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and weaker, till at length, Saul's son being killed by two of his own captains, all the tribes of Israel came to David unto Hebron, and anointed David king over all Israel. At this time he was thirty years old, and he reigned forty years.
One of the first things mentioned of David after he became king, was his taking from the Jebusites the city of Jerusalem, which became afterwards the chief city of the Jews.
E. Mamma, did David go on loving and serving God after he became king ?
M. Yes, my love; he did not forget God as soon as his troubles were over, but continued to love and serve him as sincerely when happily seated on the throne of Israel, as he had done when he was in sorrow, and had no friend to look to but God. One proof of this was the holy care he showed for the ark of the Lord, very soon after he came to the throne. It had remained at Kirjath-jearim ever since it had been returned to the Israelites by the Philistines; and now David went with a great number of his people, and brought it up to his own city, on Mount Sion. Great was the joy of David in bringing the ark of God to dwell in the midst of himself and his people; for he knew that the ark of the Lord would bring blessings along with it, and he wished for nothing better than that the Lord God should dwell among them.
Therefore he brought in the ark even amidst the sound of the harp, the psaltery, and the timbrel, the cornet, and the cymbal, and all manner of sacred music. And they set the ark in its place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings beVOL. II.
fore the Lord. And as soon as he had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed his people in the name of the Lord of Hosts. And he gave to the whole multitude of Israel a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine; that the day when the ark was brought unto Sion, might be a day of rejoicing to all Israel, and be long remembered amongst them.
Nor was the pious David contented, when the ark was safely placed in the city where he dwelt himself; the glory and honour of God were exceedingly dear to this holy man, and he longed to build such a house for the ark of the Lord to dwell in, and for the people to meet together in to worship God, as should in some faint degree, at least, show his love and reverence for the Divine name. He lived himself in a beautiful palace, built of cedar; and he could not endure the idea of his own magnificence, whilst the ark of the Lord had no covering over it but a tent. And he told the prophet Nathan, who was then God's servant and messenger in the place of Samuel, of his great wish to build a house for the Lord, saying; "See, now I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains."
E. Was God pleased with David for wishing so much to build him a house?
M. There is no doubt that this holy care of David for the glory and worship of God, was pleasing and acceptable to the Most High; but God did not wish David to build him a house, because he had been “a man of war, and had shed blood." Therefore he sent his servant Nathan to say unto David, "Thus saith the Lord, thou hast shed blood abundantly, and made
great wars thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. Behold a son shall be born unto thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Solomon (that is peaceable), and I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. He shall build an house for my name, and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever."
E. Were David's wars then wicked in the sight of God?
M. No, my love, they were not wicked wars, but necessary to the defence of himself and his kingdom. But it was not fit that the hands, which had been stained with blood, should build a house to the Lord. God is a God of peace. War and strife should be far from his house. Peace and charity should dwell there. Even the pious David, who had not loved war for its own sake, but who had been obliged to engage in it, must not build to the God of peace. The work must be left to his son Solomon, a king whose happy lot it was to have no wars. How strongly does this teach us, Edward, to examine ourselves when we go into God's house; to see that there be no malice nor hatred in our hearts, no angry passions or tempers, no unkind thoughts or feelings, but that they be full of peace, gentleness, and charity. And not only when we go to the house of God, but, at all times, let us try, as much as ever we can, to live peaceably with all around us, and in this, as in all other points, to be more and more like our blessed Lord and Master Jesus
Christ, who is the Prince of Peace, and who came into the world to bring peace, and to promote charity among men.
TWELFTH SUNDAY EVENING.
HISTORY OF DAVID, CONTINUED.
E. HAVE you finished your account of David, mamma; or does the Bible tell us any more about him?
M. I have a great deal yet to tell you, before we shall have done with David : for the Bible gives us a very long account of his reign. His history occupies the whole of the second book of Samuel, besides all that we heard of him in the first book of Samuel, where a great deal of his early history is given us in the midst of the reign of Saul.
Besides a war with the Jebusites when he first came to the throne, at which time he took the city of Jerusalem, he had in the course of his reign over Israel a great many more battles to fight; for he was a famous warrior, and very much enlarged the kingdom of Israel; as I can show you upon the map. First he smote the Philistines and subdued them, taking from them Gath and other of their cities : then the Moabites; who became David's servants, and were glad to try and purchase his favour with rich presents. Then he smote the king of Zobah, the most powerful prince of those parts, whose kingdom lay on the borders of Naphtali beyond Jordan, be