April 17 - Nº 107 2 Samuel 3:31 – 5:10; 1 Chronicles 11:1-9
David mourned greatly when he heard that Abner had died, so much that everyone in Israel knew that he had nothing to do with his rival’s murder. But the bloodshed was not over. Ish-Bosheth was still the king of the eleven northern tribes of Israel . . . until two young men took it upon themselves to sneak into his house while he was taking a nap. The men stabbed Ish-Bosheth in his bed, cut off his head and snuck back out of the house—leaving the rest of his body in a pool of blood! They traveled all night to deliver their “trophy” to David, thinking he would reward them for eliminating the one man who stood in the way of his coronation. They arrived in Hebron and proudly announced, “Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy who tried to kill you. This day God has brought revenge against Saul and his offspring.” Instead of thanking them, David rebuked them, “When I was in Ziklag, a young Amalekite came and boasted that he had killed King Saul. He thought he was bringing me good news, but I put him to death for killing the man God had anointed as the king of Israel (see #105 - April 15). Now you have come to tell me that you killed an innocent man, Saul’s son, while he was sleeping. You are even more guilty than that Amalekite!” So, David had both men put to death. Without a descendant of Saul left to crown, the northern tribes decided to make David their king as well. So, leaders from all the tribes in Israel gathered at Hebron to unite and crown their new king. David was thirty years old when he finally took the throne. After ruling from the city of Hebron for seven years, David decided to move his headquarters to the city of Jebus. It was a walled fortress built on top of Mount Zion (previously called Mount Moriah). Because of its location, it seemed invincible. David realized that Jebus would be the ideal place to establish the nation’s permanent capital—not only because of its natural defenses, but because of Israel’s history with God on this mountain (see #17 - January 17). So, David set out to capture the city. The Jebusites loudly boasted to David and his troops from the top of their walls, “You will never get in; even the blind and the lame could defend themselves against you in this city.” But David discovered that his men could get into the stronghold through the water tunnels. He announced his strategy to his military leaders: “Whoever will lead the way through the tunnels and conquer this city will become the next commander-in-chief of my army.” Joab stepped forward. David’s strategy worked, and the Israelites took over the city. Joab officially became the commander of the whole Israelite army. Jebus was re-named “The City of David.” (Later it became Jerusalem.) And David became more and more powerful because God was with him.
Do you ever feel like God has forgotten His promises? For a long time, David did! After all, he was just a young shepherd boy when Samuel anointed him as the next king of Israel. Then he had to spend years hiding, fighting, and running before he was finally crowned! Although His timing is different from ours, God never forgets us—or any of His promises.