David anointed King
- Main Text: 2 Samuel 5:1-5; 6:1-5; Psalm 150
- Accompanying text: Mark 11:8-10
What this passage means to us
As we read the Old Testament stories about how priests, kings, prophets and places were anointed, it reminds us that the blessings of being anointed have been conferred to us. In Christ Jesus we are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you (we) may declare the praises of him who called you (us) out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9), just as David danced and declared God’s praises after he was anointed as king of Israel.
Anointing has many implications for us. It signifies that we have been set apart for present and future purposes and blessings; it indicates that God has consecrated us and that he values us highly; it dedicates us to an active, committed life of service just as David was commissioned to “shepherd my (the) people” (2 Samuel 5:2); it seals God’s ownership of us; it confirms that the Spirit of God dwells in the believer, and thus our “cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5) with joy and with grace. “It is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). This anointing is “with the oil of joy’ (Hebrews 1:9), and “the anointing you (we) received from him remains in you (us)” (I John 2:27).
Above all, we participate in a greater anointing than that of Aaron or of David or of the sanctuary, that is, we participate in the life of God’s Anointed One, Jesus Christ. David’s anointing was a human type of a higher spiritual reality. We are called into the life of Jesus, the “Son of David” (Mark 12:35), and Scripture tells us that God “shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants for ever” (2 Samuel 22:51). Jesus is the anointed King now and forever.
It is Jesus against whom the kings and rulers of the earth did rise up and will rise up again and again— they “band together against his (God’s) anointed One” instead of coming together to humble themselves before and “kiss his son” (Psalm 2:2,12). Thus, they conspired against God’s “holy servant, Jesus, whom (he) anointed” (Acts 4:27) and, as prophesied, “put (him) to death” (Daniel 9:26).
Context and Story Line
It’s important to view the story of David and the covenant God made with him concerning the continuity of succession (see Psalm 132:11 and 1 Kings 8:25) not only within the context of Israel but also within that of humanity in general. It is Jesus who will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:7).
This Davidic covenant, “the emphasis” of which “lies very strongly on the unmerited grace of God” is in contrast to “the Mosaic covenant, which was characterized by law…the David covenant matches up more closely with the Abrahamic, in that in both, the promissory element is predominant…the core of the covenant all along had been promise and hope, which needed to be kept alive” (159). “Under David, then, both the Kingdom and the King may be said to have come…these Davidic promises are therefore Messianic in character…the narrowing down process is evident in the promise of the Messiah. He would be born of a woman’ (Gen 3:15); be the seed of Abraham; and will spring from the tribe of Judah, of the house of David” .
Although the story of David begins well with Samuel anointing him as Saul’s successor followed by the Jews anointing him King of Judah and then the third anointing as King of Israel, let’s remember that “The monarchy was to have brought a central organisation to the Israelites to ensure not only their safety from enemies…but also their fidelity to God’s Law. Unfortunately — and to make a long story short — the monarchy was a disaster largely because the kings really blew it” . And this failure began with David himself, who in his life and in his writings reveals to us how human he was, and how God was there for him just as God is also for us in our humanity and in our weaknesses.
“In the midst of such a drama rooted in an ancient and irrevocable promise of God, Jesus re-imagines a God who has no interest in maintaining national boundaries…Jesus has no place for nationalism or political power”. Prior to Jesus’ coming everything had been “Law, Temple, land…and all three experience a dramatic upheaval with the coming of Jesus. Israel’s storyline with its expected trajectory has been ruthlessly edited and taken in a new direction” .
- Psalm 2
- Luke 1:29-33
Other GCI resources
Footnotes and references
- Peter Golding, Covenant Theology: The Key of Theology in Reformed Thought and Tradition (Inverness, UK; Christian Focus Publications, 2004). 159-160.
- Peter Enns, How the Bible Actually Works*: *In Which I Explain How an Ancient, Ambiguous and Diverse Book Leads Us to Wisdom Rather Than Answers – and Why That’s Great News (London, UK: Hodder & Stoughton, 2019). 231.
- Ibid. 233-234.