« PreviousContinue »
acknowledged that he was the chosen of the LORD, and worthy to govern them!
The covenant which David entered into, is supposed to have been a solemn promise in the name of the LORD, that he would administer justice, and govern agreeably to the law of God, given to Moses; and the people bound themselves in the same solemn manner, to obey him as that law required.
Instearl of strife and contention, nothing was now heard in Israel but joyful acclamations. Now were those friends reconciled whom civil discord had set at variance; and all the blessings of unanimity presented themselves to the mind. Mirth and festivity filled up the happy hours, and warlike instruments were ex. changed for the merry harp and the lute; every countenance was enlivened with gladness, and every tongue invoked blessings on David. 6. Yet amidst all this rejoicing, there was no luxury or intemperance: nothing but the produce of the earth in its native simplicity; and as David presided, we may reasonably suppose that the feast began and ended with praises and thanksgivings to the LORD.”
It is delightful to read, that David, after all his trou. bles, was invited to the throne of Israel in so honourable a manner. He certainly had resisted many temptations to gain possession of it by violence; for he was firmly persuaded, that the promises of God were sure, and the aid of the LORD sufficient. In order to make
reflections on this David's history, we should read his Psalms, which shew at once what he thought on these occasions, and what sentiments others should entertain in a state of prosperity.
part of SECTION IV.
DAVID TAKETH ZION.-MAKETH ALLIANCE WITH
HIRAM, KING OF TYRE*.
When the Israelites, in the days of Joshua, cast lots for their future inheritance, Sion fell to Benjamin: soon after Joshua's death, the tribe of Judah took the lower city, but the Jebusites still maintained the fortress: after the city was rebuilt, the children of Judah and Benjamin inhabited it; but they very imprudently suffered the Jebusites to dwell amongst them. In Saul's time, however, the Hebrews dwelt in it (for David carried Go. liath's head thither) ; but it is supposed, that the Je. busites took entire possession of it after the battle of Gilboa. The Israelites certainly had an undoubted right to Sion, by the appointment of God; and a man of David's courage and enterprizing spirit, would scarcely suffer so strong a fortress to remain in the hands of one of those people who were devoted by GOD to destruction: his claim to it was just, and the taking of it necessary to the security and peace of his government and people, he therefore went up against it. The Jebusites, supposing the city impregnable, treated David with the utmost scorn and contempt, saying that even the blind and the lame amongst them were able to defend it against his utmost force; and it is thought, that in derision, they placed such impotent persons on their ramparts (instead of able soldiers who perhaps joined in deriding David, and blaspheming the AlMIGHTY GOD, in whom Israel confided; on which account David expressed his hatred against them, and promised great rewards to those who should smite the blind and the lame. If they were guilty of presumptuous sin, the punishment David inflicted was the just reward of their presumption. , We cannot suppose that David would inhumanly hate people on account of natural infirmities.
* % Sam, vi
Chandler's Life of King David.
It is conjectured, that after this important victory, David composed the following Psalm *.
Not unto us, 0 LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.
Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?
But our God is in the heavens, he hath done whatsoever he pleased.
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not.
They have ears, but they hear not ; noses have they but they smell not.
They have hands, but they handle not ; feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
They that make them are like unto them ; so is every one that trusteth in them.
O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: He is their help and their shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: He is their help and their shield.
Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the Lord: He is their help and their shield.
The Lord hath been mindful of us. He will bless us, He will bless the house of Israel, He will bless the house of Aaron.
He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great. * Psalm oxv. Delany's Life of King David,
The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children.
You are blessed of the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
The heaven, even the heavens are the LORD's: but the earth hath He given to the children of men. The dead praise not the LOAD: neither any that
go down into silence.
But we will bless the LORD, from this time forth and för evermore. Praise the LORD.
By this Psalm we may see the sense which David entertained of God's mercies; and that he imputed his success to the power of the ALMIGHTY.
When David had possessed himself of the strong fortress of Sion, he fixed his residence there, and made it his capital, after he had improved and enlarged it as far as the present state of affairs required : his next care was to adorn it, in which the friendship of HIRAM, KING OF TYRE, was very serviceable.
This * prince appears to have been of a magnificent and generous temper, and a believer in the true God, notwithstanding history informs us that he built temples in honour of those idols which the Phænicians worshipped; perhaps he was converted by David +. Tyre was a city in Phænicia, lately raised to great wealth, and become a royal city. It abounded with cedar trées, and with men of experience in the arts of building, which the Israelites were at that time unskilled in, as they were used to little besides war and agriculture.
According to ancient authors, Jerusalem was, in the time of David, a very magnificent city; 'in the centre of it, on the summit of mount Sion, was David's palace, when the building of this was completed, and he was * See Universal History. † 1 Kings v.7. Chandler's Life of David. going to dwell in it, he is supposed to have penned the following Psalm *.
I will extol thee, O LORD, for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
O LORD my God, I cried unto Thee, and thou hast helled me.
O LORD, Thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For His
anger endureth but a moment ; in his favour is life : weeping may endure
for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
LORD, by Thy favour, Thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: Thou didst hide Thy face, and I was troubled.
I cried unto thee, O LORD: and unto the LORD I made supplication.
What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? shall the dust praise Thee? shall it declare thy truth?
Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: Lord, Le Thou my helper.
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing : Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness:
To the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent: 0 LORD my God, I will give thanks urto Thee for ever.
The following Psalm is expressive of David's resolution to observe the utmost integrity in the administration of justice t.
I will sing of mercy and judgment : unto Thee, O LOAD, will I sing. * Psalm xxx,
+ Psalın ci.