We can face any challenge with confidence and courage in Christ, knowing that the kingdom is his—and ours—forever.
David returned triumphantly with his men and their rescued families to Ziklag. Simultaneously, King Saul and Prince Jonathan both died in battle against the Philistines (1 Samuel 30:26–2 Samuel 1:27). The table was set for David to become the king as the Lord had anointed him so many years earlier.
King over Israel
The people of Judah claimed David as their king in Hebron. His message to them was simple: “Be strong and brave.” There was more to do to secure the entire kingdom, but for now the people could find strength and courage in knowing that David was their king. Not surprisingly, an opposing and imposter king, Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth, was set up as ruler of the remaining tribes of Israel. Skirmishes and struggles continued as Saul’s family and friends fought to keep their hold on power. But after seven and a half years, that time came to an end.
David was anointed king over all Israel at Hebron. More important, he was the king by the Lord’s own choosing. The other tribes finally acknowledged, “We are your own flesh and blood. . . . And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler’ ” (2 Samuel 5:1,2).
David’s reign as king of all Israel continued for the next 33 years. He moved the capital to Jerusalem, secured victory over the pesky Philistines, and moved the ark of the covenant to the City of David (2 Samuel chapters 5–6).
Ruler over all things
Great David’s greater Son has rescued us captive sinners by his perfect life and innocent death. He was raised to life in a powerful display that tells us our sin has been paid for, death has been defanged, and the devil defeated (Romans 4:25; 5:20,21). Jesus is the rightful King, the King of the Lord’s own choosing (Hebrews 1). He is our King by faith.
This month we celebrate Jesus’ ascension into heaven. He is now seated at God’s right hand and lives and truly rules over all things . . . for his people (Ephesians 1:15-23). We are reminded of this at the end of each Sunday’s Prayer of the Day and in the creeds.
And so our King gives us the same encouragement that David gave the people of Judah: “Be strong and brave!” The devil still pretends to be the king (Jesus even calls him the prince of this world), and the unbelieving world still fights against the Lord and his Anointed (Psalm 2). But the victory is ours in King Jesus. We will still face spiritual skirmishes and inner daily struggles, but in Christ, the Anointed One, we are assured that we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:31-39). We can face any challenge or threat with confidence and courage in Christ, knowing that the kingdom is his—and ours—forever. One day he will return triumphantly and in glory to bring us to our eternal home.
For further thought
- Read through Martin Luther’s explanation of the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed. What does King Jesus’ ascension mean for you and to you? How does that affect the way you face your life as a subject of his kingdom in this world?
- Read Ephesians 1:15-23. How might these truths about your King help you find confidence and comfort in daily living?
This is the fifth article in a six-part series on King David and our future King.
Author: Timothy Westendorf
Volume 109, Number 05
Issue: May 2022