A Promise Remembered (2 Samuel 5)

A Promise Restored
King David’s Faith and the Messiah

There are two major sins that God records for us of King Saul. In 1 Samuel 13, Saul was fighting against the Philistines. Samuel had told Saul to wait for him before offering burnt offerings and peace offerings and Samuel would do that and ask God’s blessings on the battle. But, in the face of fear, King Saul disobeyed God through Samuel. Saul was not authorized to offer sacrifices; he was from the tribe of Benjamin.

In the face of fear, Saul’s faith in God failed. In that context, Samuel told Saul: “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. “But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you” (1 Sam. 13:13-14).

At this particular point, Saul did not know the one who would take his place over the kingdom was a young shepherd boy named David. All Saul knows is that the replacement is described as a “man after God’s own heart.”

The second sin is two chapters later: chapter 15. God has told Saul to kill the king of the Amalekites - King Agag - and slaughter everything that belongs to Agag: man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey (15:3). In 15:9, the historian tells us that Saul captured King Agag alive and kept alive all the best of the animals but he “utterly destroyed” everything that was despised and worthless.

When Samuel confronted Saul, Saul claimed to have obeyed the Lord (15:13). Samuel replied, “If you have, then why do I hear the noise of sheep and oxen?” Saul said, “Oh, I brought those to offer to Jehovah God.” People who don’t take spiritual matters seriously would say, “oh, that’s a worth while motivation. That’s honorable. That’s lovely. That’s great.”

But Samuel told Saul: “you did not obey the voice of the Lord… you did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” (15:19). Samuel will go on to say that Saul’s decision - as honorable as it might seem from the perspective of worldly wisdom - is in the eyes of God rebellion, divination, insubordination, wickedness, and idolatry. Samuel says, “He has rejected you from being king” (15:23).

Saul tried to say that it was the people who compelled him to disobey God (15:21). In fact, in 15:24 he explicitly says he “feared the people.” Once again, in the face of fear, Saul’s faith failed.

When Saul tries to stop Samuel from leaving, he grabs Samuel’s robe and it tears. Samuel uses that as a parable to say that God has torn the kingdom from Saul’s hands and given it to his “neighbor who is better than you” (15:28) - the one who is a man after God’s own heart.

It’s in the next chapter that God sends Samuel to a village called Bethlehem to anoint the next king over Israel, a man whose heart was right with God (16:7). We are now introduced to David for the first time in biblical history.

It is against the same enemies which caused Saul’s faith to fail - the Philistines - that we see David introduced to the nation of Israel. There is a battle going on in the Shephelah, valleys between the plains controlled by the Philistines and the hill country controlled by Israel.
First, before we take a closer look at David, please observe 17:11…

In contrast to the lack of faith on Saul’s part, spurred by fear - we have David running into battle, into the line of fire against Goliath. And David was victorious. Because David trusted God. Let’s look at the verses in the text which illustrate David’s faith in God…


In verse 38, we see that Saul was trying to put his armor on David. While it would be normal for even a man of God to dress in armor, we actually see a contrast in the faith of Saul - who put his trust in his armor - and the faith of David - who put his trust in the living God. This is two ways of waging war…


This account is not really about David and Goliath. Chapter 17 is the longest chapter in 1 Samuel, at 58 verses. That tells us how much importance God put on this event. This event is only partially about David and Saul. It is really about David and God. David brings the head of Goliath to King Saul - here we have a man empty-handed because his faith was empty and a man who is holding the head of God’s enemy in his hand because his faith was full.

That’s God’s definition of a leader…

As we fast forward through David’s life, we see that he had two opportunities to kill King Saul, to take vengeance on his own personal enemy, but David knew that Saul was not God’s enemy. In fact, after Samuel anoints David as king in 16:13, the verb “to anoint” is not used again until David uses it of King Saul on those two occasions when he had the opportunity to kill him. David chose not to because King Saul was the “Lord’s anointed” (24:6, 10; 26:9, 11, 16, 23). David had faith in God.

When David becomes king, he continues walking by faith. He treats the house of King Saul respectfully, even providing for Saul’s grandson who became injured. Look briefly at the description of David’s kingship, specifically how he waged war: 2 Samuel 5:17-25. Please observe verses 19, 23, 25.

David was the “king of faith.”

We have seen and would see if we did an in-depth study of the life of David that this expression characterized the faith of David. Notice the contrast between David and King Saul which is revealed by the historian who wrote 1 Chronicles 10:13-14.

David constantly inquires of Jehovah God and His will.

God had warned Israel that their king would put his trust in a strong military: Deut. 17:14-16, which is what David’s descendants did: Isaiah 7:1-9; 37:5-8.

But God wanted His followers, His leaders, to know that power and strength are not what makes a man a great spiritual leader. It is humble trust in Jehovah God and His word.

We will not take the time to read the text, but in 2 Samuel 7:10-17, God promises King David that He will make David’s house and kingdom permanent over the nation of Israel. When you read that next, you should highlight the times God uses the word “kingdom,” “house” and “throne.” David would have a descendant sitting on his throne - the throne of God over His kingdom - forever.

There is an important Psalm which highlights the nature of David as king of Israel portrayed as the “son of God:” Psalm 2:7. This psalm is applied to King Jesus in passages such as Acts 13:33 and Hebrews 1:5; 5:5.

Jesus is the “Son of David,” a designation that is found 10 times in the OT, mostly in reference to King Solomon through whom the immediate promise was realized. In the NT, the expression is equally used - 11 times.

Two blind men recognized in Jesus the Messiahship of the “Son of David:” Matt. 9:27
The crowds recognized Him as the “Son of David:” Matt. 12:23
The Canaanite woman whose daughter was possessed by a demon recognized Jesus as the “Son of David:” Matt. 15:22
Another two blind men recognize Him as the “Son of David:” Matt. 20:30-31
As Jesus entered Jerusalem on His way to the cross, the crowds praised Him in words from Psalm 118:26 - “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest!” - Matt. 21:9. The Aramaic word “Hosanna” means “Save us!” The crowds likely meant that in a physical sense, to be saved from the Roman Empire. But God meant it in a spiritual sense: to save us from our sins.
Even children were recognizing in Jesus the “Son of David:” Matt. 21:15

Jesus came to be the “suffering Servant” which Isaiah pictured for us in Isaiah 52:13-53:12. Jesus, the Son of David, is the author and the perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2).

Jesus’ faith was perfect. In the face of fear, Jesus faith compelled Him to pray: “Not My will but Yours be done.”

David’s faith was not perfect, but he tried. Jesus’ faith was perfect.

As we walk by faith, we have to face our fears. There are enemies without and foes within and we have to trust God and embrace His word and not allow our fear to conquer us.

We don’t walk according to the faith of King Saul - putting our trust in the flesh. We walk according to the faith of King David - putting our trust in the Living God. We walk according to the faith of King Jesus - putting our trust in the Heavenly Father.

Paul tells us to take up our “shield of faith” (Eph. 6:13-17), our “belt of truth,” our “feet prepared to teach,” our “helmet of salvation” and our “sword of the Spirit.” And of course, in all of this, just like Jesus did, we pray with all perseverance (Eph. 6:18).

Take home message: Put your trust in King Jesus; He will strengthen you and sustain you.


Forgot Password?

Join Us