A day came when the men of Judah gathered to David and anointed him king in Hebron. ''The Spirit clothed Amasai and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side'' (2Sam 2:4; 1Chr 12:18). It is a joyful day in the experience of the believer when he yields the full allegience of his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, and says, ''Thine am I, and on Thy side''; when he can look up into His face and say, ''Thou art my King'' (Psa 44:4).
''Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker'' (2Sam 3:1), until at last Abner said to the elders of Israel: ''Ye sought for David in times past to be king over you. Now then do it: for the Lord hath spoken of David, saying, By the hand of My servant David I will save My people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies.'' ''Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh... And they anointed David king over Israel'' (5:1-3). ''One from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother'' (Deu 17:15). ''The king is near of kin to us'' (2Sam 19:42). ''In all things made like unto His brethren'' (Heb 2:17). Here we see all Israel united under their rightful king. A picture of a heart which is wholly true in its allegiance to the King of kings.
God's promise to Israel was that He would save them from all their enemies by the hand of David. And this was literally fulfilled, from the day that he slew Goliath, all through his reign. We never read of his being defeated. So Christ has vanquished our great enemy, Satan. [Christ] has come ''that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear'' [Luke 1:74]. ''He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet'' [1Cor 15:25]. ''Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end'' (Isa 9:7).
''And David took the stronghold of Zion'' [2Sam 5:7]. This is like the central citadel of our will. When that is surrendered to the Lord, His reign is established. [cp. 2Cor 10:4,5]
In the story of Mephibosheth [2Sam 9], we have a beautiful picture of the grace of our King, in bringing us nigh and making us ''as one of the King's sons,'' ''to eat bread at His table continually.'' He brings us into His banqueting-house and bids us partake, saying, ''Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved'' [Song 5:1]. He Himself is the heavenly food, for He says, ''The bread that I give is My flesh,'' and ''My flesh is meat indeed'' [John 6:51,55].
The Bible does not cloak sin, least of all in God's own children. It does not spare God's saints. There were steps leading up to David's sin-- his multiplying wives, his tarrying still at Jerusalem when he should have been at the war. It is always the case that there is backsliding of heart, before it is seen in outward act. David sinned grievously, but his repentance was immediate, deep, and sincere. God, indeed, blotted out his transgressions, according to the multitude of His tender mercies, but he did not remove the consequences of the sin: He chastened David through sore trials in his own family.
Even when Absalom was in rebellion, the King commanded, ''Deal gently, for my sake, with the young man, even with Absalom.'' In this, we see the forbearance of God with sinners. And when he heard of his death, he cried: ''O my son Absalom! my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!'' David would fain have died for the rebel, but he could not [2Sam 18]. How this carries our thoughts on to the One who was not only willing, but able to lay down His life, the Just for the unjust, to bring us to God [1Pet 3:18].
A thousand years have passed. Again a rejected King goes forth from the Jerusalem gate, and down the pathway into the dark valley, and up the slopes of Olivet. Instead of the strong band that went with David, there are but eleven men to go with David's Son, and of the chosen three, not one remains awake to share His agony [Mat 26:36-46]. ''I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the people there was none with Me'' [Isa 63:3]. The enthusiasm of David's followers led them to restrain him from going into the battle. But when the soldiers came to take the Lord of Glory, His little body-guard all forsook Him and fled, and He who is the chiefest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely [Song 5:10,16], laid down His life for rebels and deserters.
Nearly two thousand years have passed since then. ''Our Lord is still rejected and by the world disowned.'' There is still the golden opportunity today of making His heart glad by such a devotion as Ittai's. We are His blood-bought possession. It is His purpose that we should share His glory throughout eternity. And He claims our heart's love now.
Hushai the Archite and Zadok and Abiathar were to represent the King at the very center of rebellion-- ''in the world, but not of it''; ambassadors in an enemy's country [cp. 2Cor 5:20]. In Shimei, who cursed David in his rejection, we have a picture of those who reviled Jesus, wagging their heads and mocking Him.
''I will smite the King only,'' was Ahithophel's advice to Absalom, ''and I will bring back all the people unto thee.'' ''Smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered'' [Mat 26:31]. Jesus, our Shepherd, was ''stricken, smitten of God'' for us [Isa 53]. And the King passed over Jordan, that river of death.
''Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus'' [Rev 22:20]. According to Eastern custom, the men of Judah went right over Jordan to meet their King, and bring him back, and the crowd of rejoicing subjects increased as they drew near the city. One day the cry will go forth, ''Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him'' [Mat 25:6]. The ''the dead in Christ shall rise first,'' and the saints that are alive on the earth shall be caught up to meet Him in the air [1The 4:16,17]. Our King has set this certainty of hope before us, and calls us to live in the joyful expectation of it. This should lead to faithfulness in service-- ''Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be'' (Rev 22:12)-- and [according] to holiness of life (Titus 2:11-14).