David Smote the Philistines
2 Samuel 8:1 And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took Methegammah out of the hand of the Philistines. 2 And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David’s servants, and brought gifts.
What possible difference could it make to us today as to what some Israelite King did several thousand years ago? How could that help me face my daily spiritual battles? – Great question! Here’s the Bible’s answer: 1Cor. 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
The scriptures teach us that all things are predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. (Eph. 1:11). So these lives and events were laid out by God in order to aid in our daily walk for the same “purposes” of the same Lord! The examples of their lives are said to be for our admonition, even though we live in the ages know to God as, “the ends of the world!” And that word,”admonition,” according to the Amplified Bible, means that they are to “fit us for right action by good instruction.” Let us see if we can find their ‘good instruction.’
Preparation for War
The Christian life is a call to war! 2 Tim. 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. So we CAN relate to David and his warfare against the enemies of the Lord! His was an outward, physical warfare against human enemies. Ours is an internal, spiritual warfare against principalities and invisible powers! Ephes. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
2 Corin. 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
You will notice that our passage begins with the words, “And after this.” And as we look back we can readily see three things, in chapter seven that prepared David for this warfare.
First there was Rest! – 2Sam. 7:1 And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies;
For no one can competently fight the enemies of the faith without completely relying on, and resting in the Lord! Is. 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
No labor shall be successful without this! Matt. 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Secondly, there was the Word of God! – 2Sam. 7:17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David. Not one step should be taken in spiritual warfare without the only offensive weapon listed in the saint’s armor – the revelation of God’s word! Ephes. 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Without God’s word the spiritual warrior wouldn’t even know how to proceed in this dark world! Psa. 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
And thirdly, there was Prayer! – 2 Sam. 7:18 Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?
At the end of the listing out of the Christian’s armor, we find this verse: Ephes. 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; For none will be successful in public warfare who has not learned to be often in this private exercise! The great Apostle Paul requested it of the church in order for his labor in preaching to be effectual! Col. 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
Subduing the Enemy
We come now to our above listed passage and to the subduing of the enemies of the Lord. And we first note: The Previous Aggressor.
It is twice written in 2 Samuel chapter five that the Philistines came up against David. (verses 17 & 22). They made the first move against David and his forces! And so it is with the Christian warrior! He is first attacked by Satan and the forces of darkness, prior to his regeneration by grace! Eph. 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
But in our passage we also note: The Present Aggressor! For now we read it is David who smote the Philistines and the Moabites! Armed with his resting in the Lord, his complete submission to God, and being directed by the word of God and prayer, he now takes the initiative for the Lord!
Ephes. 4:20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; In this “learning of Christ,” the believer-soldier fitted with the helmut of salvation to cover his mind, must conquer his every thought to bring them all into the obedience of Christ! He is commanded to “think not” concerning many things, and to transform himself by “the renewing of his mind!” (Rom. 12:2). He must aggressively attack his old nature, with it’s lustful imagination and bring it into spiritual submission to his Lord!
And now we come to see what David’s Aggression involved. “…to put to death!” The Apostle Paul said that he must die daily! (1 Cor 15:31). Therefore we see that dying in the natural man is our daily responsibility! In fact, it is to be our daily, aggressive pursuit!
The songwriter proclaims, “Dying with Jesus through death reckoned mine; Living with Jesus a new life divine,”
The apostle again says, 2 Cor. 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
Most think that Christianity is just a matter of joining with a religious social club for human companionship! But that’s just the Harlot Church! True Christianity is far more radical! It requires a constant killing out of inordinate affections by abiding daily on a cross designed to destroy all Adam’s tendencies, so that only Christ’s image may remain! Can you imagine the fear and trembling that the third line of Moabites must have felt as they lay their on the ground as David and his forces executed two thirds of their fellow captives? But does not the Lord command us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling? (Phil. 2:12). We are told to correct out inordinate fear of man, by fearing Him who can cast both body and soul into Hell! (Matt. 10:28).
And the Lord did command that should our eye offend us, we are to “pluck it out” and cast it from us! That’s pretty radical! He didn’t say we are just to trim our eyelashes, but to rip out the eyeball! And he didn’t say we should just trim our fingernails, if our hand offends us! He said we are to chop that entire hand off! (Matt. 5:29,30). For he says it is far better to go into heaven maimed, then to fall into hell complete!
Moabites Cannot Enter
We are instructed in Deuteronomy 23:3,4 (and in Nehemiah 13:1-3), that Moabites are forbidden to enter into the congregation of the Lord forever! The reason given was that they didn’t nourish Israel with bread and water in their journey from Egyptian bondage! And make no mistake about it, your flesh will never provide you with spiritual nourishment as you journey from the bondage of sin towards the freedom of your promised place in Christ.
And flesh and blood, like the Moabites, are clearly said to be kept out of the kingdom of Christ! John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 1Cor. 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Those who would enter into worship with the True God, must do so in spirit and in truth, not just in affections and emotions! (John 4:24).
The Kinsman Redeemer
There was a Moabite who was in the physical lineage of the Messiah, however! She was called Ruth the Moabitess. (Ruth 1:22). Her mother-in-law was Rahab the harlot. And her son was David’s grandad. (Matt. 1:5).
She does not represent just the carnal nature of the believer, but the elect believer himself, coming from out of the race of Adam. For the Lord has chosen that which is base, weak, despised, and foolish (1 Cor. 1:26-28). And as Ruth could not enter into God’s congregation due to her birth, she was brought in by a near kinsman’s willingness to marry her!
But her nearest kinsman would not do so! Ruth 4:6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it. Our nearest kinsman, Adam, left us locked out of the presence of God by his transgression. But as Ruth had Boaz, so we have Christ, our heavenly Husband to bring us in!
Ruth’s nearest kinsman had to remove his shoe to show he was not able to walk aright in this situation. Ruth 4:7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.
But Christ, our Redeemer did recover us, so his shoe could not be removed! John 1:27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. For Christ has redeemed us, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13).
Pastor Gene Breed