Fighting God's Battles
Wiersbe offers the following summary regarding this chapter:
- It probably occurred between chapters 6 and 7, which is between David bring the Ark to Jerusalem and the opening line of Chapter 7 when it states that the Lord had given him rest on every side.
- 8:1 is a victory to the west; 8:2 is a victory to the east; 8:3-12 is to the north and 8:13-14 is to the south
- Parallel account = I Chronicles 18-19
- Saul fought many of these same battles.
- God promised Israel the land from the River if Egypt to the Euphrates River. David was used to fulfill that promise.
- David reclaimed land that Saul had lost. He conquered land given by Joshua and not fully claimed by the tribes, and he expanded beyond the original tribes.
- For v 8:2, Wiersbe points out that David had a complicated relationship with Moab. Moab had been friendly to David because they thought he was the enemy of Saul. He even had his family hide there from Saul. David was also related to the Moabite through Ruth and they were all distant cousins via Lot. However, they were, ultimately, enemies of the Lord had had to be subdued. Rather than wiping them out, though, he spared every third soldier and turned them into servants- which was probably his way of showing some mercy to this complicated situation.
- By defeating the Arameans/Syrians to the north, he gained control of key caravan routes, which was a military advantage and an economic boon as traders had to pay a toll to travel through the routes.
- Tucked in v 8:12 is the end of a long, ugly story- the defeat of Amalek and the Amalekites, whom God had declared war in the time of Moses and whom Saul failed to obey in their defeat. David finally brought God's will to completion.
Wiersbe has a similar take as I had in the previous post regarding the significance of verse 8: 15-18. It's remarkable that the leader could win the military battles but also take care of things at home. They were desperately in need of restoration following the time of the judges and the flawed reign of Saul. The dawning of a new day and the rising sun after a rain.