2 Samuel 19-1 Kings 2; in these chapters we find that there is a sub-topic that is often overlooked. I kept pondering the relationship with Israel and Judah. Judah remained with King David through all conflicts; yet Israel was quick to embrace the instigator of the conflict. The relationship between the Northern kingdom and Southern kingdom was an on-going battle. The battle rages through the time of King Saul until the “cleansing” of ancestors by King Solomon in 1 Kings 2.
David was anointed king by Samuel after the debacles of Saul, and the Spirit of God withdrew from him. David was hunted and haunted by Saul until his death. Even then Judah embraced David, but Israel delayed their support. The first time authority is challenged it is by Ish-Bosheth, Saul’s son. This results in a civil war between the people of God. Prior to that David was made king over Judah.[ 2 Samuel 2] If we look at this time in Israel’s history, we notice the evidence of a “divided kingdom.” Why is a very good question. With King David on the throne, there is a united kingdom, but that wasn’t for seven years. One could ask why this problem of two kingdoms within the same people? We cold look at major and minor nations – population wise. Could it be more spiritual than that, I would think so. Judah will remain somewhat faithful to Yahweh, whereas Israel quickly embraces Baal gods.
There is much that flows under the bridge of David’s life when we get to Ammon, Tamar and Absalom event. David did a great ministry by reaching out to Mephibosheth, but then he sins a great sin with Bathsheba. Great victories are often followed by lapses into sin. David is never the same man after the Bathsheba incident. The next conflict or challenge to Kingship comes from Absalom, David’s son. Of course there were 5 years of parental neglect on David’s part. But Absalom begins to usurp kingly authority by sitting at the Gate and issuing judgments for the people. Absalom does this unchecked for 40 yrs. [2 Sam 15:6-7] What does David do, he flees. Through Joab, the general of the armies, Absalom is killed, and David assumes kingship again.
Then Sheba a worthless man, a Benjamite leads a revolt against David. Again Joab puts down the revolt by killing Sheba. King David lives out the remaining days is sickness/cold. On his death-bed we have a challenge for the throne from another son, Adonijah. Through the work of Nathan and Bathsheba, Solomon is enthroned. It isn’t until there is a “family heir cleansing” by Solomon, do we finally get peace. Oh, before the revolt is put down, Israel embraces Adonijah as king.
You are probably wondering where is this all going. Well, I find there is a correlation between the Church and the Pastor [appointed leadership], where the choice of God and the leadership of pastors are very often challenged. In the absence of leadership, leadership comes forth. In King David’s case, he did not aggressively put down the challenges to the throne which was appointed to him by God. Too often pastors will not confront the perpetrators in a revolt for leadership. The Pastor is not a hired gun, but an appointed shepherd by the LORD Jesus to care for the Church/flock/sheep. Too many times the Church body will follow those in their midst that have NO RIGHT to the Throne. Pastors/leaders must be bold in their leadership. Admonish and correct for the sake and health of the Body. In many of the challenges to leadership we find that David had to deal with Joab, and Abithar the priest. Two worlds, the flesh and the spirit at odds, yet will come together if they think they can overthrow the rule of the righteous. This happened with Pilate and King Herod in the death of Jesus.
In the family of God there are many conflicts and challenges to the authority of leadership. Today in the Church we struggle to accomplish the work of God because the “family” is in conflict on who should lead.
I find it extremely interesting that after the reign of Solomon, that Israel under Jeroboam departs quickly from Judah and Benjamin. The Lost Ten tribes of Israel become entrenched in idolatry – Jeroboam gave the people what they wanted – they wanted a leader that would give them what THEY wanted, not what Jehovah wanted.
Acts 13:36, After David serve the Lord God in His generation, he slept with his fathers and under went decay.
David is renowned for loving God, not perfect, but repentant. Pastors – lead, and stand against the wiles of the devil; do not give up your leadership without a hold fight!