Preparing for Kingship – David,
The King who united his people.
Tribal jealousy was a real factor in the early history of Israel. The nation, such as it was because they claimed descent from Abraham, was merely a collection of disparate tribes by David’s time. As a result, they were unable to counter the frequent attacks by other tribes and people to seize territory or property.
So it was David who finally drew the people together as a coherent and effective nation. Sadly, that unity did not last long; it was only under David and Solomon that it proved a reality.
It is therefore worth reading about some of the stages in this growing unity amongst the people, brought about under David’s leadership.
David was recognised as King by Israel and Judah.
v 3. So there at Hebron, King David made a covenant before the Lord with all the elders of Israel. And they anointed him king of Israel.
David was recognised as King in Judah some 7 years earlier than this event in which he was finally enthroned as King of the whole nation. By now, he was about 37 years old and had probably waited for something like 20 years since the occasion recounted in 1 Samuel 16 when Samuel anointed him as King in the presence of just his father and family.
This however was much more than a ‘Civil’ ceremony to recognise David as King of the whole nation of Israel. It was ‘ a covenant before the Lord with all the elders of Israel ‘ – it was essentially a religious event in which God was recognised as present along with the King and the Elders of Israel.
From the very outset of his rule David was making it clear that the God of Israel was at the centre of all the affairs of the nation. He wanted it to be understood that he was more than a Warrior Leader, he was also a spiritual leader determined to accept God’s ways as his ways. He did not just want a nation united behind him as a powerful leader, he wanted to unite them with God at their head.