After his defeat of Goliath and the military success that followed, David became beloved by the people of Israel. Rumors began to circulate that David would be the next king after Saul, and Saul was so displeased that he desired to kill David which eventually drove David into exile with Saul in pursuit. Yet, God delivered Saul into David’s hands twice, and both times David refused to kill the Lord’s anointed. Not long after, Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle by the Philistines.
David wept over the death of Saul and Jonathan, but was met with resistance whenever he tried to assume the throne of Israel. At first, only the tribe of Judah accepted him as king. It would take seven more years for the rest of Israel to recognize David as their king. Once he reigned over Israel, David conquered Jerusalem and made it his own city. He brings the Ark of the Covenant into the city, leading it himself and making sacrifices and dancing. As the Ark makes its final residence in its assigned tent, David makes a thanksgiving sacrifice and shares the meal with all the people. Upon returning home, he is met with disdain from his wife Michal because of his actions, but he is happy to accept this disdain on the Lord’s account.
As king over all of Israel, David fights many wars and is successful against his enemies. Before his battles, David would consult the Lord to make sure he was doing the will of God. God would offer aid to David, and it was not long before the land of Israel was given peace on all of its borders. It is at this point that David desires to build a house for the Lord. He consults the prophet Nathan who returns with a message from God. David is not to build a house for God due to the amount of blood that he has shed in war. However, God promises David that he will have a great house that God Himself will build and sustain throughout history. David accepts this gift with joy and begins to save supplies for his successor to use to build a temple for the Lord.
In the beginning of David’s kingship, we see his faithfulness to God. Because of this, God grants peace to Israel. In addition, God gives David the promise of the Messiah being born of his house. At the time, David did not understand the true nature of the Messiah, but he rejoices at the great gift that he has been given.
The event of David bringing the Ark into Jerusalem can teach us many things about the coming Messiah from David’s line. The first is those who follow and give glory to God unreservedly will be met with disdain. Just as David’s wife meets him with reproach, so will the pride of the world meet unfiltered Christians with reproach. David’s response is one of wisdom. He says he will continue to be undignified for the Lord, and those who are humble will rejoice.
Next, the Ark makes its entrance into the city of Jerusalem as a foreshadowing of Jesus’ approach into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Led by David, the city rejoices that the presence of the Lord has arrived. In Jesus’ time, the people rejoice at the coming of the Son of David. The Ark held the staff of Aaron (the first high priest of Israel), manna from the desert, and 10 commandments as it entered Jerusalem. In his final entrance into Jerusalem, Jesus is about to fully reveal to the people that he is the Word of God and the New High priest who offers the sacrifice of His Body and Blood in the form of bread and wine. This direct connection reveals to us God’s intention for His Son Jesus and His sacrifice.
Finally, the offering David gives as the Ark is brought into Jerusalem is in the form of the Todah offering. Todah literally means ‘to give thanks’ and is a Jewish offering from the Old Testament of a person who has escaped great danger. The person would offer an animal (usually a lamb) at the temple and would take the meat home to share a meal of the meat, bread and wine with their closest friends and family. David offers the sacrifice of many animals and then gives the meat and bread to all of the people of the city to share a Thanksgiving meal with them. This points to the Eucharist as the fulfillment of the Todah offering. The Jewish Rabbis had a prophecy that the Todah offering would be the only offering once the Messiah came. This comes true when Jesus offers the Todah of His Body and Blood and shares the meal with all who believe in Him in the very same city that David gave his offering.
While David is the greatest king of Israel because of what he foreshadows and his faithfulness to God, he is not without sin. There will be multiple occasions when David commits grave sin. Yet, through all of those moments David’s love for God remains. It is because of His love, that David will be the ancestor of the Messiah, the Son of God.