David was a victorious king. He played both defense and offense. He expanded the territory of Israel during his reign through God’s favor in battle.
This part of David’s story is NOT my favorite. I HATE war! I would love to see a world where everyone could peaceably work out their issues and NO ONE oppressed, disrespected, or in any demeaned another. That won’t happen until Heaven.
I understand and support resisting an oppressor. The Israelites revolt against the Philistines, who were mistreating them, is a cause I can certainly get behind. But I would personally stop at the boundaries of my own and not seek more than I started with.
I recognize that this puts me in opposition with God’s plan from the beginning for Israel. ALL the territory He gave them was occupied. They had to battle for each and every square inch of it. Even though I don’t like it, I’m trusting Him with it. He knows MUCH better than I do what needs done in this world HE created.
David did a lot of offense while living in Ziklag too. His ‘raiding parties’ were not defensive but offensive. He played defense when in Israel while running from Saul. He protected the shepherds in the area where he stayed. So David was well versed in both forms of battle before becoming king. He was also VERY aware that God was his source in these battles.
From David’s battles he took in a great deal of spoils. The gold, silver and bronze he dedicated to the Lord. I don’t know if these were used in the making of the Temple later or if they were simply put into it afterwards.
“David made a name for himself” (verse 13a) in battle. He actually started that ‘name’ (fame) when he defeated Goliath. I am curious to know what they called him in the other nations/countries. Did they focus on the lives lost to him? Were they in awe of his battle plans? Did they think him a land hungry tyrant? Or did they focus on his Source? Did they recognize David’s God was the one who truly won the battles?
We know “history is written by the victors” and we only have the stories of our Victor. I would like to see how the other side saw him. I suppose this is just my own curiosity spilling out but I want to know how others saw him.
We see one king who was happy with David’s success. Toi, king of Hamath was pleased because one of his enemies was no more. Hadadezer had been at war with him many times. David defeated him and all those who came to help him.
David posted garrisons in the places he conquered to keep them in line. We are told of them throughout all Edom and in Aram. I wonder if he put any in Philistine territory. It would certainly be tables turned since the Philistines had garrisons in Israel just prior to David’s campaigns.
As much as I hate war, I respect the job David did in increasing the kingdom of Israel for the Lord. David didn’t try and go beyond the boarders God has set for Israel in the beginning. The fact that he was personally ‘sold out’ to the Lord is what allowed him such favor. He also brought Israel together as a people of God. Where he brought Israel’s heart, to me, is MUCH MORE important than where he brought them militarily or territorially. They were now truly a nation of God’s own people.
Father God, You know my heart on the subject of war. I cringe when I read of all the lives lost, even in Your name. I know our world is filled with sin and IT is the main reason for violence. You DO NOT author war but You support and back Your people. I believe You used the sword to dispense justice and judgement. I TRUST You with my whole heart and will leave it there.
Protect me Father. Protect me from judgement where I have not walked in the person’s (including Yours) shoes. Protect me from glorified or horrified outlooks on people of the past. Protect me from using the past to justify the future. And protect me from not learning the lessons of the past and needing a ‘refresher course’ for my future. Protect me from my own biases that would lead to harm, for me or my family.
Thank You for the love You have installed in my heart. Thank You that I DO care about the lives of those around me and pray for their good. Thank You for allowing me to see the good in people, even when they are not acting ‘good.’ “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a). Let me show and sow love!