You don’t really have to remind American Christians that we are sliding down a slippery slope. We all sense that the wheels are coming off. It is an easy time to be a defeatist and an escapist. But Scripture won’t let us curl up in the corner. It will not let us freeze up and wait for Jesus to return and beam us up out of our present day Sodom. “But,” someone says, “there are giants in the land.” Yes, indeed there are. And remember how it went for Israel in the wilderness when they refused to go conquer those sons of Canaan.
Our retreatism is not fruit of our humility, “Well, I just have to know my limitations. I’m simply to weak for that fight.” That’s not meekness talking. That is unbelief. God has shown us this message many times: When Christ takes the throne, he rules. When he takes the throne, he advances his kingdom. And we must offer ourselves freely in the day of his power (Psalm 110:3).
Today is the day of his power. Christ does now what David did in our passage. David ascended to the throne only a few chapters before in the book of Samuel. Now he conquers from that throne. Likewise, Christ has ascended to His heavenly throne. And now he rules victoriously from that throne.
And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took Metheg-ammah 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.
3 David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates. 4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots. 5 And when the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Hadadezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men. 6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts. And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went. 7 And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. 8 And from Betah, and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, king David took exceeding much brass.
9 When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had smitten all the host of Hadadezer, 10 then Toi sent Joram his son unto king David, to salute him, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer, and smitten him: for Hadadezer had wars with Toi. And Joram brought with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass: 11 which also king David did dedicate unto the Lord, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all nations which he subdued; 12 of Syria, and of Moab, and of the children of Ammon, and of the Philistines, and of Amalek, and of the spoil of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah. 13 And David gat him a name when he returned from smiting of the Syrians in the valley of salt, being eighteen thousand men.
14 And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David’s servants. And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went.
15 And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people. 16 And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; 17 and Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Seraiah was the scribe; 18 and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over both the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief rulers (2 Samuel 8 KJV).
SUMMARY OF THE TEXT
Let’s consider a survey of the text. Verse 1 tells us that David’s victories occurred “after this.” That is, after the covenant that God made with David. God covenanted David a sure house and kingdom. The “after this” reminds us that God fulfills His promises. We’re not presuming Christ’s conquest. We have blood bought covenant promises undergirding our confidence.
The structure of David’s victories is important. There are four groups and four directions to his victory. David defeated the Philistines who dwelt to the West of Jerusalem (v. 1). He defeated Moab who dwelt to the East of Jerusalem (v. 2). He conquered Hadadezer and his army who dwelt to the North (v. 3-10). Then, smote Edom who dwelt to the South (v. 13-14). David is victorious North, East, South, and West.
In this conquest, he fulfills what God promised to Abraham all the way back in Genesis 15:18—”Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” David recovered the border at that river Euphrates (v. 3). The Promised Land was being filled as God said it would be.
The language throughout David’s victories is also important. We’re told repeatedly that David smote his enemies (v. 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 13). He was on the offense, not back on his heels.
As David struck down his enemies, kings were subdued, some through conquest and others like Toi through wise gifts (v. 9). David dedicated the spoils of his victory to the Lord (v. 11). And he secured his territory with garrisons (v. 6, 14). The result of David’s conquest was peace. He administered judgment and justice to all the people (v. 15). The list of his officials illustrate a well-ordered kingdom (v. 16-18). The victory was undeniable. And from where did it come? Twice we hear the vital answer to that question: “The LORD preserved David” (v. 6, 14).
David is a type of Christ who fulfills the promise of a kingdom. Christ is the antitype. As he fulfills the promise of his kingdom, he smites the enemy, spreads godly dominion, and receives riches and honor.
SMITES THE ENEMY
When Christ brings his kingdom on earth, his enemies are struck down. He said himself that he did not come to bring peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34). He has been doing this kind of thing from the beginning. God put enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. He sent plagues on Pharaoh in Abraham’s day. He did the same in the days of Moses. He struck down great kings like Chedorlaomer and Og the king of Bashan’s land. We should learn the pattern so that we don’t cower when we face the enemy. All of the Goliaths will fall.
The point is not first to us as an individuals, but to Christ and his covenant people. That includes us as individuals. But it does not center on us as individuals . . .
SPREADS GODLY DOMINION
Christ has ascended to the throne to usher in his kingdom. And this does not simply mean the destruction of sin, death, and the devil. It also means the spread of godliness and peace. God breaks the bow, shatters, the spear, and makes wars to cease (Psalm 46:9). King David, at the end of his life, said, that when one rules in the fear of God he dawns on others like the rising sun on a cloudless morning. The people under such leadership grow like the green grass springing up after rain (2 Samuel 23:3-4).
When Hadadezer and the Edomites were struck down, godly rule took their places. “David executed judgment and justice” (v. 15). The divine-law of Jerusalem was extended North, East, South, and West. So it is with Christ’s present rule from his heavenly throne. The spread of this godly dominion is multi-faceted . . .
RECEIVES RICHES AND HONOR
One of the chief lies of the woke nonsense is “to the victor goes the shame.” But this, of course, is an attempted reversal of the very nature of reality. The victor receives honor. We honor the face of the old man (Leviticus 19:32). The woke lie would have you shame the old man. It would have you call up, down; and down, up. But both the Bible and the world tell a different story. David conquered and he received riches and honor. The Syrians brought David gifts (v. 6). David took shields of gold from Hadadezer’s servants (v. 7) and brass from his the cities (v. 8). King Toi sent David silver, brass, and gold (v. 10). Verse 13 says David made a name for himself after striking down 18,000 Syrians. This was a fulfillment of God’s promise in the previous chapter that he would make David a great name (2 Samuel 7:9).
We live in a time where no one wants anyone to have any crowns. If one has a crown, then all must have a crown. This sentiment includes checking any crown you have at the door before you come in. This is the spirit of the age and it is the spirit of the enemy. You are not supposed to check your crown at the door, you are supposed to bring it in and cast it down before the throne of the Lamb.
Whatever your particular honor or riches (and there are many forms), honor Christ with your honor and be rich to Him with your riches. We are here at this assembly of worship to do just that. We offer up to God our praise, our very lives as a living and holy sacrifice. We will go from this place to work for Him this week, and return again next Sunday to sacrifice and dedicate what we are and have to him once more.
Why do we do this? Because he is worthy. He is the Son of David. He is the Lamb sitting on the throne, the Lamb who was slain and redeemed us to God by his blood.