Sunday PM, April 26th, 2020

“Becoming a Person After God’s Own Heart”

“The Road to the Throne”

II Samuel 5:1-5

 

The nation of Israel was in a time of severe crisis. Saul was dead. The three eldest sons of Saul were also dead. This left the kingdom in disarray. After Saul’s death, David returned from exile and went to the city of Hebron. When he arrived there, he was crowned King by the people of Judah. It appeared that a change in dynasty was about to take place. However, a little farther north, one of Saul’s sons, a man by the name of Ishbosheth had survived. Abner, who was the head of Saul’s army, quickly proclaimed Ishbosheth as the King of Israel. This set the stage for a brutal civil war in Israel. It also prevented David from seeing the immediate fulfillment of God’s promise to make him king over Israel.

This is the background for our message. The road to the throne for David was a difficult and rocky road. It wound its way through some tragic and very dark days. David had been scorned, hated, and criticized. 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 in our lives. 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 came across his path. In fact, there were some significant places 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 places. I want to point out those places and to see the parallels between us and them.

 

I. The Place of Partial Submission.

David’s big day has come, vs. 2:1-4a. 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.

No sooner was David crowned king in Judah, than some unexpected events began to unfold up north, vs. 2:8-11. 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, bowed to Ishbosheth and proclaim him to be the king. This event set the stage for the first real division within the nation of Israel, v. 10. What we have here is two kings attempting to rule the same nation, and that is a recipe for trouble !

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. 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 is impossible to divorce His role as Savior, from His role as Sovereign ! Jesus is Lord of all, 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. 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 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 ?

 

II. The Place of Painful Struggles, vs. 2:12-4:12.

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, v. 3:1. 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. It was a foregone conclusion that David and his army would win. This had already been determined by the will of God.

When a believer’s life is only partially submitted to the Lord, warfare is always the result. From the moment we are saved, until the day we leave this world, the old nature makes war against the rule of Christ in our hearts. Where can the saint of God find victory over this warfare ? In total surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. When the flesh rules, there will always be conflict in the soul. When the Spirit of God rules, there will be peace and joy. 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 the flag of surrender. Acknowledge Jesus as your King and let His peace reign.

B. A Time of Tragic Waste. In any war there are casualties. 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 spared all that grief and bloodshed. Their partial submission cost them plenty !

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 to 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 ?

C. A Time of Troubled Waiting. While all of this warfare and waste is going on, what is David doing ? If you read these chapters, he is not doing much at all. 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.

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. 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 Holy Ghost. He speaks through His Word. He speaks through chastisement and by using the circumstances of life to get our attention. When He does these things, He is trying to show us that He has a better way for us to live our lives.

 

III. The Place of Profound Surrender, vs. 5:1-5

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. 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. They Acknowledge a Relationship, v. 1. 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.

When we came to Jesus for salvation, we became connected to Him by His blood ! We became the children of God ! We have a relationship !

B. They Acknowledge a Responsibility, v. 2a. Israel remembers the heroic deeds of David and the victories God gave Israel when he was leading the armies. They realize they have a responsibility to bow before him.

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 sin and from an eternity in Hell is cause enough for us to bow before Him in humble surrender to His Lordship in our lives.

C. They Acknowledge a Revelation, v. 2b. They state their understanding of the fact that David was King of Israel by the will of God. They seem to understand that to bow to David as their king is to bow to the will of God for their lives and for their nation.

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. So, our duty to Him is to bow to Him, acknowledge Him to be Lord of all, and to honor Him as our Savior, our Lord, our God and our King.