Introduction: 1 Chronicles 14 records some of the events of 2 Samuel 5, when David became king. Here, Chronicles focuses on God’s blessings upon David as God’s anointed king. David received these blessings through his faith, his obedience, and God’s grace. From David’s example, God reveals seven blessings that He makes available to all believers. These include: (1) success, (2) fertility, (3) courage, (4) victory, (5) holiness, (6) guidance, and (7) honor.
First, after a foreign king from within the Promised Land submitted to David as king, David realized that God had blessed him with all the things that he would need to be a successful king. When you live by faith, God will also bless you with all that you need to be successful for Him. Second, in his moment of triumph, David misused God’s blessings to take on multiple wives and concubines. Yet, out of God’s grace, He blessed David with many children. If it is God’s will, He will also bless you with fertility out of His grace. Third, because David had faith, he faced his enemies with courage. If you have faith, God will also bless you with courage in the face of trials or tribulations. Fourth, when the Philistines attacked David’s forces, David cried out to God in faith, and God defeated the Philistines. When you walk in faith like David, God may also grant you victory over your enemies. Fifth, after David seized the Philistines’ idols, he burned them. David rejected the customs of the day, which would have allowed him to keep the idols. God blessed David’s desire for purity with His holiness. If you have faith and seek to be pure, God will also bless you with His holiness. Sixth, when the Philistines gathered to attack the Jews, David asked for and received God’s guidance. From David’s example, God reveals that He will bless you with His guidance when you diligently seek His will. If you have faith, God will also bless you with guidance. Finally, because of his faith, even David’s enemies respected him. If you are faithful and obey, God will also bless you with honor and respect.
God blessed David with everything he needed to succeed as king. As evidence of God’s blessings, a king in modern Lebanon submitted to David. David showed himself to be God’s servant by giving Him the credit: “1 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David with cedar trees, masons and carpenters, to build a house for him. 2 And David realized that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that his kingdom was highly exalted, for the sake of His people Israel.” (1 Chr. 14:1-2; 2 Sam. 5:11-12). God previously allocated the city of Tyre in Southern Lebanon as part of the inheritance of the tribe of Asher and as the northern border of the Promised Land: “The border turned to Ramah and to the fortified city of Tyre; . . .” (Josh. 19:29). The Jews had shown a lack of faith to claim this territory. Yet, even though the Jews were unfaithful, God remained faithful to His promises by giving this territory to David. David realized that God had blessed him with all of the resources that he would need to unify the nation for God.
When you walk with faith-led obedience, God can bless you with success. If a country is obedient to God, He promises to exalt that country above other nations. “1 Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God: . . .6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.” (Dt. 28:1-2, 6). The words “when you come in” and “when you go out” is a literary expression called a “merism.” By stating that the Jews will be blessed when they come in and when they go out, God was promising to bless them in all that they did. For example, as a result of the obedience that came from Abraham’s faith, he was blessed with success in everything he did, even in his old age (Gen. 24:1). Likewise, as a result of his faith and obedience during his testing, God rewarded Job by allowing him to live to be 140 (Job 42:16). God also rewarded David for his faith by blessing the nation of Israel with all the tools that the nation would need to succeed.
God blesses you for His glory and not your own. David showed himself to be a Spirit-led king by giving God the credit for his blessings and by realizing that His blessings were not meant to glorify David (1 Chr. 14:2; 2 Sam. 5:12). David knew that they did not deserve God’s blessings. Thus, he frequently offered God songs of thanksgiving: “. . . To you I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and call upon the name of the Lord, I shall pay my vows to the Lord.” (Ps. 116:1, 17-18). “ . . . I will render thank offerings to You. For you have delivered my soul from death.” (Ps. 56:12-13; 116:8). “. . . Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing.” (Ps. 107:1, 2, 22). “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18). “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;” (Eph. 5:20). Are you also giving God the credit for your blessings?
God blessed David with many children. Although David showed great faith and obedience, he failed to guard his heart in his success. As a result, he allowed his old temptations of the flesh to overcome him and take on more wives and concubines. God, however, showed grace in blessing David with many children: “3 Then David took more wives at Jerusalem, and David became the father of more sons and daughters. 4 These are the names of the children born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 5 Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, 6 Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 7 Elishama, Beeliada and Eliphelet.” (1 Chr. 14:3-7; 2 Sam. 5:13-14). Before arriving in Hebron, David had two wives (1 Sam. 25:43). During his seven-year reign in Hebron, he took four additional wives (2 Sam. 3:2-5). David then forced Abner to kidnap his former wife Michal and make her his seventh wife (2 Sam. 3:12-16). Here, David expanded his number of wives and concubines further. God, however, still blessed him with many children.
God can also bless with fertility. God can also bless an obedient person or nation with fertility: “4 Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.” (Dt. 28:4). With obedience: “He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, . . .” (Dt. 7:12-13). If you keep the Commandments, “you may live and multiply . . .” (Dt. 30:16). The Jews first left Israel as a clan of 70 people (Gen. 46:27). They spent approximately 400 years in captivity (Gen. 15:13- “400”; Ex. 12:40-“430”). After spending two years in the wilderness, God told Moses to assemble and count the men of fighting age who would invade the Promised Land (Nu. 1:1). At that time, the men of fighting age totaled 603,550 (Num. 1:46). Although the Jews stagnated during their forty years in the wilderness, the tribes that were obedient still managed to grow. For example, the Manasseh tribe began with 32,200 fighting men (Nu. 1:35). By the end of their 38-year-journey, their fighting men totaled 52,700 (Nu. 26:34). This was an increase of 20,500 or 63.66%. A person can also be blessed with fertility when they are obedient. Hannah is one example (1 Sam. 1:27). He can also multiply your endeavors for Him.
Don’t allow success to cause your guard to go down. David was at his best when he was threatened and forced to cling closely to God. By contrast, David’s greatest failures of his faith came during his times of success. During his times of success, he felt entitled to gratify the desires of his flesh and took more wives or concubines. His sense of entitlement would later grow and cause him to see no conflict in sleeping with Bathsheba while she was married to Uriah. He first lusted after her (2 Sam. 11:2). His secret lust later led him to commit adultery with her (2 Sam. 11:4). When his adultery lead to Bathsheba’ pregnancy (and he could not convince her husband Uriah to sleep with her), he had Uriah killed to try cover his tracks (2 Sam. 11:14-17). Satan will exploit any opening that you give him. If you let your guard down when times are good, Satan will entrap you. Do you allow success or times of plenty to cause you to drop your guard?
God’s blessings of fertility are based upon His grace. David never deserved God’s blessings. For three reasons, David’s actions violated God’s law. First, he violated God’s Tenth Commandment against coveting (Ex. 20:17; Dt. 5:21). Second, he violated God’s law against a leader having more than one wife: “17 He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; . . ..” (Dt. 17:17(a)). God always meant for marriage to be reserved for one man and one woman (Matt. 19:4-6; 1 Tim. 3:2). Third, to become king, David would have taken an oath to follow God’s law as an example for his people. He was further required to write a copy of God’s law in the presence of the priests to stay accountable (Dt. 17:18). By violating his oath to uphold God’s law, he took God’s holy name in vain and broke the Third Commandment (Ex. 20:7; Dt. 5:11). David’s sins showed that God’s blessings of fertility were based upon His grace alone.
God’s grace does not give believers a license to sin. When someone longs for the things of the flesh, God will eventually hand that person over to his lusts (Ro. 1:28). There can be no family peace when a man has more than one wife (Dt. 21:15-17). The consequences on the parents and the children is both misery and sorrow. For example, each of the children listed in these verses fought with each other and David for power and control. As a result of David’s later adultery, his health also suffered (Ps. 38:3, 18). Thus, if you misuse God’s grace and sin, you will likely experience anguish and sorrow.
God blessed David with a spirit of courage. As evidence of both God’s grace and David’s faith-led obedience, God also blessed David with courage: “8 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up in search of David; and David heard of it and went out against them.” (1 Chr. 14:8; 2 Sam. 5:17.) When he trusted God, David did not fear any enemy or challenge.
God can also bless you with a Spirit of courage. God’s blessing of courage is a gift that He wants to give to everyone who serves Him. When you have faith, He can also bless you with the courage. “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” (1 Tim. 1:7). “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Ro. 8:15). If you are under attack, cry out for the Spirit’s strength.
Be encouraged and strengthened by the Spirit. God knows when your faith is weak. When you let His Spirit lead you, He will encourage and strengthen you: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” (Eph. 6:10). “On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul.” (Ps. 138:3). “He said, ‘O man of high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace be with you; take courage and be courageous!’ Now as soon as he spoke to me, I received strength and said, ‘May my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”’ (Dan. 10:19). “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Ro. 8:14). If you are feeling weak or depressed, are you praying in faith for Him to strengthen and encourage you?
God blessed David with victory over his enemies. Although David did not deserve God’s blessings, God also gave David grace on the battlefield. When David enquired in faith after the Philistines threatened him, God promised David victory if he went out to confront them: “9 Now the Philistines had come and made a raid in the valley of Rephaim. 10 David inquired of God, saying, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines? And will You give them into my hand?’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Go up, for I will give them into your hand.’ 11 So they came up to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there; and David said, ‘God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like the breakthrough of waters.’ Therefore they named that place Baal-perazim.” (1 Chr. 14:9-11; 2 Sam. 5:18-19). Because of David’s faith, God was faithful to keep His Word. The name “Baal-perazim” is literally translated as the “possessor (or lord) of breaches.” God can defeat any stronghold of the enemy in your life. With God on his side, David’s soldiers cut through the enemy like water. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Ro. 8:31). If you face a difficult test or an adversary, trust God and have faith in Him to protect you from danger.
When you walk in faith, God will defeat your enemies. David became great because “greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him.” (2 Sam. 5:10). The “Lord of hosts” was one of God’s many names: “Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.” (Ps. 24:10). In a pre-incarnate appearance to Joshua, Jesus revealed Himself to be the “Lord of hosts”. “He said, ‘No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, ‘What has my lord to say to his servant?’” (Josh. 5:14). When the Jews walked in faith and obedience, the Lord of Hosts promised them victory (Lev. 26:7-8; Ex. 23:22; Nu 10:9, 35; Isa. 54:17; Gen. 22:17). “7 The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways.” (Dt. 28:7). For those who are obedient and take refuge in God in the face of the enemy, He promises to be a shield against the enemy’s fiery darts: “He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” (Prov. 30:5(b); 2 Sam. 22:31). For example, God used Gideon’s army of 300 soldiers to kill 120,000 enemy Midianites (Jdgs. 7:16-22; 8:10). God also helped Jonathon kill 20 enemy soldiers (1 Sam. 14:14). Likewise, it was God’s blessing that allowed David to kill Goliath (1 Sam. 17:50-58) and the Philistines (1 Sam. 18:5-6, 13-16, 27-30). If you will walk in faith-led obedience, Jesus, the Lord of Hosts, will also defeat your enemies.
God blessed David with the desire to be holy, separated from evil. After God granted him victory, David immediately destroyed the idols of the Philistines: “12 They abandoned their gods there; so David gave the order and they were burned with fire.” (1 Chr. 14:11-12; 2 Sam. 5:21). David’s men then acted faithfully and took away and destroyed the idols of the Philistines. David desired God’s purity even though he was a sinner. Because he tried to be pure, God poured out His holiness upon him.
Be holy in your walk. The standard in David’s time was for a king to take the idols of a defeated enemy. Yet, David held himself to God’s standards, not the world’s standards. You must hold yourself to God’s standards, even when everyone else fails to follow them: “For I am the LORD your God . . . be holy, for I am holy.” (Lev. 11:44). “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.” (Lev. 19:2). “You are to be my holy people.” (Ex. 22:31). “for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” (1 Pet. 1:16). Jesus is the light of the world today (Jo. 8:12). His light burns inside you as a beacon for those around you (Matt. 5:14). In turn, you are commanded to share the hope that lies within you (1 Pet. 3:15; Matt. 28:19-20). You are also an “ambassador” for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20). When you aspire to be pure, God will bless you with His holiness.
Destroy the idols in your life. The Jews were warned not to keep any of the idols that they plundered. “Then you shall gather all its booty into the middle of its open square and burn the city and all its booty with fire as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God; and it shall be a ruin forever. It shall never be rebuilt.” (Dt. 13:16). “But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban, and make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it. But all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the LORD; they shall go into the treasury of the LORD.” (Josh. 6:18-19). The anger of God “burned” against all of Israel when one man named Achan kept idols after God defeated Jericho (Josh. 7:1). As a result of this one man’s actions, the Jews lost the first battle of Ai (Josh. 7:2-5). If God blesses you, He does not want you to use His mercy and grace as an excuse to embrace the idols of the flesh. Even if an idol of the flesh does not cause you to stumble, your actions can cause others to stumble.
Hezekiah also had the faith to destroy idols when every king after David failed to do so. David was sadly the last king for hundreds of years who was willing to smash the idols of the Canaanites. After David, every future king until Hezekiah tolerated idols. Like David, Hezekiah smashed the pagan idols in Judah, and he restored proper worship both in the Temple and throughout the country (2 Chron. 32:12; 31:20; 30:1-27; 29:2-36). Because he had the faith and obedience to smash pagan idols, God praised Hezekiah (2 Kgs. 18:3). Besides David and Hezekiah, only two other kings had this honor. Another was Josiah (2 Kgs. 22:2). Asa also held this honor at the beginning of his reign (1 Kgs. 15:11). Yet, he then refused to remove the pagan high places, and he used the gold in the Temple to form an alliance with the Syrians against Northern Israel (1 Kgs. 15:14, 18-22). Thus, there are only two kings after David who can be considered to be holy throughout their reigns. God does not want you to look to the example of the world for holiness. Instead, like David, seek after God’s heart.
God blessed David by guiding his steps. When the Philistines attacked again, God’s battle plan was very different from His first plan. Instead of attacking the enemy head on, He had the Jews win the battle through cunning strategy and surprise: “13 The Philistines made yet another raid in the valley. 14 David inquired again of God, and God said to him, ‘You shall not go up after them; circle around behind them and come at them in front of the balsam trees. 15 It shall be when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you shall go out to battle, for God will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines.’ 16 David did just as God had commanded him, and they struck down the army of the Philistines from Gibeon even as far as Gezer.” (1 Chr. 14:13-16; 2 Sam. 5:22-25). God planned to confuse the enemy with the sounds His angels created while marching on top of the balsam trees near the enemy encampment. Yet, God’s plan was only revealed when David sought out His will through prayer. Here, God reveals that not every battle is the same. Believers must not only consult with God about what God wants them to do but also how He wants His will to be implemented. Believers must have the same faith-led obedience to implement God’s will.
Consult the Holy Spirit through the Word and prayer in all major decisions. David did not presume that God would automatically fight for him in any battle. He needed to first make sure that he was acting according to God’s will. God always rewarded David when he consulted with God before an attack on the Philistines. “So David inquired of the LORD, saying, ‘Shall I go and attack these Philistines?’ And the LORD said to David, ‘Go and attack the Philistines and deliver Keilah.’” (1 Sam. 23:2). Believers are also warned against the sin of presumption whereby they simply presume to know God’s will (Jam. 4:13-17). “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Prov. 14:12). Today, Jesus has left you with His Word to guide your feet: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps. 119:105; Prov. 6:23). “I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.” (Jer. 10:23). He has also left you the Holy Spirit to apply His Word: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;” (Jo. 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7; Ro. 8:26). He will also guide you in prayer when you seek wisdom: “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (Ja. 1:5). Are you seeking His guidance through the Word and prayer?
Be obedient to receive God’s full blessings in battle. Only after David obeyed God’s Word did he prevail in battle (1 Chr. 14:16; 2 Sam. 5:25). There are many times in the Bible where God gave instructions and then recorded how the Jews meticulously followed His instructions. By recording the details of their acts of obedience, He stresses the importance of being obedient to all of His commands for you, not just the ones that you like or agree with. When the Jews walked in obedience, they defeated every enemy that they faced. By contrast, they lost battles when they were disobedient. Today, Christians are no longer “under the law” in the sense that they must comply with it to be saved (Gal. 5:18; Ro. 7:6; 8:3; Matt. 5:17). Yet, Jesus also says that, if we love Him, we will keep His commandments: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jo. 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 Jo. 5:3; 2 Jo. 1:6). Jesus is the great “I AM” who gave Moses the Ten Commandments at Mount Horeb (Jo. 8:58; Ex. 3:14). His “disciples” were the “disciplined ones” in keeping His commandments. As bondservants or freed slaves, they were obedient out of love, not obligation. Whether you follow the law out of love instead of obligation is also a test for whether you really know Him: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 Jo. 2:3; 1 Cor. 7:19). Is there any area in your life where you are being disobedient to God?
Don’t always expect a visible sign to discern God’s will. This battle plan also reveals that God does not always use a visible sign to show His will. On multiple occasions, God helped the Jews defeat their enemies through conventional military ambushes (Jdgs. 20:29, 32; Josh. 8:1-9; 2 Kgs 7:12; 2 Chr. 13:13). He does not need to part the Red Sea or the River Jordan to show that He is fighting for you. He also may not work in the same way when He intervenes for you. Yet, the basis for victory is always the same. It includes trusting and obeying God. When you are attacked, do you trust and obey Him?
Satan will use the same spiritual attacks against you until you change your response. God told David to wait until He drew the Philistines out of their hiding places. In a similar way, God told Joshua before the battle of Ai to draw out an enemy king before attacking him. (Josh. 8:1-9). Just as the Philistines used the same strategy to try to defeat the Jews, Satan will use the same strategy to entrap you until you change your response. If you put yourself in a place where you are weak, Satan will try to entrap you. Have you removed yourself from environments where Satan can easily tempt you?
Victory requires the body of Christ to work together. Just as there are different kinds of military campaigns, this battle reveals that there are different kinds of spiritual warfare as well. In some circumstances, the enemy can be rebuked through faith and prayer in Jesus’ name. Yet, there are many spiritual strongholds that cannot be broken without the help of other believers. This requires that churches have times of prayer and fasting in coordination with others to pray for the nation. Christians should also act together in the political arena to be salt and light in the world. As salt, the Church must sting in the wound of sin. Are you praying and fasting with others for the nation?
God blessed David with honor and respect. Out of grace, God also blessed David with honor and respect, even amongst his enemies: “17 Then the fame of David went out into all the lands; and the Lord brought the fear of him on all the nations.” (1 Chr. 14:17). God allowed David these honors because David gave God the credit. Sadly, many believers receive this same blessing of respect and assumed that they deserve the credit.
An obedient nation will be blessed with respect. God will also bless an obedient nation with fear or respect from its enemies: “10 So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will be afraid of you.” (Dt. 28:10). When God was protecting His people, we see many examples of where other nations feared them. For example, Pharaoh feared God’s wrath when he almost took Abraham’s wife Sarah as his wife (Gen. 12:17-20). As another example, as the Jews prepared to invade the Promised Land, Rahab told Joshua’s two spies that the Canaanites feared the Jews and their God because God defeated Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea and the armies of two different Amorite kings in Jordan (Josh. 2:10-11). After defeating the Amorites, the Jews traveled back to the plains of Moab where they stayed until God gave the word for Joshua to take them into the Promised Land (Nu. 22:1). There, the Moabites feared the Jews (Nu. 22:3-4). Their fear caused the Moabite King Balak to hire the sorcerer Balaam in an unsuccessful attempt to cast a spell on Israel (Nu. 22:7). The kings of Canaan again feared the Jews and their God when they invaded. The Canaanites “heard how the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the sons of Israel until they had crossed, that their hearts melted, and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the sons of Israel.” (Josh. 5:1). “Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed; the leaders of Moab, trembling grips them; all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. Terror and dread fall upon them; by the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone; until Your people pass over, O LORD, until the people pass over whom You have purchased.” (Ex. 15:15-16). All who oppose Israel are subject to the curse that God promised to Abraham (Gen. 12:3). Today, the nations that surround Israel again fear it because God has blessed it. Nations who fight against Israel should not expect God’s blessings.
An obedient nation will be exalted over other nations. If a country is obedient to God, He promises to exalt that country above other nations. “1 Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God:” (Dt. 28:1-2). With obedience to His Commandments, “He will set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the LORD your God, as He has spoken.” (Dt. 26:19). When David was obedient to God, God blessed his entire kingdom by exalting it above the nations: “And David realized that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that his kingdom was highly exalted, for the sake of His people Israel.” (1 Chron. 14:2). As a result of the obedience that came from his faith, God also turned Abraham’s descendants into a great nation: “And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing.” (Gen. 12:2).
God’s promise that you will find peace with certain enemies. When you walk with God, He promises that even your enemies will be at peace with you: “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Prov. 16:7). “Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?” (1 Pet. 3:13). If you find yourself in constant conflict with others, are you looking at your own walk?