Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
2 Samuel 8:15 (NIV)
David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people.
2 Samuel 8:15 (MSG)
Thus David ruled over all of Israel. He ruled well — fair and evenhanded in all his duties and relationships.
“So David reigned over all Israel, and continued to administer justice and righteousness for all his people”-AMPLIFIED
We will find in 2 Samuel 8 a listing of the victories of David after he had finally become king over all of Israel. Out text gives us a good understanding of what kind of king David was, “David reigned with justice over Israel and was fair to everyone.”–TLB (David was just and fair with all of his people; treating everyone with equality one translation actually says.)
There is one phrase that is repeated twice in this chapter though that we need to address. It is can be found in verses 6 and 14 and it is this, “The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.” Honor is given where honor is due; to the Lord. David knew that none of these victories happened because of his great military prowess, or because of his knowledge or strength. These victories happened because the good Lord gave him victory wherever he went.
David’s reputation increased dramatically through all of this because of the victories that God gave him. The listing of David’s victories go something like this:
1. David defeated the Philistines and subdued them.
2. David defeated the Moabites.
3. David defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob the king of Zobah.
4. David defeated the Arameans of Damascus when they came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah.
Once David had gained victory over Hadadezer we find other kings acknowledging his conquests. “Toi, king of Hamath, heard that David had struck down the entire army of Hadadezer. So he sent his son Joram to King David to greet and congratulate him for fighting and defeating them, for Toi and Hadadezer were old enemies. He brought with him gifts of silver, gold, and bronze. King David consecrated these along with the silver and gold from all the nations he had conquered — from Aram, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and from Amalek, along with the plunder from Hadadezer son of Rehob king of Zobah.”-2 Samuel 8:9-12 (MSG)
We need to notice something though. David was careful to give God the glory for his victories. He could have very well let pride take over. He could have very well said, “Look what I have done!” Scripture tells us that he had built quite a reputation by this point in time, “David became famous after he returned from striking down eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.” -2 Samuel 8:13 (NIV)
David chose to keep perspective instead. He knew that it was God who enabled him to win the victories that he had won. He was careful not to let pride sneak in and cause a rift between himself and God. He knew that he was nothing and could do nothing without God.
It is believed that David was the writer of Psalm 119. Within the stanzas of this long Psalm is a portion that addresses exactly David’s attitude and demeanor toward his Creator and God.
“Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word [treasuring it and being guided by it day by day].
Open my eyes [to spiritual truth] so that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law.
I am a stranger on the earth;
Do not hide Your commandments from me.
My soul is crushed with longing
For Your ordinances at all times.
You rebuke the presumptuous and arrogant, the cursed ones,
Who wander from Your commandments.
Take reproach and contempt away from me,
For I observe Your testimonies.
Even though princes sit and talk to one another against me,
Your servant meditates on Your statutes.
Your testimonies also are my delight
And my counselors.”–Psalm 119:17-24 (AMP)
David totally understood who he was in the scheme of things and who Jehovah was as well. Hence why he could say, “I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good besides You.”-Psalm 16:2 (AMP)
It would serve each of us well to realize how we too fit into the scheme of things. Humility is a sign of submissiveness to a Higher Power. It is a sign of strength, not weakness. This is why John the Baptist was able to say, “You yourselves are my witnesses that I stated, ‘I am not the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ but, ‘I have [only] been sent ahead of Him [as His appointed forerunner and messenger to announce and proclaim His coming].’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands by and listens to him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this pleasure and joy of mine is now complete. He must increase [in prominence], but I must decrease.” -John 3:28-30 (AMP)
We all need to remember this: “For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.” -Philippians 2:13 (AMP)
The key to David’s victory and success was his willingness to humbly submit to God. “Humble yourselves [with an attitude of repentance and insignificance] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up, He will give you purpose].” -James 4:10 (AMP)
“The very word authority has within it the word author. An author is someone who creates and possesses a particular work. Insofar as God is the foundation of all authority, He exercises that foundation because He is the author and the owner of His creation. He is the foundation upon which all other authority stands or falls.” ~ R.C. Sproul
“Until the will and the affections are brought under the authority of Christ, we have not begun to understand, let alone to accept, His lordship.” ~ Elisabeth Elliot
Lord, humbly I come to you and appeal to you for forgiveness for all of those times that I have not allowed you to be in charge. Forgive me, Lord, for insisting on doing things my way. I humbly acknowledge that it is You who are God. Please, take your place as LORD in my life. May your will be done; not mine. I graciously submit to your will in my life, oh Lord.