1 Chronicles 14 – David’s Throne Is Secured at Jerusalem
A. David’s home in Jerusalem.
1. (1-2) The royal palace of David.
Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, with masons and carpenters, to build him a house. So David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, for his kingdom was highly exalted for the sake of His people Israel.
a. To build him a house: This shows David’s influence and importance. Neighboring kings honor him with the finest craftsmen and wood to build him a palace. This relationship with Hiram king of Tyre also shows that David was more than a man of war. He knew how to build important political alliances.
b. So David knew: David knew two things that made his reign great. Every godly leader should know these two things well.
· David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel: David knew that God called him and established him over Israel.
· His kingdom was highly exalted for the sake of His people Israel: David knew God wanted to use him as a channel to bless His people. It was not for David’s sake that he was lifted up, but for the sake of His people Israel.
2. (3-7) The sons born to David in Jerusalem.
Then David took more wives in Jerusalem, and David begot more sons and daughters. And these are the names of his children whom he had in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Beeliada, and Eliphelet.
a. David took more wives: This was in direct disobedience to Deuteronomy 17:17: Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away. 2 Samuel 5:13 tells us that David also took more concubines when he lived in Jerusalem.
i. Chronicles makes no mention of David’s sin with Bathsheba but after the murder of her husband she was one of the more wives that David added to his household in Jerusalem.
ii. “That David took ‘more wives’ was a historical fact but a moral failure, directly contrary to the law…. This sin led to a whole series of disasters later on.” (Payne)
b. David begot more sons and daughters: Certainly, David (and everyone else) saw these many children as God’s sign of blessing upon David and his many wives. Yet most of the trouble to come in David’s life comes from his relationships with women and his children.
i. It is often true that the seeds of our future trouble are sown in times of great success and prosperity. In some ways, David handled trials better than success.
B. Victory over the Philistines.
1. (8-10) David seeks God in battle against the Philistines at the Valley of Rephaim.
Now when the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went out against them. Then the Philistines went and made a raid on the Valley of Rephaim. And David inquired of God, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” And the LORD said to him, “Go up, for I will deliver them into your hand.”
a. All the Philistines went up to search for David: David’s success brought new challenges from the outside. As God worked mightily in David’s life, the devil also got to work and brought opposition against David.
i. “The Valley of Rephaim lay southwest of Jerusalem and formed part of the boundary between Judah and Benjamin (Joshua 15:8). It may correspond to the ‘Valley of Baca’ (Psalm 84:6), due to the balsam trees that were there (1 Chronicles 14:14-15). These are named, literally, ‘weepers’ because of their drops of milky sap.” (Payne)
b. David inquired of God: As David sought God and looked to Him for guidance he was blessed. God honored David’s dependence on Him and gave him the promise of victory.
2. (11-12) David defeats the Philistines at Baal Perazim.
So they went up to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there. Then David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore they called the name of that place Baal Perazim. And when they left their gods there, David gave a commandment, and they were burned with fire.
a. God has broken through my enemies: At the battle of Baal Perazim, David defeated the Philistines with an overwhelming force, like a breakthrough of water.
i. “God’s ‘breakout’ in judgment (1 Chronicles 13:9-12) now becomes a ‘breakout’ in blessing for Israel as well as for Obed-Edom’s household.” (Selman)
b. They left their gods there: The Philistines brought their idols to the battle, thinking they would help defeat the Israelites. Because David inquired of God and obeyed God, they burned the Philistine idols.
3. (13-17) David defeats the Philistines again.
Then the Philistines once again made a raid on the valley. Therefore David inquired again of God, and God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; circle around them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear a sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” So David did as God commanded him, and they drove back the army of the Philistines from Gibeon as far as Gezer. Then the fame of David went out into all lands, and the LORD brought the fear of him upon all nations.
a. David inquired again of God: After the first victory over the Philistines, David was wise enough to wait on the LORD before the second battle. It is easy for many in the same situation to say, “I’ve fought this battle before. I know how to win. This will be easy.” David always triumphed when he sought and obeyed God.
b. You shall not go up after them; circle around them: God directed David differently in this battle. Even against the same enemy, not every battle is the same.
i. In his commentary on this account in 2 Samuel 5, Adam Clarke noted the remarkable guidance of God in David’s life and asked a good question. “How is it that such supernatural directions and assistances are not communicated now? Because they are not asked for; and they are not asked for because they are not expected; and they are not expected because men have not faith; and they have not faith because they are under a refined spirit of atheism, and have no spiritual intercourse with their Maker.” (Clarke)
c. God has gone out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines: At this battle, David waited for the LORD to strike the camp of the enemy first. The sign of God’s work was a sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees.
i. “It was not merely a fitful breeze stealing through the leaves; it was not the going of the wind; but of angel squadrons who were proceeding against the enemies of Israel.” (Meyer)
ii. At the signal that the LORD was at work, David and his troops rushed forward to victory. This principle is true in our every-day walk with God. When we sense that the LORD is at work, we must go out to battle (advance quickly, 2 Samuel 5:24) and we will see a great victory won. “We must also, in the spiritual warfare, observe and obey the motions of the Spirit, when he setteth up his standard; for those are the sounds of God’s goings, the footsteps of his anointed.” (Trapp)
iii. There is something wonderful about the King James Version translation of this account in 2 Samuel 5:24: when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself. When you hear the work of God happening, bestir thyself – go out to battle. Spurgeon liked to point out that it said bestir thyself – often we think we must stir others up. That often just becomes hype and emotionalism. Instead, stir yourself.
iv. When we see the work of God happening around us, it is like the sound in the mulberry trees – the rustling sound should awaken us to prayer and devotion. A time of crisis or tragedy is also like the sound in the mulberry trees – the rustling sound should awaken us to confession and repentance. “Now, what should I do? The first thing I will do is, I will bestir myself. But how shall I do it? Why, I will go home this day, and I will wrestle in prayer more earnestly than I have been wont to do that God will bless the minister, and multiply the church.” (Spurgeon)
v. “Oh, believe in the co-operation of the Holy Spirit. Lonely missionary in some distant station of the foreign field, listen for the moving of the tops of the mulberry trees! God is stirring for thy succor.” (Meyer)
vi. “The precise species of the balsam trees is uncertain. Other possibilities include the pear-tree (LXX), mulberry (AV), or aspen (REB, NEB).” (Selman)
d. So David did as God commanded him: He did this by waiting for evidence of God’s work and then giving himself completely to the battle. The victory that sprang from this obedience made David and Israel respected and feared among neighboring nations.
i. “Because he looked to the Lord for his strength and for his strategy, he was able to beat back the Philistine offences, to secure the independence of God’s people, and to terminate forever the threat of Philistine conquest and oppression.” (Payne)