Heaven on earth

David’s conquests became known throughout the world and he was admired by other leaders for the peace he brought to the area surrounding the Promised Land. It says in 1 Chronicles 18, “Now when Tou king of Hamath heard how David had smitten all the host of Hadarezer king of Zobah; he sent Hadoram his son to king David to inquire of his welfare; and to congratulate him, because he fought against Hadarezer and smitten him; (for Hadarezer had war with Tou;)” (1 Chronicles 18:9-10).

Tou was grateful to David because he had taken care of Hadarezer for him. Tou’s first hand experience fighting against Hadarezer made him realize that David was superior on the battlefield and no doubt Tou wanted to align himself with David to ensure his own people’s safety. When it says that Tou sent his son to inquire of David’s welfare, it could be that Tou wanted to know how David was able to accomplish such a great feat.

One the meanings of the word inquire or shâ’êl (shaw – ale´) in Hebrew is to consult or ask for advice (7592). It is usually associated with prayer and seeking God’s counsel, but it can also refer to obtaining counsel from men. The word translated welfare is shalom (shaw – lome´) which “signifies a state in which one can feel at ease, comfortable with someone. The relationship is one of harmony and wholeness, which is the opposite of the state of strife and war” (7965).

David’s kingdom was not like those around him. He was able to establish peace in a place where none had previously existed. The Promised Land was extremely fruitful and those who lived there were very prosperous. Therefore, it was desirable real estate that many wanted to possess. The occupants that David was driving out were skilled warriors that were used to defending their territory. David’s ability to defeat their armies was probably viewed as miraculous.

David dedicated all the gifts he received from Tou, “vessels of gold and silver and brass” (1 Chronicles 18:10) to the LORD. It was his way of giving credit to the LORD for his victories. Even though David was a skilled warrior with many successes on the battlefield, he did not boast about his accomplishments. It says that “David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment and justice among all his people” (1 Chronicles 18:14).

David made it possible for the LORD to bless his people. David’s military victories were not about  gaining power, but about giving power to his people. The word translated justice, ts’dâqâh (tsed – aw – kaw´) means rightness (6666) and is derived from the word tsâdaq (tsaw -dak´) which means to be right or to be justified (6663). Justification is a key aspect of salvation, something that every Christian needs in order to have a relationship with God. When we are justified, it is as if we have never committed a sin. David’s kingdom was probably as close to heaven on earth as any could ever be.

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