David Thrice Crowned

2 Samuel

David Thrice Crowned

April 23rd, 1961 @ 7:30 PM

2 Samuel 1-5

Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag; It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance. And David said unto him, From whence comest thou? And he said unto him, Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped. And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, That the people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also. And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead? And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here am I. And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite. He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me. So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord. Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him: And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword. And David said unto the young man that told him, Whence art thou? And he answered, I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite. And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD’S anointed? And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died. And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD’S anointed. And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.) The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph. Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil. From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel. How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places. I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished! And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron. So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal’s wife the Carmelite. And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were they that buried Saul. And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have shewed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him. And now the LORD shew kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing. Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them. But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. Ishbosheth Saul’s son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months. And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise. Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow’s side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkathhazzurim, which is in Gibeon. And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David. And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe. And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner. Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asahel? And he answered, I am. And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armour. But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him. And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn thee aside from following me: wherefore should I smite thee to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother? Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still. Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon. And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of an hill. Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren? And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother. So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more. And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim. And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David’s servants nineteen men and Asahel. But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner’s men, so that three hundred and threescore men died. And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day. Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker. And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron. And it came to pass, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made himself strong for the house of Saul. And Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and Ishbosheth said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father’s concubine? Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ishbosheth, and said, Am I a dog’s head, which against Judah do shew kindness this day unto the house of Saul thy father, to his brethren, and to his friends, and have not delivered thee into the hand of David, that thou chargest me to day with a fault concerning this woman? So do God to Abner, and more also, except, as the LORD hath sworn to David, even so I do to him; To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba. And he could not answer Abner a word again, because he feared him. And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land? saying also, Make thy league with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with thee, to bring about all Israel unto thee. And he said, Well; I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal Saul’s daughter, when thou comest to see my face. And David sent messengers to Ishbosheth Saul’s son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines. And Ishbosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Phaltiel the son of Laish. And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned. And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, Ye sought for David in times past to be king over you: Now then do it: for the LORD hath spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies. And Abner also spake in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and that seemed good to the whole house of Benjamin. So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. And David made Abner and the men that were with him a feast. And Abner said unto David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel unto my lord the king, that they may make a league with thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that thine heart desireth. And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace. And, behold, the servants of David and Joab came from pursuing a troop, and brought in a great spoil with them: but Abner was not with David in Hebron; for he had sent him away, and he was gone in peace. When Joab and all the host that was with him were come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he hath sent him away, and he is gone in peace. Then Joab came to the king, and said, What hast thou done? behold, Abner came unto thee; why is it that thou hast sent him away, and he is quite gone? Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in, and to know all that thou doest. And when Joab was come out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, which brought him again from the well of Sirah: but David knew it not. And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth rib, that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother. And afterward when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before the LORD for ever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner: Let it rest on the head of Joab, and on all his father’s house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, or that is a leper, or that leaneth on a staff, or that falleth on the sword, or that lacketh bread. So Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner, because he had slain their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle. And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, Rend your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. And king David himself followed the bier. And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept. And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth? Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: as a man falleth before wicked men, so fellest thou. And all the people wept again over him. And when all the people came to cause David to eat meat while it was yet day, David sware, saying, So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or ought else, till the sun be down. And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them: as whatsoever the king did pleased all the people. For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner. And the king said unto his servants, Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel? And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me: the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness. And when Saul’s son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled. And Saul’s son had two men that were captains of bands: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin: And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day.) And Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth. And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon. And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth rib: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night. And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed. And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity, When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings: How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth? And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron. Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah. And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David. And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David’s soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward. And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him. And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house. And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel’s sake. And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David. And these be the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shammua, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, Ibhar also, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia, And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet. But when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines came up to seek David; and David heard of it, and went down to the hold. The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. And David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand. And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and said, The LORD hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baalperazim. And there they left their images, and David and his men burned them. And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. And when David enquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer.
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DAVID, THRICE-CROWNED KING OF ISRAEL

Dr. W. A. Criswell

2 Samuel 1-5

4-23-61     7:30 p.m.

We turn in our Bibles to 2 Samuel chapter 1, 2 Samuel chapter 1, verses 17 to the end.  Second Samuel chapter 1, beginning at verse 17, we shall read together the most beautiful eulogy, dirge, ode ever written in human literature; the lamentations, the dirge, the eulogy of David over the death of Saul and Jonathan.  Second Samuel 1, beginning at verse 17, to the end of the chapter, reading it together.  Second Samuel 1:17:

And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the Song of the Bow: behold, it is written in the Book of Jasher.)

The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!  Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.  Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.  From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.

Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.  Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights; who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.  How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle!  O Jonathan, thou was slain in thine high places.

I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.  How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

[2 Samuel 1:17-27]

Our title tonight is David, Thrice Crowned, David Crowned King Over Israel.  Now, because the length of the sermon would be beyond what any hour or two could allow, you can follow the message in the Bible, but I will just speak of it.  I will not take time to read the long text itself.  We shall just follow the story beginning in 2 Samuel, the first chapter and the first verse.

David, at the beginning of 2 Samuel, and by the way, 2 Samuel is just a continuation of the story in I Samuel.  There is no break in between.  It’s just the same book, just divided for convenience sake.  David, in 2 Samuel, as he’s presented here, as the story begins, has returned to the charred and burned and ruined city of Ziklag [2 Samuel 1:1].  That was the city about eighteen miles south of Hebron, down there in the far south country.  And it was assigned unto him and to his six hundred men of war and to their wives and families by Achish, the king of Philistia [1 Samuel 27:2-6].  The last time that David was with Achish was to the north country, in Esdraelon, where there was preparation for war between the lords of Philistia and between Saul, the king of Israel [1 Samuel 29:1].  And because David and his men were Hebrew, Achish was forced by his fellow Philistine dukes to send David and his men away [1 Samuel 29:2-11].

And when David and his neophyte army arrived to their homes in Ziklag, the Amalekites had overrun the city, had burned every household down, and had taken everything: their wives, their children, their stock, their cattle, everything they possessed, had taken it away. The Lord blessed David as he overtook the Amalekites and destroyed them.  And they got back all of their possessions and all of their families [1 Samuel 30:1-19].  But when they came back to Ziklag, they stood there in the presence of the charred, burned, destroyed, ruined homes of their families.  And it seems that David stayed there, waiting upon some sign from God as to what he should do.  Should they build again their homes in the city?  Or should they go elsewhere, or just what?  [2 Samuel 1:1].

At the same time, David wondered in his heart what had happened to his brethren, who were facing the awful day of warfare with the host of Philistia that numbered like the sand of the sea.  When David left Saul on Gilboa with Jonathan and the other sons of the king, with the host of Israel was preparing to join the battle with the kings of Philistia and the great hosts down there in the valley of Esdraelon: and how the war came out or had it been fought, David did not know.  On the third day after David’s return to Ziklag, there came a man recklessly running into the camp.  He had earth on his head, and he did obeisance before David.  Made a beeline for the great chieftain, and that obeisance was not only the Oriental custom of salutation and greeting, but it was also a mark of this Amalekite’s recognition that now David would be king over Israel [2 Samuel 1:1-2].

You see, he was smart.  He was smart like these men who are smart and get in the penitentiary.  Smart like fellows who seek to outwit the government in their business and in their income tax and in violation of the law.  Real smart; this Amalekite thought that he would invent him a story that would come before David, and tell that he had destroyed Saul, and ingratiate himself in the favor of David, thinking that David would greatly accept his presence, if he was the one by whom Saul was destroyed and David was anointed king.  So this Amalekite comes and he does obeisance and falls on the earth before David.  And David says, “Where do you come from?”  And he says, “I have come from Mount Gilboa.  And while I was there, I chanced upon the king, and he was wounded by the archers and by the Philistines as they overcame the armies of Israel.  And Saul said to me, ‘Fall upon me and take my life.’  And I took my sword and I slew him.  And behold!  Here is his crown and here is the bracelet upon his arm, I have brought them to thee.  And now thou are to be king over Israel” [2 Samuel 1:3-10].

Well, that Amalekite sure did misjudge David, for David took hold of his clothes and ripped them, an Oriental way of showing grief and sorrow.  And all of the men were with them, and they mourned and fasted until the evening [2 Samuel 1:11-12].  And when the evening came, the great chieftain, David, said, “Bring me that Amalekite.”  And the Amalekite stood before David thinking he would get some great reward for having slain Saul.  No doubt about the death of Saul, there is the crown he’d worn on his head, and there is the bracelet that he wore on his arm.  And David said to the Amalekite, “Didn’t you know that you had slain God’s anointed?”  David time and again had refused to touch Saul, he was set apart by the hand and choice and election of God.  And David turned toward the first young man who stood by him and said, “Fall upon that Amalekite.”  And the young man fell upon him and slew him, and he died [2 Samuel 1:14-15].

And then David lamented this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan.  It is divided into two parts.  The first part is over Saul and [Jonathan] together [2 Samuel 1:17-24].  The second part is over Jonathan [2 Samuel 1:25-26], and then the last is the concluding lament, eulogy, by which he introduces each part.  “How are the mighty fallen! How are the mighty fallen!”  And then concluding it, “How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!” [2 Samuel 1:27]. “O Jonathan, I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love unto me was wonderful, passing the love of women.  How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!” [2 Samuel 1:26-27].

Now, in your Bible, I want you to look at something.  In 2 Samuel 1:18, where this beautiful eulogy is written, it says: And he bade them teach the children of Judah.  Now, look in italicized, “the use of” the bow: behold, it is written in the Book of Jasher.  The Book of Jasher, or Jasher, as I heard some of you pronounce it, that book was a book, ancient, lost to the world years ago, in which some of the oracles and some of the eulogies and some of the songs of God were written.  And this was in that book.  Now in italicized use it says, “the use of” [2 Samuel 1:18].  I have no idea why they would do that, “And David bade them teach the children of Judah the bow.”   This is called the Song of the Bow.  “Behold, it is written in the Book of Jasher” [2 Samuel 1:18].   It’s called the Song of the Bow for two reasons. One, it refers to the bow of Jonathan.  And second, the bow was an emblem, a sign of the marshal warfare of that day.  So the song that David sings here in lament over the death of Saul and Jonathan is called the Song of the Bow.  Anciently, that is what it was referred to.

Now, there is a great oratorio that I have never heard sung, written by Handel, the immortal Handel, who wrote the Messiah.  There is a great oratorio called Saul.  And in that oratorio, you have it called the Dead March.  It’s the “Song of the Bow.”  It’s the song of the lament of David over the death of Jonathan.  And I thought you might for tonight, listen to that glorious music, this eulogy, this ode, the “Song of the Bow” as Handel wrote the celestial music.   And in your clemency, I have asked our organist to play some of that beautiful somber melody that you might be introduced to it.  So in your goodness, listen to Mrs. Forester as she plays this famous melody, the march from Saul, which is this lamentation called the “Song of the Bow.”  That is great music!  And I marvel at America that loves Red Hot Henry Brown instead of that.  I can’t believe the songs I listen to over the radio and that I hear on television, rock and roll, the cheapest, filthiest, sorriest, lowest, slummiest stuff that mind could imagine.  But America loves it!  Well, that’s just a part of it that I just wanted our church at least to say I have heard that beautiful, wonderful, elegaic melody which is a music for this lamentation of David over Jonathan.

Now there is one other thing that David did in memory of Saul.  First, he refused to countenance the Amalekite who said that he murdered him.  I don’t think that story’s true.  I know it isn’t [2 Samuel 1:5-10].  You have the true story of the death of Saul a suicide here in the last chapter of I Samuel [1 Samuel 31:3-5].  But he invented that story in order to ingratiate himself before David.  And then the second thing David did in memory of Saul was to write this eulogy that shall live forever [2 Samuel 1:17-24].  Then David did another thing.  When the Philistines found the body of Saul, and found the body of [Jonathan], and found the body of Abinadab and found the body of Malchishua, they took those bodies and they cut off their heads.  And they did them despite.  And after they had mutilated them, they hung them up on the walls of Beth-shan, and took their armor and put it up in the temple of Ashtaroth, their Venus goddess [1 Samuel 31:8-10].

And when the men of Jabesh-gilead heard about it—remember the men of Jabesh-gilead from the [eleventh] chapter of I Samuel, when Nahash the Amorite surrounded the city of Jabesh and said, “All you Israelites come out, and I am going to punch out your right eye that it might be a reproach, an insult on the people of God.  Now come out, and if you do not, I will burn down your city with fire” [1 Samuel 11:2]?   And the men of Jabesh-gilead said, “Give us seven days to see if aught would come to our help” [1 Samuel 11:3].  And Saul heard about it, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him [1 Samuel 11:6], and he took his oxen and cut them in pieces and sent the pieces throughout Israel and said, “God do so and more so to any Israelite man who does not assemble himself with Saul” [1 Samuel 11:7].  And Saul marched and came to Jabesh and annihilated Nahash and his army and delivered the men of Jabesh-gilead.  And they never forgot it.

And in the nighttime, Jabesh organized an expedition, and they crossed the Jordan to Beth-shan and took reverently and tenderly the mutilated bodies of Saul and Jonathan and the other boys, and carefully buried them under a big tree before Jabesh [1 Samuel 31:11-13].  And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabesh-gilead and said, “Blessed be ye of the Lord, that you have shown this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him.  And now the Lord show kindness unto you and requite you this kindness. Therefore let your hands be strengthened, and be valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them” [2 Samuel 2:5-7].

Did you ever see anybody more gracious and thoughtful than this man David?  In every way he’s a soul of generosity.  In this beautiful lament “Saul and Jonathan were pleasant and lovely in their lives” [2 Samuel 1:23].  The great-hearted David refused to think of the last years of Saul, when the evil spirit came upon him, and he sought David’s life [1 Samuel 19:9-10].  But he only thought of him and only remembered him in the days of his noble youth, when he was God’s true servant and God’s great champion [1 Samuel 11:1-11].  Isn’t it a wonderful thing to be that way?  That’s almost the opposite from what I am.  And so many of us, we think of the evil of people, when we ought to think just of the good and let God right the evil in His own way.  That’s David.

And it came to pass that David at Ziklag inquired of the Lord, “Lord, what shall I do?”  And I’m in the second chapter, “Now, what shall I do?”  And the Lord said, “Go up to Hebron” [2 Samuel 2:1-4].  So David goes up to Hebron; apparently goes up just as a private citizen, and his army settles around in the villages of Hebron.  And it came to pass that the men of Judah came and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah; just that Southern tribe [2 Samuel 2:2-4]. He was anointed first by Samuel [1 Samuel 16:12-13], then he’s anointed, second, by the house of Judah [2 Samuel 2:4]; and the title of the sermon is Thrice Anointed, so we follow the story.

Now, Abner—this is verse 8 in the second chapter, “Now, Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s host, took Ish-bosh-eth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; and anointed him king of the northern tribe” [2 Samuel 2:8-9].  Who is this man Abner?  Abner is the bitterest enemy David ever had, unless it was Cush the Benjamite, whom I spoke of from a psalm several Sundays ago [Psalm 7:1-17].  This man Ner, Abner the son of Ner, Ner and Kish, the father of Saul, were brothers.  Ner and Kish were brothers, and Kish’s son is Saul the king.  And Ner’s son is Abner.  So Saul and Abner are first-blood cousins [1 Samuel 14:51].  And about the first thing Saul did was to make Abner captain of the host of the armies of the Lord [1 Samuel 14:50, 17:55].  And Abner was the bitter enemy of David all the days of David’s life.  And Abner the son of Ner set up Ish-bosh-eth to be the king over the Northern tribe, when Judah anointed David to be king over the southern tribe [2 Samuel 2:8-10].

And Joab the son of Zeruiah—now in the rest of the story you will find Joab again and again.  Joab was made captain of the host of David because David said, “Any man that can get this fortress Jebus, Jerusalem, and deliver it into my hands for my capital, his reward will be to be captain of the Lord’s army” [1 Chronicles 11:5-6].  And Joab did it.  And that’s why time and again; David is helpless before Joab, as you will see in the story tonight.  And Joab the son of Zeruiah—now, who is Zeruiah?—Zeruiah is the sister of David, and she had three illustrious sons; Joab, Abishai, and Asahel.  They were mighty men of war, all three of then, and especially Joab.  Joab fought David’s battles all of the way through.

And Joab the son of Zeruiah, with his men went up to Gibeon—oh, about six, seven, eight miles northwest of Jerusalem—went up to Gibeon and sat on one side of the pool of Gibeon.  Abner and his warriors were at Gibeon, and sat on the other side of the pool [2 Samuel 2:13].  And Abner said to Joab, “Let us not fight this thing with the whole army.  You choose twelve men from your side, and I will choose twelve men from my side, and we will let these twelve be our champions and let them settle the fight between us” [2 Samuel 2:14].

So by the pool of Gibeon, twelve men from Abner’s army and twelve men from Joab’s army fight to the death.  And all twelve of them slay the other twelve; they take their swords, and in an awful bloody gladiatorial combat, the twelve from Abner’s side are slain, and the twelve from Joab’s side are slain, and when that was done, then the whole armies began to fight.  It settled nothing, all twenty-four of them were dead [2 Samuel 2:15-16].  And so it came to pass, that Joab and Abishai and Asahel pursued after Abner [2 Samuel 2:18].  They hated Abner beyond anything you could describe.  He was the bitter enemy of David all the days of his life, and those three nephews of David hated him to the death.  Now, Asahel, the youngest son, was fleet like a deer; and when Joab and Abishai fell behind, Asahel pressed against Abner.  Fleeing, Abner’s army was overcome.  And Abner turned around and said to Asahel, “You go back.  You go back.  You go back.  I don’t want to hurt you.  You go back.”   But Asahel said, “Nay,” and pressed against Abner as he pursued him.  And Abner took the hinder part of his spear and ran it through Asahel’s body; and he died there in his own blood [2 Samuel 2:19-23].  And when Joab came up to the place and when Abishai, great men of war, came to the place and saw that younger brother dead in his own blood, you wait.  They took up the body of Asahel and carried it to Bethlehem in the tomb of his father, the only place where the husband of Zeruiah, David’s sister, is ever named and buried the young man’s body in the tomb of his father in Bethlehem [2 Samuel 2:32].

And Joab and Abishai said, “We wait our day.”  And there was war between the Northern Kingdom under Abner, and the Southern Kingdom under Joab [2 Samuel 2:8-30].   And it was Saul that Rizpah—now, I haven’t time.  I preached a sermon on Rizpah one time.  Do you remember Rizpah, the mother who watched over her boys? [2 Samuel 21:8-10]. I haven’t time to enter into it—well anyway, Ish-bosh-eth, this young son of Saul that Abner had set up on the throne over there on the other side of the Jordan River at Mahanaim, he thought Abner was conspiring to displace him on the throne.  And Abner was furious, and he said, “I will take away the kingdom from you, and I will give it to David” [2 Samuel 3:7-10].  So Abner, the captain of the host of Saul’s army and the great military genius of Saul’s life and a mighty chieftain and a mighty warrior who had set up Ish-bosh-eth on the throne, Abner goes down to Hebron with twenty men as testimonials [2 Samuel 3:20].

And David receives them in a sanctified feast.  And Abner says, “And I pledge to you, to be king over all Israel, I will deliver the Northern Kingdom into your hand” [2 Samuel 3:21].  And David receives Abner in gladness and in answer to the long-awaited prophecy that he should reign over Israel [2 Samuel 3:6-20].  Then Abner goes away, and Joab returns from a battle, and somebody says to Joab, “Did you know that Abner was here, and the king has sent him away in peace?” [2 Samuel 3:22-23].  And Joab came to David and said, “What hast thou done?  This man Abner, your bitter enemy” [2 Samuel 3:24-25].  And Joab sent word after Abner by a messenger and said, “The king would like to see you again.”  The king never said any such thing, and Abner, trusting David implicitly, comes back.  And at the gate of Hebron, Joab met him, and Joab said, “Abner, may I speak to thee in private?”  And they went to the side of the gate; and Joab took his sharp sword and cut him asunder!  And Abner the great warrior died in his own blood; you see, for the slaughter of Asahel, the younger boy [2 Samuel 3:26-27], but also, I think, because Joab knew that in Abner he had a great personal rival, for Abner was a great soldier and a mighty warrior.

And when David found out, he lamented and wept and cried and grieved, for all the people were horrified at the murder of this great chieftain, who was the head of the army of Saul [2 Samuel 3:32-35].  And in the lamentation—this is the second one you will find—and in the lamentation, the second you will find from David, is a text that I’ve preached on many times.  As the king lamented over Abner, he said, “Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?  And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me: I cannot do anything with them: the Lord shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness” [2 Samuel 3:38-39].

And all through his entire life, David is helpless before Joab and for other reasons that we will see as time goes on.  Joab is the greatest warrior you will find in the Bible and the most merciless and ruthless and cruel.

Well, in the fourth chapter, Ish-bosheth is slain by two of his own men [2 Samuel 4:4-8].  Now, the fifth chapter, there is nobody to dispute the throne of David.  All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and there, he is anointed for the third time king over Israel.  And David was thirty years old when he began to reign; and he reigned forty years; in Hebron, he reigned over Judah seven years and six months [2 Samuel 5:1-5].  And in Jerusalem—and we’ll pick up the story of Jerusalem next time, how it was won and why it was made the capital of the people—and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah [2 Samuel 5:5].

Now, just a little brief summary, for my time is gone.  Anointed three times: first, by the Holy Spirit of God as Samuel poured the oil upon his head [1 Samuel 16:12-13], “Thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over” [Psalm 23:5].  Anointed a second time, king over Judah [2 Samuel 2:4]; anointed a third time king over all of the house of God [2 Samuel 5:3], which is a symbol and a harbinger of the three great anointings of our Savior as Lord and King.  Anointed the first time, in His baptism, as He came up out of the waters of the Jordan, behold! the heavens were opened, and the Spirit of God descended upon Him in the form of a dove, and the voice from heaven saying, “Lo, lo, this is My Son in whom I am well pleased” [Matthew 3:16-17].   Anointed by the Spirit of God, as the oil was poured over the head of David, anointed by God.  His second anointing: when He returned into glory and into heaven, there in triumph, having led captivity captive and giving gifts unto men [Ephesians 4:8], anointed in heaven, the King over the New Jerusalem and the great Captain of the host of the heavenly angelic bands and saints of God, His second acclaim, and the third is yet to come, someday He shall be anointed King over all creation, when the four and twenty elders bow down before Him, the saints of the Old and the saints of the New.  And when the four zōa , the living creatures, the cherubim, representing all creation, when they bow down before Him [Revelation 4:8-9].  And when the saints, by the ten thousands and the ten thousands, and the hosts of glory by the unmultiplied myriads sing the song of Moses and the Lamb: “Unto Him who loved us, and washed us, unto Him be glory and dominion, now and forever, world without end.  Amen, amen” [Revelation 1:5-6].  The third great final coronation of Jesus, the Son of God, when every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord to the glory of God, our Father [Philippians 2:10-11]; surely it is coming.  Some glorious and triumphant day, we shall see our Lord crowned the third time, the Lord of all creation, heaven and earth [Revelation 1:5-6], as all Israel came and for the third time anointed David over the people of God [2 Samuel 5:3].  Oh, when that day of triumph and glory comes, shall we share in it?

O Lord, Thy blessed peace; O Lord, Thy glorious triumph; O Jesus, Savior and King, Hosanna in the highest [Matthew 9:10]: blessed is He that cometh [Matthew 21:9].  Blessed is the King of Jerusalem.  Blessed is the Son of David [Matthew 21:9].  Hosanna in the highest [Matthew 21:9], the praise, and the glory, and the adoration, and the gratitude, and the thanksgiving of our lives.

Make it now, make it tonight.  While we sing this song of appeal, in the balcony, somebody you, on this lower floor, a family you, as the Spirit shall say the word, shall make the appeal, would you choose our Lord your Savior and King tonight?  Would you give Him your life in repentance, in faith, and in trust?  Or to put your life with us in the fellowship of the church, while we sing this song and while we make this appeal, on the first note of the first stanza, coming down a stairway or into the aisle on this lower floor, make it tonight.  While we stand and while we sing.

DAVID, THRICE CROWNED

Dr. W. A. Criswell

2 Samuel 1-5

4-23-61

I. David Anointed king by Samuel

II. David’s return to Ziklag

III. David finds out Saul and Jonathan are killed in battle

IV. David laments over Saul and Jonathan

V. David’s threefold eulogy to Saul

1.    Refused the countenance of the Amalekite

2.    Song of the Bow

3.    Honored the men who retrieved Saul and Jonathan’s bodies and properly buried them

VI. David anointed king at Hebron by men of Judah

VII. David anointed the third time by all the men of Israel

VIII.       The Lord anointed

1.    By John the Baptist

2.    Ascension and session

3.    Third future anointing as king over all creation