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David: A Man After God’s Own Heart Series – Sermon #12


2 Samuel 5:1-5

The Road To The Throne

Intro:  The nation of Israel is in a time of severe crisis.  Saul, the old king was killed by the Philistines in battle.  The three eldest sons of Saul were also killed with him.  This leaves the kingdom in disarray.  After Saul’s death, David returns from exile and goes to the city of Hebron.  When he arrives there, he is crowned King by the people of Judah, 2 Sam. 2:1-4a.  It appears that a change in dynasty is about to take place. 

      However, a little farther north, one of Saul’s sons, a man by the name of Ishbosheth has survived. Abner, who was the head of Saul’s army, quickly proclaims Ishbosheth as the King of Israel, 2 Sam. 2:8-10.  This sets the stage for a brutal civil war in Israel.  It also prevents David from seeing the immediate fulfillment of God’s promise to make him king over Israel.

      Thus we have the background for our Scripture passage.  The road to the throne for David was a difficult and rocky road.  It wound its way through some tragic and very dark byways.  David was had been scorned, hated, and vilified.  He had been hunted, hounded and harassed. But, eventually, David ended up right where the Lord had promised him he would: he ended up on the throne as the King of all Israel.

      As I read and study the events that surrounded David’s rise to power in Israel, I can see some parallels with events within your life and mine.  You see, from the moment David was crowned King in Judah, until he was crowned King over all the land, there were problems and trials that fell across his pathway.  In fact, there were some significant places, or points of interest, at which the nation of Israel stopped along the way.  So it is in the lives of most believers.  From the time we are saved, until the moment we reach the place of absolute surrender, and Jesus is crowned King in our hearts, we face the danger of pausing in the same locations.

      I would like for us to follow David as he travels the road to the throne today. I want to point out those places where Israel paused.  I want you to see the parallels between their experience and ours.  I would like to preach for a few minutes on the thought: The Road To The Throne.



A.  2:1-4a  The New King Is Crowned – David’s big day has come.  The moment he had waited for since he was a teenager had finally arrived.  He is accepted, adored and anointed by his people.  He is crowned king by the people of Judah. It must have been a jubilant day for David!  All the years of isolation and exile are over.  The years of being hunted like a wild animal have ended.  The days of waiting for the promises of God to be fulfilled in his life are at hand.  Surely, he must have thought that it would only be a few more days until the entire nation was bowing at the feet of their new king.

B.  2:8-11  The New King Is Challenged – No sooner is David crowned king in Judah, than some unexpected events begin to unfold up north.  Abner, in an effort to prop up the old kingdom of Saul, elevated Saul’s youngest son Ishbosheth to the throne of Israel.  All of the people, except the tribe of Judah, bow to Ishbosheth and proclaim him to be the king. 

            This event set the stage for the first real division within the nation of Israel.  The fact of this division is clearly seen in 2 Sam. 2:10.  What we have here is two kings attempting to rule the same nation; and that is a recipe for trouble!


(Note: What does this have to do with us?  I see here a parallel between these events and what happens in our own lives when we come to Jesus for salvation.  You see, when we are saved, we get a new King.  I would just remind you today that we serve the Lord Jesus Christ.  When a person comes to Jesus for salvation, they cannot accept Him as Savior today and then make Him Lord later.  He is the Lord Jesus.  It impossible to divorce His role as Savior from His role as Sovereign!  In other words, you cannot have Jesus as Savior unless you are willing to have Him as your King as well.  I realize that some folks don’t like that or believe that, but your objects do not change the facts.  Jesus is Lord of all, Acts 10:36, Rev. 19:16; Phil. 2:11, or He is not Lord at all!

      Now, that having been said, it is possible for a believer to offer Jesus Christ partial submission.  We come to Him for salvation with good intentions.  We want to be saved and we want to go all the way for the Lord, but somewhere along the way, we begin to pull back.  We begin to hold back areas of our lives that we control as we see fit. We keep back compartments of our heart that we reserve for our own use.  Instead of laying everything at the feet of Jesus and acknowledging Him to be the Lord over every square inch of our life, we hold back areas, often large areas, over which we rule.

      It may be some habit that we refuse to lay down.  It may be some person that we refuse to separate from.  It may be some activity that we refuse to give up.  It may some command that we refuse to obey. It may be some old grudge that we will not forgive.  The possibilities are endless, but the results are the same.  When we do this, we are guilty of partial submission to the Lord.  We are saying to Jesus, “I want all that you can give me.  I want Heaven.  I want a get out of Hell free card.  I want your best Jesus.  But, I will not give you my best in return.”  How many are living in that place today?)



(Ill. Because of this division in the land of Israel, a high price was paid by the people on both sides.  Their partial submission to God’s choice as their king cost them plenty in the form of the painful struggles they were forced to endure.)

A.  A Time Of Terrible Warfare – 2 Sam. 3:1 tells the tale.  “There was long warfare between the house of Saul and the house of David.”  Israel and Judah fought a bitter war over which party would rule the other.  Because of this warfare lives were lost, property was destroyed, families were devastated and lives were ruined.  But, in the end, the outcome was inevitable.  We are old that “David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.” It was a foregone conclusion that David and his army would win.  This had already been determined by the will of Almighty God, 1 Sam. 16:1, 12.  The war was waged, but it was a futile war in the end.


      (Note: When a believer’s life is only partially submitted to the Lord, warfare is always the result.  You see, from the moment we are saved, until the day we leave this world, the house of Saul (the old nature) makes war against the house of David (the rule of Christ in our hearts).  This warfare is clearly stated in the pages of the Bible, Gal. 5:17.  This is not just some abstract thought, however.  We have all experienced the trauma this battle can cause.  It is stated best by the words of Paul as he described this battle from his perspective, Rom. 7:14-25.  David also talked his battle with the sins of the flesh, Psa. 19:12-13; Psa. 65:3.

            I can identify with these men, how about you?  Where can the saint of God find victory over this warfare?  In total surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Gal. 5:16.  When the flesh rules, there will always be conflict in the soul Rom. 8:5, 13; Gal. 5:19-21.  When the Spirit of God rules, there will be peace and joy, Gal. 5:18, 22-25.

            So, if there is warfare in your soul this evening and you are paying a high price as the casualties of this war mount up in your life; the best thing you can do is lift high the flag of surrender.  Acknowledge Jesus as your King and let His peace reign in your life.)


B.  A Time Of Tragic Waste – In any war there are casualties.  A quick look at 2 Samuel 2-4 reveals that the casualties in this war were severe.  Let me list a few of them.

      1.  2:16-17 – Many men died in the first conflict of this war

      2.  2:18-29, 32 – A young soldier named Asahel was slain by a seasoned warrior named Abner.

3.  2:30-31 – 20 of David’s men are dead and 360 of Abner’s men die.

      4.  3:27-29 – Abner is murdered by Joab

5.  4:1-12 – Ishbosheth is beheaded while he sleeps by two assassins, and they are executed by David when they take the head of Ishbosheth to David.

      Sadly, none of this ever had to be!  If Israel had only bowed to the will of the Lord and accepted David as their King, they could have been all that grief and bloodshed.  Their partial submission cost them plenty!


(Note: As we think about the warfare in our own lives, and of the times when we have walked in partial surrender to the Lordship of Jesus; what has been wasted in our own lives?  Certainly time has been wasted.  People have lost months and years of their lives and service to God because they refused to bow in total submission to the King.  Testimonies have been wasted.  Opportunities have died before our very eyes while we wandered through the quagmire of partial submission to King Jesus.  Some people have allowed the whole of their Christian lives pass by, while they stubbornly refused to yield to His absolute control in their lives.  What a waste!  What a tragedy!  Won’t it be sad to stand before Him at the Judgment Seat of Christ and find out what could have been?  Won’t it be a harsh day when you have to stand and give an account of all the wasted days, wasted opportunities and wasted blessings?

      Thank God, not another moment has to be wasted!  The entire direction and devotion of your life can change in this very instant.  All that needs to be done is for you to surrender your all to Jesus and acknowledge Him to be your King, your Lord and your absolute Master.)


(Ill. A preacher tells the following story. “I was driving down a bumpy country road when I saw a bag of cement beside the road. It appeared to have fallen off a delivery truck as it hit one of the bumps in the rough road. Being a person who does not like to see anything wasted, I stopped to pick up the lost bag of cement. When I reached down to pick up this heavy bag, to my surprise, I discovered it was not soft and limber, as I had expected but had solidified into an immovable piece of cement.”

      Often our lives are like that bag of cement. They take on shapes that were not intended and become hardened in that shape. That bag of cement was meant to become a part of some beautiful structure but, because it did not reach its place of service, it became a useless rock in the form of a bag of cement. God wants to make something beautiful of your life. Don't let His purpose be thwarted by a bump in the road of life.  What a waste![1])


C.  A Time Of Troubled Waiting – While all of t his warfare and waste is going on, what is David doing?  If you read these chapters, he is not doing much at all.  He is mostly passive as the battles are being fought around him.  He is merely waiting on that moment when everything God has promised him will be delivered into his hands.  For David it was a time of patient, but troubled waiting.


      (Note: When Jesus saved us by His grace, He saved us for a purpose.  Do you believe that?  What was that purpose?  He saved us to serve Him and to do His will in the world, Eph. 2:10; Matt. 5:16; Col. 1:10; Titus 2:14; Heb. 13:21.  Yet, while we waste our time with partial surrender; He patiently waits for the day when we will finally yield ourselves totally to Him and to His will for our lives.

            While He waits, He speaks to us about our condition.  He speaks to us through the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost, John 16:13.  He speaks through His infallible, inerrant Word, 2 Tim, 3:16-17.  He speaks through chastisement and by using the circumstances of life to get our attention, Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:5-16.

            When He does these things, He is merely trying to show us that He has a better way for us to live our lives.  If we will only yield to Him, the warfare and the waste will be handled by Him.  The casualties will diminish and life will take on new meaning.  When Jesus is recognized to be the King of kings and the Lord of lords in our life, He establishes a kingdom of peace, love, joy and blessing.  That’s what we all want!  It only comes when Jesus is Lord of a life!)


(Ill. After two years of struggle and civil war, all the people of Israel come to David and anoint him to be king over the entire land.  This is the third time David is anointed for this office.  The first was by Samuel in 1 Sam. 16.  The second was by the people of Judah.  The third is by the entire nation.  They are finished with partial submission. They crown David King of Israel.  As they do, they acknowledge three great truths.  These are important to our understanding of what it means for Jesus to be our King as well.)

A.  v. 1  They Acknowledge A Relationship – They come to David acknowledging the fact that there is a family relationship between them.  They are saying, “David we are connected by blood.” Only one with that family connection would have been fit to rule over them.


      (Note: One of the first steps in yielding control of your life totally to the rule of King Jesus is to recognize our connection to Him.  He is qualified to be our King because He died on the cross to redeem us from our sins, 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 1:5; Isa. 53:4-8.  When we came to Him for salvation, we became connected to Jesus by His blood!  Most of us came to Jesus to get out of our sin trouble, right?  But, in any genuine salvation experience, there is also a genuine desire to repent and to serve the Lord, 1 Pet. 1:14-15; Titus 2:11-12.  In other words, a person who comes to Jesus for salvation also understands that he or she is saying goodbye to the old life of sin and hell to a new life of service and submission to the Lord, 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 5:6-8.  You can’t have Jesus as your Savior if you are unwilling to have Him as your Lord also!  It impossible to hold to the Lord with one hand while still clinging to the world with the other, Luke 16:13.  I know some will disagree, but it does not change the fact the Jesus is still, and always will be, the Lord Jesus Christ!  And, when you got Him, you did not get part of Him, you got all or nothing!)


B.  v. 2a  They Acknowledge A Responsibility – Israel remembers the heroic deeds of David.  They remember His power and the victories God gave Israel when he was leading the armies.  They remember all that David has done for the nation and they realize they have a responsibility to bow before him.


      (Note: If we would just stop to think of what Jesus has done for us, we would immediately see our responsibility to Him.  The very fact that He would die for us and save us from our sins and from an eternity in Hell is cause enough for us to bow before Him in humble surrender to His Lordship in our lives.  If we acknowledge the fact the He saved us we are also admitting the truth that we owe Him our very lives.  The very least we can do is surrender to Him as our Lord and our King, Rom. 12:1-2.)


C.  v. 2b  They Acknowledge A Revelation – They verbalize their understanding of the fact that David was King of Israel by the will of God.  They seem to grasp the truth that to bow to David as their king is to bow to the will of God for their lives and for their nation.


      (Note: So it is in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ!  Jesus is Lord!  Not because I say so, but because God has said so, Acts 2:36.  So, our duty to Him is to bow to Him; acknowledge Him to be Lord of all; and do our best to honor Him as our Savior, our Lord, our God and our King.  After all, we will give and account to Him someday of how we have responded to His lordship in our lives, Rom. 14:8-12.)


Conc:  The road to the throne was long and hard for David; but he finally arrived there and was crowned king of all Israel.  Imagine the hardships the nation would have been spared if they had bowed before David as soon as Saul died!

      But, let’s not be too hard on those folks.  I am speaking to people today who have yet to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and King in your life.  You are saved, but you are not totally surrender to Him.  He is still walking the hard, long road to the throne in your heart. 

      Now, I know that we all have trouble in this area.  I know I do!  There are times when I seem to say, “Lord, how about letting me sit on the throne for a while?”  You ever do that?  I wonder how many of us are saying in our hearts today something like this: “God being my witness, I want to enthrone Him in my heart and life and declare Him to be Lord of all.  I want to bow at His feet and yield everything to Him.  I am tired of the warfare.  I am tired of the wasted opportunities.  I am tired of making Him wait to have what is truly His. I want to bow once and for all and surrender everything to Jesus.  I am His by relationship.  I know that He is King by revelation and I know that I have a responsibility to bow before Him and enthrone Him in my heart as my Lord and King”?  Is that your heart tonight?  If it is, follow through on that desire.  Bow before Him and end the battles, end the bloodshed and enthrone Jesus in your heart.  If you are not saved, realize all that He did for you and come to the King for what your heart needs today.  Those who love the King obey the King, John 14:15.

[1] http://elbourne.org/sermons/index.mv?illustration+4263

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