1 Chronicles
Introduction 1-2 The Kingship of David Established 3-7 Family of David 8-12 David Defeats the Philistines 13-17 David Defeats the Philistines Again
Introduction

In 2 Samuel 6 after the failure of David in retrieving the ark (2Sam 6:1-111Now David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.2And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the LORD of hosts who is enthroned [above] the cherubim.3They placed the ark of God on a new cart that they might bring it from the house of Abinadab which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart.4So they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Ahio was walking ahead of the ark.5Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD with all kinds of [instruments made of] fir wood, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals.6But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset [it].7And the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God.8David became angry because of the LORD’s outburst against Uzzah, and that place is called Perez-uzzah to this day.9So David was afraid of the LORD that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the LORD come to me?”10And David was unwilling to move the ark of the LORD into the city of David with him; but David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.11Thus the ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household.) directly the story follows that he brings the ark in the right way to Jerusalem (2Sam 6:12-1912Now it was told King David, saying, “The LORD has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, on account of the ark of God.” David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness.13And so it was, that when the bearers of the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling.14And David was dancing before the LORD with all [his] might, and David was wearing a linen ephod.15So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.16Then it happened [as] the ark of the LORD came into the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.17So they brought in the ark of the LORD and set it in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.18When David had finished offering the burnt offering and the peace offering, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.19Further, he distributed to all the people, to all the multitude of Israel, both to men and women, a cake of bread and one of dates and one of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed each to his house.). The chronicler does not do that. Before continuing with the description of the upbringing of the ark in 1 Chronicles 15, he mentions in this chapter some events that have already taken place. It seems that he wants to encourage the remnant with this. He wants to tell them that David is dismissed by the LORD, but remains the man of His pleasure.

To this end, this chapter describes events and messages which make this clear, regardless of the chronological order. It is a chapter full of blessings that are the part of David. Just as David by his unfaithfulness is not put away by the LORD, so may the returned remnant, for whom the books of Chronicles are written, know that they also have not been dismissed by the LORD. They are a remnant blessed by the LORD.

In the fight against the Philistines in the second part of this chapter we see another aspect. There we see that David is exercised to learn to consult the LORD. The blessed results of this, the two victories, are meant to give David courage to raise the ark to Jerusalem. This will also happen in the next chapter.


The Kingship of David Established

1Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David with cedar trees, masons and carpenters, to build a house for him. 2And 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.

The encouraging remarks begin with the mention of the friendship statements of Hiram, the king of Syria. These expressions of friendship consist of sending materials and people to build a house for David. In what Hiram does, we see the fulfillment of God’s promises that He will bless His people by also making the nations subservient to His people (Isa 60:55“Then you will see and be radiant,
And your heart will thrill and rejoice;
Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you,
The wealth of the nations will come to you.
; 61:66But you will be called the priests of the LORD;
You will be spoken of [as] ministers of our God.
You will eat the wealth of nations,
And in their riches you will boast.
). Such kindness is also experienced by the remnant returned from Babylonian exile (Ezra 1:1-41Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also [put it] in writing, saying:2“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.3Whoever there is among you of all His people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel; He is the God who is in Jerusalem.4Every survivor, at whatever place he may live, let the men of that place support him with silver and gold, with goods and cattle, together with a freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.’”; 6:88Moreover, I issue a decree concerning what you are to do for these elders of Judah in the rebuilding of this house of God: the full cost is to be paid to these people from the royal treasury out of the taxes of [the provinces] beyond the River, and that without delay.).

David’s reputation is gaining wide recognition. He owes this not to himself, but to the LORD. He gives him that great name. He does not do this primarily for David, the man after his heart, but “for the sake of His people Israel”. Through David he blesses his people. Here we see the great love of God for His people. Something similar we hear from the mouth of the queen of Sheba about Solomon. She says that the LORD has appointed Solomon king over Israel “because the LORD loved Israel forever” (1Kgs 10:99Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel; because the LORD loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.”).

In the same way, the church is the object of the love of God, a love which He proves by even giving His Son as Head above all else to the church (Eph 1:22-2322And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.). Christ is the Man according to God’s heart, through whom He gives all blessings to each of His individually and to His people as a whole. We too should be a blessing to each member of the church individually and to the church as a whole. In a broader sense, we must be a blessing for all people, that is to say, we pass on the blessing we ourselves have received from the Lord. God wants us to be channels of His blessing in every respect.


Family of David

3Then David took more wives at Jerusalem, and David became the father of more sons and daughters. 4These are the names of the children born [to him] in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 5Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, 6Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 7Elishama, Beeliada and Eliphelet.

David takes still more women, as the kings used to do in the countries around him. It is not an endorsement of what he does, for it is not according to God’s thoughts from the beginning and it also goes against the king’s law (Deu 17:17a17He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.). It is mentioned here to underline the grace of God. We see that grace expressed therein, that among his children are “Nathan” and “Solomon” (verse 44These are the names of the children born [to him] in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon,). Nathan is the ancestor of Mary, and Solomon is the ancestor of Joseph. Through them run the genealogies of the Lord Jesus given in Luke 3 and Matthew 1 (Lk 3:31-3231the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David,32the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon,; Mt 1:66Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.).


David Defeats the Philistines

8When 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. 9Now the Philistines had come and made a raid in the valley of Rephaim. 10David 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.” 11So 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. 12They abandoned their gods there; so David gave the order and they were burned with fire.

The Philistines go up against David as soon as they hear that David is “anointed king over all Israel”. That places us back in time to 1 Chronicles 11, where David is anointed king over all Israel (1Chr 11:33So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD through Samuel.). This fact leads the Philistines “to go up in search of David”, not to honor him like Hiram, but to kill him. The battle that the Philistines search of is intended by the LORD as an exercise for David to teach him to consult Him. He did not do this in the previous chapter when he brought up the ark. Now he gets a do-over to consult the LORD. This is the practical reason.

The spiritual reason is that there are spiritual conditions attached to what we want to do for the Lord. The first condition is that we must do what we want to do for the Lord in the way He indicates. Another condition is that in doing the Lord’s will we keep ‘the Philistines’ as far away from us as possible. Philistines claim the same place as God’s people, while they are not God’s people. They are a picture of the nominal Christians, who confess that Jesus is Lord, but are essentially His enemies (Mt 7:22-2322Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’).

David inquires of God, of Him Who is the Almighty, if he should go up and also if God will give his enemies into his hand. The LORD, the God of the covenant with His people, answers both questions in the affirmative. When David goes up, he defeats the Philistines, as the LORD has said. He gives God the honor of the victory and gives the place where it happens the name that honors God as the Lord of victory. “Baal-perazim” means “Lord of the eruptions”.

The name Baal-perazim reminds of the name Perez-uzza (1Chr 13:1111Then David became angry because of the LORD’s outburst against Uzza; and he called that place Perez-uzza to this day.), that is to say of the burning of the anger of the LORD against Uzza (Perazim is the plural of Perez). In Uzza, the burning of God’s anger is the result of not consulting the LORD. Here the LORD’s anger burns against the enemy because David has asked God and is walking in His way.

David’s description of how the victory is achieved – he speaks of “a breakthrough of water” – is reminiscent of the violence of a torrential flood. Apparently David ran with his army down from the heights and ran the enemies underfoot (cf. Jdg 4:14-1614Deborah said to Barak, “Arise! For this is the day in which the LORD has given Sisera into your hands; behold, the LORD has gone out before you.” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him.15The LORD routed Sisera and all [his] chariots and all [his] army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from [his] chariot and fled away on foot.16But Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth-hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not even one was left.).

The Philistines who were able to escape have not thought of taking their gods with them in their haste to flee. Their gods, whom they have taken with them to help them in their fight against David, have of course served them in nothing. How worthless they are is underlined when they are burned on David’s orders. This is done in accordance with the commandment of God (Deu 7:5,25a5But thus you shall do to them: you shall tear down their altars, and smash their [sacred] pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire.25The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, or you will be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the LORD your God.).


David Defeats the Philistines Again

13The Philistines made yet another raid in the valley. 14David 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. 15It 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.” 16David did just as God had commanded him, and they struck down the army of the Philistines from Gibeon even as far as Gezer. 17Then the fame of David went out into all the lands; and the LORD brought the fear of him on all the nations.

The Philistines have suffered a defeat, but they do not give up the battle. We must also remember that we are dealing with an indefatigable enemy who will never give in. Every defeat we inflict on him will sooner or later be followed by another attack. So also here.

Again the Philistines seek the attack against David. It will result in a second battle, which will result in more enemies being defeated and the power and fame of David being spread in all countries (verse 17a17Then the fame of David went out into all the lands; and the LORD brought the fear of him on all the nations.). There is also great fear for him in all nations, a fear which the LORD places on them (verse 17b17Then the fame of David went out into all the lands; and the LORD brought the fear of him on all the nations.).

When the enemies threaten David again, he inquires of God again for advice. He is not lax and does not ignore the enemy. He recognizes the danger. At the same time he is not overconfident in assuming that it will be good to attack the enemy again because it was good the first time. God also answers now, but indicates that David must now follow a different tactic.

It means a new exercise for David in following the instructions of God. The exercise he gets now is bigger than the first one. He must wait for God and listen carefully if he hears Him. The sound he has to pay attention to is “the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam tree”. This sound must not have been the rustling of the leaves, but the sound of Someone walking (cf. Gen 3:8a8They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.). It will be an army of God, an angelic power, facing the enemies of Israel.

Only when God sets the signal to green, David may go. He does so. The result is that the Philistines are again completely defeated. The Philistines who fled are followed far away and killed.

If we notice God’s work around us, it is like “the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam tree”. It should arouse us to prayer and commitment. When we hear that some believers want to pray together, it is a ‘sound of God’s footsteps’. A time of crisis or tragedy in our lives is also like the sound of God’s footsteps. If we hear that sound, let us go more than before into the struggle of prayer.

In prayer we can fight for a blessing on the preaching of God’s Word, both in the gospel and in the building up of the church. God is busy and uses us to do His work.

David goes out to defeat the enemies and does what God has commanded him to do and defeats the enemies. Doing what God says is the way that victories are achieved.


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