1 Chronicles 18 (New Living Translation)
David’s Military Victories
1 After this, David defeated and subdued the Philistines by conquering Gath and its surrounding towns. 2David also conquered the land of Moab, and the Moabites who were spared became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money.
David’s great-grandmother on his father’s side was Ruth, a Moabite.
3 David also destroyed the forces of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, as far as Hamath, when Hadadezer marched out to strengthen his control along the Euphrates River. 4 David captured 1,000 chariots, 7,000 charioteers, and 20,000 foot soldiers. He crippled all the chariot horses except enough for 100 chariots.
5 When Arameans from Damascus arrived to help King Hadadezer, David killed 22,000 of them. 6 Then he placed several army garrisons in Damascus, the Aramean capital, and the Arameans became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money. So the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.
7 David brought the gold shields of Hadadezer’s officers to Jerusalem,
8 along with a large amount of bronze from Hadadezer’s towns of Tebah and Cun. Later Solomon melted the bronze and molded it into the great bronze basin called the Sea, the pillars, and the various bronze articles used at the Temple.
One needed two things to build the temple: security and money. These chapters show how David, though he could not build the temple himself, obtained the security and money necessary for his son to build the temple.
“In view of the desire of the king to build the Temple of God, the chapter is of special interest; it shows how in these wars he was amassing treasure with that purpose in view, not for himself, but for his son.”
–F. B. Meyer
9 When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had destroyed the entire army of King Hadadezer of Zobah, 10 he sent his son Joram to congratulate King David for his successful campaign. Hadadezer and Toi had been enemies and were often at war. Joram presented David with many gifts of gold, silver, and bronze.
11 King David dedicated all these gifts to the Lord, along with the silver and gold he had taken from the other nations—from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek.
Now David has taken pretty much ALL of the land that God had promised long ago to Abraham and to his descendants!
12 Abishai son of Zeruiah destroyed 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 13 He placed army garrisons in Edom, and all the Edomites became David’s subjects. In fact, the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.
I like hymn tune arrangements on the piano! Here is a song I remember from long ago — “Faith Is the Victory.”
Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise.
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled.
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.
Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.
His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God.
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwinds breath,
Swept on o’er every field.
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.
On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array.
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation’s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.
To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be given.
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in Heaven.
Then onward from the hill of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
Well vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus conquering Name.
14 So David reigned over all Israel and did what was just and right for all his people. 15 Joab son of Zeruiah was commander of the army. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian. 16 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were the priests. Seraiah was the court secretary. 17 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard. And David’s sons served as the king’s chief assistants.
No great ruler succeeds by himself. Only the smallest organizations can be governed well without a gifted and committed team. Part of David’s success as a ruler was in his ability to assemble, train, empower, and maintain such a team.
We never find such a list regarding the organization of King Saul’s government. This is because David’s government had much more form and structure than Saul’s.
There is a limit to what we can be and what we can do for the Lord without order and organization. It isn’t that order and organization are requirements for progress in the Christian life; they are progress in the Christian life, becoming more like the Lord.
Nothing is accomplished in God’s kingdom without order and organization. While it may seem so to us, it is only an illusion – behind the scenes God is moving with utmost order and organization though sometimes we cannot see it.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.