Have you ever failed to keep a promise? Or maybe someone broke a promise made to you? While as humans, we may fail to keep our word, we have a God who always keeps His promises.
When David was a shepherd boy, God promised that he would be king over Israel (1 Samuel 16). David spent years in Saul’s service, running for his life from Saul’s jealous anger, and then fighting a civil war after Saul’s death. But God was faithful to keep His promises. Today’s reading narrates three short episodes that demonstrate God’s faithfulness.
The civil war was finally over! The elders of the northern tribes accepted David’s rule. They admitted they knew that this was God’s plan all along, “And the LORD said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler’” (2 Sam. 5:2). David would go on to reign over a united Israel for 33 years (v. 5).
David’s first move as king was to establish a new capital city. Jerusalem was the ideal choice. It was located on the border between the northern and southern tribes but did not belong to any of them. It was still held by the Jebusites. God had commanded that the Jebusites be defeated (Ex. 23:23–24), and David now fulfilled that command.
After a surprise attack on the fortified city, he was able to conquer it. This city would become the center of Israel’s life. David was also able to deal a decisive blow to Israel’s nemesis, the Philistines. After this defeat, the Philistines were not a threat to Israel any longer (2 Sam. 5:17–25).
>> When God makes a promise, we can know that He will be faithful to fulfill it. David held on to this belief through many difficult and dark periods of his life. We too can be confident that the same is true today. As Paul proclaimed, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ” (2 Cor. 1:20).
In dark days, remind us of what David suffered before You fulfilled Your promises to him. This encourages us to persevere, knowing that You will do what You say, even if Your plan unfolds in unexpected ways.