Thursday, August 25, 2011

a process for peace

So David reigned over all Israel. And David administered justice and equity to all his people.
2 Samuel 8:15

This summary statement shows the net effect of David's leadership in Israel. It comes near the end of an account of David's military conquests. There are campaigns against the Philistines, the Moabites, the Arameans, and the Edomites. The historic foes of the Jewish state are conquored by David. He brought a peace to the nation and extended its national borders. This came by way of military expansion and brutal fighting. Yet the untested armies of Israel kept having victory after victory. The secret is explained twice in chapter eight: "And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went" (2 Samuel 8:6, 14).

But peace came at a price. Before Israel knew this national prosperity, it first experienced the hard work and pain of numerous wars and conflicts. David's authority was challenged by the people groups surrounding Israel. David conquered these nations in order to secure the borders of his land. But in the end, after the fight, the nation found a security, a "Pax Davida", that was new, refreshing, and prosperous.

The outcome of David's administration came through the paradox of difficult hard work, and clear trust in God. The nation had to keep securing her borders from outside threats. David had to transition from the role of hard-nosed general to the rule of a fair and just king. And in all that, God brought victory to David.

In the case of David's reign, peace came at a price. The armies of Israel were busy for quite a while. Once the nation was secure from external threat, the internal work of legal justice and equitable rule secured the internal structure. Now all the promises that God had given David had the best climate for fulfillment. The price of peace was paid in military action. The result of peace was the security of societal stability. And Israel prospered as David let God work among the people in this way.

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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