If you were to play the game, “word association” what would your answer be if I said, “LeBron James”? If you said, “Akron, Ohio,” you would be right in line with my thinking. How about Sinatra? You would say, “Hoboken, New Jersey” or “NYC”. How about NASA? You would say, “Houston”. How about Arnold Palmer? You would say, “Latrobe”. Well, what about David a.k.a. King David? You would have to say, “Jerusalem”.
Someone has said, “When we take for granted that David captured Jerusalem and made it Israel’s capital, we need to remember that at the time this was a surprising move. No judge or king had established any capital, let alone one in a place that was difficult to conquer.” But David did just that. Throughout the five-thousand year history of this place it has been recognized by over 70 different names, but none more frequently referenced than “The City of David”.
This Sunday in a message entitled, “The Fresh Prince of Salem”, we are going to dig into the amazing, yet cryptic, account of David’s capture of Jerusalem and his turning it from a pagan stronghold into the capital of Israel (II Samuel 5:1-10).
Throughout modern scholarship there have been four principal reasons cited for David’s decision to leave the city of Hebron, 28.5 miles south of Jerusalem and conquer the city as his own.
The first is the presence of an abundant water supply. In a desert region where water is scarce, the city of Jerusalem with its numerous springs was a prize.
Second, Jerusalem was surrounded by deep valleys and natural rock outcroppings, making it a natural fortress. Add to that its elevation, and Jerusalem was a formidable defense against all foes.
Third, Jerusalem was at a crossroads of north/south, east/west trade routes. It was accessible to all travelers wishing to trade and to worship. It also was not part of any tribal territory, making it even more desirable.
But the fourth reason is clearly the most important and profound. The tradition of Jerusalem being God’s dwelling place had been passed down throughout the centuries. It is clear from his psalms that this tradition had a powerful impact on David. He knew what God had done there through Melchizedek and Abraham. David’s desire was to establish Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel; the city of God. It was the place God had put in his heart to build the Temple. As we will see in our Fall Series: “Nehemiah: A Study in Comfort,” it is the place that a remnant of Jews never forgot. How David conquered this city and staked God’s claim on it for perpetuity is fascinating. It is a wonderful guide to what every servant of the Lord should be doing. We will dig in deeply this week.
In preparation for Sunday’s study you may wish to consider the following:
1. Who are these tribes that came to David at Hebron?
2. What was their relationship with David prior to chapter 5?
3. What do they mean in verse 2 when they say, “It was you who led out and brought in Israel?
4. What do they believe to be David’s role as God has assigned it? (verse 2(b) )
5. What covenant do they make with David in verse 3?
6. How far is Jerusalem from Hebron?
7. The place was called Jebus by the Jebusites, it was their stronghold. Why is the capture of this place David’s first priority?
8. What is meant by the taunt in verse 6? “…the blind and the lame will ward you off”?
9. Why are the lame and the blind hated by David’s soul? (verse 8)
10. How does David capture the city?
See you Sunday!