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Reading through the stories about David is like flipping through a photo album and watching a family member age over time. Here, we meet a mature David, a man of accomplishment but not yet the callous king who wreaks so much havoc to satisfy his own whims. This is no longer the impulsive boy who kills Goliath, but not yet the corrupt and selfish king. This is the David who has been steadfast in his loyalty to Saul and Jonathan, and who has earned the respect of his fellow soldiers.
Read Dr. Elna Solvang’s Working Preacher commentary here.
Scripture - Text
The scripture text can be found here.
Recognizing David’s military accomplishments, the tribes of Israel come to David and formalize the relationship with him as their king. Long before this, Samuel anoints David as the king. This time, the tribes do it, after they make a covenant together. The lectionary leaves out David’s conquest of Jerusalem, and a battle with the Philistines. Next, David and the men of Israel go to get the ark, symbolic of the presence of God. As David begins his reign as king, the ark will also have a new home, in Jerusalem. The lectionary also leaves out the dangerous journey of the ark, and the argument between David and God.
Samuel - Anointing - David - Shepherd - Boy
Finally, Samuel’s long ago anointing of David the shepherd boy as king has come to fruition. (1 Samuel 16:13) After that time, “the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.” Still, having David as king is accomplished with a lot of battle, bloodshed and sorrow.
The text has some jarring notes, mostly left out by the selection of verses. Of course, we hear the story from Israel’s point of view, and so the surrounding nations already in the land are just obstacles to...
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