Thursday, January 31, 2008

History of Human Government (9) - David as Military Leader

The Lord told Nathan his purpose for David.

Now then, tell my servant David, 'This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders [over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies (2 Sam 7:8-11).
The word translated as ruler is “nâgîyd”, which is a military term. It mean commander, not ruler. God did not appoint David to be a ruler or king, but as a temporary military commander to deal to the nations enemies. Israel had never fully taken the land of Canaan, so it was surrounded by enemies.

David was a very effective military leader. He demonstrated his military skills in the defeat of Goliath. He defeated the Jebusites and drove them out of Jerusalem. He destroyed all the enemies that threatened Israel. God was with David while he acted as military leader, so he was successful in war and established peace for his people.

Once David had established peace, Israel did not require a military commander any more. God would protect them, if they trusted in him. They would only need a military commander, if they turned away from God. This meant that David did not need a successor. Provided the people remained faithful to God, there was no task for David to do, because Israel was at peace. David did not understand this and started to act as a King. David failed as a king, because he was going beyond his calling from God. While he stuck to his calling as a military leaser, he was successful.

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