In 2 Samuel 5 we read about all the tribes of Israel anointing David as king at Hebron. Then David captures the Jebusite city of Jerusalem and makes it his stronghold. King Hiram of Tyre sends the necessary men and supplies to build David a grand palace in his new headquarters. Once he is settled there, David takes even more concubines and wives. I cannot imagine how David kept track of the birthdays in his family let alone anything else! David continued to battle against the Philistines and God gave him victory because David repeatedly “inquired of the Lord”.
In chapter 6, we learn of David’s efforts to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He was, at first, frustrated in this plan because one of the men accompanying the ark, Uzzah, reached out to steady it and God struck him down. This story has probably bothered many people over the centuries, but it has upset no one more than David. In fact, the author(s) of 2 Samuel tell us that David was simultaneously angry at the Lord and afraid of the Lord because of this incident. Therefore, for a time, David gave up on trying to bring the ark to Jerusalem. I think we can take comfort from this story and learn from David that God is able to handle our emotions, even our being angry at him. The Lord seems to prefer followers who are passionate like David as opposed to those who are apathetic.
Eventually, David does bring the ark to Jerusalem and he dances in front of the procession wearing nothing but a linen ephod. His wife, Michal, is upset at David uncovering himself before the other women of Jerusalem but David insists that it was before the Lord that he was dancing. Something tells me that David’s behavior would not be tolerated in most churches today. Yet, there is not a word in this text about God being displeased with David. The incident did, however, lead to the end of David’s marriage to Michal, for all intents and purposes. The text says simply: “And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.” (2 Samuel 6:23)
Chapter 7 relates David’s desire to build a home for the ark in Jerusalem. Apparently he felt guilty that he was living in a beautiful cedar palace while the ark of God was still residing in a tent. At first, the prophet Nathan, to whom we are introduced in this passage, tells David to go ahead with his plans. However, then the Lord tells Nathan that he is nixing David’s plan. Rather than have David build him a house, he will build David a house. In fact God says he will establish this house forever, that is, the kingdom of David’s son (we are not yet told which one). Chapter 7 concludes with David’s praise to God, characteristic of many of the psalms that bear David’s name.
Chapter 8 tells of the further conquests of David. The repeated refrain is: “The Lord gave victory to David wherever he went.” (2 Samuel 8:6,14)
I believe we can learn from these chapters that whatever victory David achieved in life it was due to the Lord, and David’s consistent practice of “inquiring of the Lord”. This does not mean that David was always successful in everything he did. He was not successful at first in bringing the ark to Jerusalem. Furthermore, when David wanted to build a house for the ark, God squashed those plans. These incidents were frustrating to David, but in the end, he bowed to God’s will.
I wonder: how do we react when God says "no" to our plans?