A Model of Servanthood
2 Samuel 8:1-16
1 After this David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines. 2 And he defeated Moab and he measured them with a line, making them lie down on the ground. Two lines he measured to be put to death, and one full line to be spared. And the Moabites became servants to David and brought tribute. 3 David also defeated Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to restore his power at the river Euphrates. 4 And David took from him 1,700 horsemen, and 20,000 foot soldiers. And David hamstrung all the chariot horses but left enough for 100 chariots. 5 And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down 22,000 men of the Syrians. 6 Then David put garrisons in Aram of Damascus, and the Syrians became servants to David and brought tribute. And the LORD gave victory to David wherever he went. 7 And David took the shields of gold that were carried by the servants of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. 8 And from Betah and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took very much bronze. 9 When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had defeated the whole army of Hadadezer, 10 Toi sent his son Joram to King David, to ask about his health and to bless him because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him, for Hadadezer had often been at war with Toi. And Joram brought with him articles of silver, of gold, and of bronze. 11 These also King David dedicated to the LORD, together with the silver and gold that he dedicated from all the nations he subdued, 12 from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah. 13 And David made a name for himself when he returned from striking down 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 14 Then he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David's servants. And the LORD gave victory to David wherever he went.
15 So David reigned over all Israel. And David administered justice and equity to all his people. 16 Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder,
David served God in many capacities--from simple shepherd boy to heroic ruler. Looking at the various stages of his life, we can see clearly how his godly devotion allowed the Lord to use him mightily.
Shepherd: David was anointed king long before commanding anything other than sheep (1 Sam. 16:1-13). Protecting the sheep was a job he took seriously, even killing a lion and a bear to do so. During those days, he learned to be strong and brave, and to take care of creatures weaker than himself. An early life of obedience to his human father taught him the humility he would later need in order to depend on God.
Psalmist: David's writings reveal his hunger for God. He is open about issues like fear, depression, defeat, loneliness, and sorrow. By describing valley experiences and communing with the Father in the night watches, David provided us with intimate glimpses of the God he knew so well.
Commander: Starting with David's encounter with Bathsheba, the king's life was plagued by heartache, pain, suffering, and conflict. David had sinned greatly, but God forgave him and continued to use him. He ruled Israel for 40 years, and his people called Jerusalem the "City of David." His restoration teaches us about the consequences of sin and the limitlessness of God's grace.
King David served God's purpose when he lived, and continues to do so hundreds of years later--every follower of Christ has been blessed by David's obedience, service, and literary skill. He is a great example of what God can accomplish through us if we yield our life to Him.