He put garrisons throughout Edom, and all the Edomites became subject to David. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went. David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people. (2 Samuel 8:14-15 NIV)
David’s exploits as recorded in the 8th chapter of 2 Samuel display the relentless and prolific nature of David the warrior King.
Philistines, Moabites, Zobah, Arameans and the Edomites all opposed David and all suffered the same outcome: defeat. It’s noted that when the King of Hamath heard of David’s undefeated streak, he had the sense to send his son to David to congratulate him and offer their own tribute. There was a wise King preferring to get on David’s good side rather than end up like his contemporaries ending up under the rule of the Israelites.
Twice the writer explains how the Lord gave David victory wherever he went highlighting the favour on David’s life and the way in which he worked with God and so experienced the outcomes God desired for him. These verses are not here to promote aggressive military warfare, they are here to record the fact that God’s man doing God’s will experiences God’s presence delivering God’s outcome that no one can oppose.
It would be easy for David to let this success go to his head and become a hardened King looking for his own interests. It is good to know, then, that the same honour with which David treated people before now extended in a just and fair rule to all in his jurisdiction. He still pursued justice for all, which reflects the heart of the man after God, doing and being everything pleasing in his sight.
These are the acts of a man of flesh and blood, indicating as an example to us that we likewise can benefit from doing and being everything pleasing to God. Like David, there may be numerous adversaries seen and unseen, external and internal, but God in us and God with us encourages and equips us not to live in retreat, but enjoy victories wherever we go.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden