), it has been generally

assumed to be a tract of land extending some six miles south of the Dead

Sea, and bounded at that distance by the range of hills which there runs

across the country; but beside the consideration that the word “ravine”

could not describe that tract of country - “eighteen thousand.”


13 And he put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became

David’s servants. Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever

he went. 14 So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment

and justice among all his people.”



A Righteous Ruler (v.14)


David’s work as a warrior was preparatory to his as a king. He defeated

enemies and vanquished conspirators, in order that there might be peace

and tranquility in the land, in order that the pursuits and arts of peace

might take the place of violence, disorder, and turbulence. It is still

sometimes necessary that the sword should be drawn for the protection of

liberty and for the preservation of order. There could not be a worthier, a

nobler outcome of David’s campaigns and victories than that recorded in

the text: “So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment and

justice among all his people.”



This need not reside in a king; it may be a president, or other chief

magistrate. But in some person or persons must be deposited the right and

power to rule. Unless men are to live in the condition of savages or brutes,

civil authority must be constituted, recognized, and supported. Checks

to arbitrary power, limitations to all personal action, there must be; but not to

the destruction of a right to reign and to require obedience.



BETWEEN MAN AND MAN.  Power is good when rightly used. Right

and might should go together. Rulers are not entrusted with authority for

the indulgence of their own caprice, or the enhancement of their own glory.

They are bound to act, “not for their own, but for their people’s good.” In

Oriental countries it was and is the custom for princes themselves to sit in

the gate and to administer justice. It was so with David and Solomon, and

with other kings of Israel. In modern society, where law is more complex,

the administration of justice is confided to a profession — to judges and

magistrates. In any case, well-ordered society requires both judicial and

legislative functions, in whomsoever centered. “The powers that be are

ordained of God.”  (Romans 13:1)



JUSTICE, “David reigned over all Israel.” This was undoubtedly the

consequence of the impartial administration of justice among all classes.

Civil rulers have often been slow to learn the lesson, that there is no

foundation for general content like unswerving justice. Just rulers

make contented and united peoples.



ADVANTAGES TO ALL MANKIND. Every community where kings

And rulers reign with justice, every nation which is exalted by

righteousness, is a beacon to the world. Peoples so favored have a sacred

mission to fulfill, and upon them is laid a responsibility from which there is no




The family is the first aggregation of human individuals, and its head and ruler is the

father. The next aggregation of men is that of the tribe; a number of families uniting

their interests, and dwelling together, and at the head of the tribe, as ruler and judge,

is the patriarch, or tribal father. The larger aggregation of men is the union of

tribes in the nation, but the same idea is preserved, and the recognized head

and ruler is the king-father, or the fatherly king. The associations of these

two terms need to be carefully given; and it should be shown how the one

tones the other. This distinction being set prominently forward, — The

king seeks to do the absolutely right without any more than a general

knowledge of and interest in his people; a king cannot be expected to know

individuals. But exactly this is of the very essence of fatherhood. The father

is as loyal to the right as the king, but he seeks to apply the claims of right

to the actual condition of individuals, whom he knows with precision, and

in whom he feels a direct and personal interest. And so it may be said that

the perfect idea of a king is expressed in the term father, and that a true

father must have all that is essential to a king. It is always said of the good

king, “He is the father of his people.”


Kingly justice is the revelation to men of the DIVINE JUSTICE!   No one word

can suffice to present the relations of God with men. And that because no words

contain an absolute and necessary meaning. Their connotation differs for different

individuals.  Neither king nor father are sufficient alone. We want for God a

word which shall bring home to our hearts the conviction that HE IS DOMINATED

BY A SENSE OF RIGHT but we as certainly want a word which shall assure us

that all His ways with us are toned with personal interest in us, perfect knowledge

of us, and the gentlest consideration for our weaknesses and wants. So the justice of

God must be to us both KINGLY and FATHERLY.  This subject opens up the

discussion of the true basis of  “THE ATONEMENT.”  Only by fully estimating

Divine justice as both kingly and fatherly can we discern the “needs be” for”


o       a  satisfaction of ETERNAL LAW and

o       a persuasive manifestation of ETERNAL LOVE!


15 “And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat

the son of Ahilud, recorder.”  - recorder” -  The word is of the same root

with that in ch.16:4, “to record.” The exact duties and position of this officer

are not stated in any one place, but may be gathered from II Samuel 8:16; 20:24;

I Kings 4:3; II Kings 18:18, 37; II Chronicles 34:8. From these notices, belonging

to somewhat separate times, we may gather the dignity and responsibility and trust

of the office which the recorder filled, altogether in excess of his duty as mere

historical secretary.


16 “And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abimelech the son of Abiathar,” -

The reading in II Samuel 8:17 is, Abimelech the son of Abiathar,” as also in

ch.24:6; but comparison of I Samuel 22:20; II Samuel 20:25; I Kings 1:7-8,

suggests that the right reading would be Abiathar the son of Ahimelech.”

With this Mark 2:26 agrees, and tells of a correct manuscript, from which,

indirectly, the quotation came - “were the priests; and Shavsha was scribe;”

The parallel place reads Seraiaha; II Samuel 20:25 reads Sheva; and I Kings

4:3 reads Shisha. The differences are probably due simply to errors

of transcription. Scribe. The historical development of this title is obscure,

and not easy to trace. The use of some form or other of the root is

abundantly frequent from the times of the earliest parts of Scripture, in the

sense of “numbering,” or “declaring,” or “recording.” Perhaps our title of

secretary” would answer sufficiently to it, and all the better, because the

Old Testament scribes were also of different leading kinds, like in some

degree to our various secretaries of state. There was the kind of scribe of

Judges 5:14 — where our Authorized Version is far from the mark,

and should rather read “the staff of the scribe,” in place of “the pen of the

writer — a military officer, whose duty it was to keep the muster-roll.

There was the scribe of II Kings 25:19 — a passage which throws light

on the former (see also Isaiah 33:18; Jeremiah 52:25). There were

the scribes of a more literary, lawyer-like, or clerk-like kind, as here, and in

the parallel place, and in II Samuel 20:25; I Kings 4:3; here, ch.2:55. In the time

of  Hezekiah, if not before, the scribes became distinctly a class of men

(Proverbs 25:1; Jeremiah 8:8); and the times of the Captivity greatly enlarged

their importance. Their exact duties in the best times of the monarchy are not

laid down, but the dignified place the king’s scribe held is evident from the

company in which he is placed here and in II Samuel 8:17-18.


17 “And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada” -   (see ch.11:22-25; 12:27;

II Samuel 23:20-23) - “was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites;” –

Two tribes of Philistines whom David attached. The meaning and derivation of

these two names leave it possible to translate them at once, and to read,

the public executioners, and the public couriers,” not treating them as

proper names, and to this course Geseuius (see ‘Lexicon’) gives his

sanction. On the other hand, a comparison of I Samuel 30:14 and II Samuel

15:18 would lead us to treat them as the names of people, although

the Pelethites are not as identifiable in this sense as the Cherethites and

Gittites. Anyway, it is evident they were the special guard of the king, and

were faithful to David and to Solomon after him. Their duties included

those of the executioner or lictor, and the courier. They are frequently

mentioned on special occasions of the king’s moving, and of danger

(II Samuel 15:18; 20:7,23; I Kings 1:38, 44) - “and the sons of David

were chief about the king.”  The Hebrew text here is μygivoarih;. The word

 used in the parallel place is μynij}Ko, which signifies strictly “priests,” but

sometimes more generally “princes.” This is, without doubt, the meaning of

our text.



The chapter which to indifferent reading might seem most bare of religious

instruction will yield to careful attention the most forcible lessons. Facts

bring the most impressive lessons to our lives. Facts teach the most

impressive aspects of the Divine character to our present power of

apprehending that character. For all we read and memory retains it, for all

we hear and faith believes it, for all we think, and think we see it well and

clearly, that which we feel and experience from the hard facts of life or the

joyful facts of life performs a thousand times over the largest and most

valuable part in our education. This chapter is a narration of facts —

almost exclusively this and nothing else. But they were facts full of

personal interest to David, and full of illustration of Divine goodness and

faithfulness. (Twice it says “Thus the Lord preserved David whithersoever

he went” vs. 6 and 13).  The chapter tells indeed the simplest tale of events that

made the joy of a human life, strengthened the faith of a Divine life, rewarded the

endurance and preparation of years past of a suffering and painful life, AND

GIVES GOD THE PRAISE THAT HE IS DUE!  To notice well such facts

is to listen well to God’s own sermons. Let us notice how they part here so very

naturally into those which illustrate the gracious attributes of the Teacher God, and

those which illustrate the better qualities of the learner David.  We have here:



THE “RECOMPENSE OF REWARD.” That time is not always to be

expected in the present world. There are sometimes manifest reasons why

this cannot be, or why it should not be likely, or why it were even to be

deprecated. (“Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before

to judgment; and some men they follow after.  Likewise also the

good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are

otherwise cannot be hid.’  - I Timothy 5:24-25)  It is also one of the

chiefest distinctions, nay, even the differentiae of the Christian temper and

essential quality, “to seek for glory and honor and immortality by patient

 continuance in well-doing” (Romans 2:7), with the eye fixed on one thing

alone as the reward — eternal life.” Yet sometimes it is the case that a

manifest, ample, revealed recompense of reward comes after trial and sorrow

borne, and work earnestly done, even before the partial scene of this present

has passed. It is so now. Long had been the discipline of David, frequent the

strokes by which heart and life had been smitten, keen and agonizing the

misconceptions from which he had suffered, and the misconstructions put upon

his generous conduct, and sharply had the iron of disappointment entered into

his susceptible nature. But now, ‘tis no longer the chapter of accidents; it is the

chapter of victories. A series of joyful successes, of triumphs, of honors, came

to him. And it was because God “remembered” him and “visited” him and

blessed him — no longer with the more hidden mercies proper to the time

of preparation and discipline, but with THESE MANIFEST, PUBLISHED

MERCIES proper to one who had “borne the yoke in his youth”

(Lamentations 3:27),  and who had in his measure “seen affliction by the

rod of His wrath.”  (Ibid. v.1).



PROTECTION OF HIS SERVANT. How true it is that “the gifts and

calling of God are without repentance”!  (Romans 11:29) - He has never

forsaken David. He does not weary of him. He does not change for caprice’

sake his servant, to use a younger, a fresher, a choicer. No, he keeps by him,

and preserves him whithersoever he goes. He is his Shield and Buckler

and Defence  (Psalm 91:4).  He guides him by day and guards him by night.

He makes his enemies either fall before him or flee before him. He counsels

him and surrounds him with faithful counselors, captains of his armies, priests

of the Church. This is the time that, through the goodness of a faithful

Providence, his corn and his wine, and his gold and silver, are increased,

and a “table is spread before him, e’en in the presence of his enemies!”

(Psalm 23:5).  Not a day just now but David feels what a glory it is to be

the servant of God, and what safety there is with Him.




MASTER. His wars are against the enemies of God and the people of

God. There is no sign of personal and ambitious objects in what David is

doing. He“reigns over all Israel,” and thus reigning he “executes

judgment and justice among all his people.” He does not forget his

responsibilities in the time of rank, dignity, luxury, nor surrender

himself to indulgence. It is evident he holds himself, still the servant of

God, the willing, conscious, intelligent instrument for his use. In undoubted

authority,” his conduct is not that, his bearing is not that, that ever exposes

him to the finger of just satire or ridicule — as one who is dressed in a “little

brief authority,” and for reality and true dignity satisfies himself with display.

The reaction from poverty, persecution, subordination, and grief is not what

many bear well. Thus far David has come through the trial well. He

bears the burden nobly, even as bravely he lifted it to his shoulders; and if

God has not forgotten His servant, neither does David show any sign

 of forgetting that he is God’s servant.




OF DAVID. There were no doubt considerations which we may suppose to

have been present to the mind of David, in the destined promotion and

dignity of Solomon, ancillary to his own continued deep interest in the

projected temple. Yet we should not be justified in putting all his sustained

devotion down to this source. The project had been a native of his own

heart. And he does not mean to disown “the better part” of faith because

he is disappointed in sight. David was now one of the honored rank of

those kings and prophets who desired to see a certain sight, but died

without seeing it (Hebrews 11:13-16).  The Pisgah-glimpse (Deuteronomy

34:1) possible to him is that which could come of faith indeed, but of faith only.

Yet his disappointment has not soured him, his refusal has not turned

him sulky. He loves to think of that “habitation of God’s house” still

(Psalm 26:8).  He can’t envy his own son; and to console nevertheless his

disappointment that he shall not see the glorious stones laid one upon another,

towering aloft, and the picked cedars, and the gold flashing again in the sun,

his thoughts fill the time with collecting, and getting, and giving,

and dedicating for these ends. It was always now in David’s thought.

The shields of gold and the brass and the silver are all sacred at once in his

thought to one purpose. This is some of the noblest of the Divine working

in the heart and life that are but human after all. The eye of David shall not

see the reared temple, but his thought and purpose and love are laid with its

foundations, and reach to its highest pinnacle. And the most magnificent block

of its stone, the finest timber of all its cedar, the gold that reflected most

brilliantly the light, of all that was in it, may have been those which the eye and

the hand too of David did surely and literally touch. SUCH CONFIDENCE



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