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Thursday, January 10, 2013

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When the mourning was over, David enquired of the LORD, asking whether he should leave Philistine territory and go up into the cities of Judah and live again among the people. Though anointed many years ago, David was not presumptuous in going back to Judah and taking Saul’s place as king.  Rather he showed great prudence in waiting upon the LORD for every move. Then the people of Judah came and anointed David king over the house of Judah.

 

David did not mourn over the death of Saul and Jonathan for show, his sincerity led him to extend kindness to those who showed kindness to Saul. Before being made king in Gilgal, Saul led the children of Israel and the men of Judah to successfully deliver Jabeshgilead from the oppression of the Ammonites (1 Samuel 11:1-10).  The people of Jabeshgilead showed their gratefulness and gratitude to Saul by their brave move to take the bodies of Saul and his sons, at the risk of their lives, back to Israel and bury them (1 Samuel 31:11-13). David rewarded them for their kindness and encouraged them to be valiant under his reign.

 

However, the conflict between Saul’s and David’s houses continued.  Abner, captain of Saul’s host, made Ishbosheth, the son of Saul king over all Israel. David was king over the house of Judah for a period of seven and a half years, yet did not take any action against the house of Israel, fully demonstrating himself as a king of peace and unity. 

 

Great details were described as to how the conflict between Abner and Joab began, how it evolved into a battle with Abner killing Joab’s brother Asahel yet losing more than three hundred men.  The servants of David won, however, the incident foreshadowed further conflict. How true is the saying of the proverbs that “The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts” (Proverbs 17:14).

 

Samuel Wang

Center for East Asia Work

Taiwan