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of religious duties was absolutely necessary for the welfare of the state, as well as for the happiness of its individuals. The king's example had proper influence on his subjects: the sabbaths of the LORD were regularly kept, and all the holy ordinances observed with becoming reverence: the LORD caused the light of His countenance to shine on them, and they were prosperous and honourable.
We may understand, from the psalms here introduced, that David's ideas of the LORD GOD were such, as Moses endeavoured to excite in the minds of the Israelites.
NATHAN FIRST APPROVETH DAVID'S PURPOSE TO BUILD AN HOUSE FOF THE ARK—AFTERWARDS BY GOD'S COMMAND FORBIDDETH HIM—DAVID'S PRAYER AND THANKSGIVING.
From 2 Sam. Chap. vii, viii.
AND it came to pass when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; that the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of GOD dwelleth within curtains.
And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart: for the LORD is with thee.
And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? whereas I have not dwelt in any house, since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.
In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel, spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar
Now therefore, so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheep-cote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel,
And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a e a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.
(Moreover, I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and I will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more as beforetime, and as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies) Also the LORD telleth thee, that he will make thee an house.
And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
I will be his father, and he shall be my son: if he commit iniquity I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the stripes of the children of men: but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
Then went David in, and sat down before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O LORD GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? and this. was yet a small thing in thy sight, O LORD GOD; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come; and is this the manner of men, O LORD GOD? and what can David say more unto thee? for thou LORD GOD knowest thy servant.KA
For thy word's sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them.
Wherefore thou art great, O LORD GOD: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God besides thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, › even like Israel, whom GOD went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you! great things, and terrible, for thy land before thy people which thou redeemest to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? for thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their GoD.
And now, O LORD GOD, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said.
And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the GoD over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee.
For thou, O LORD of hosts, GoD of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee.
And now, O LORD GOD, thou art that GOD, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant.
Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O LORD GOD, hast spoken it, and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.
David was now at rest from his enemies, and had established the public worship at JERUSALEM; but he wish+; ed to give the service of Gop all the dignity due to it, to diffuse the GLORY of the LORD throughout the ends of the earth, that the light of true religion should rise from JERUSALEM, like the sun from his tabernacle; that its going forth should be from the uttermost parts of the heavens, and its circuit unto the ends of it, and that nothing should be hid from the light and influence of it.&
David had a deep sense of the deficiency of his best endeavours, and an ardent desire to do more; he therefore formed a scheme for building a magnificent temple, Nathan the prophet, his friend with whom he consulted, thinking it a laudable design, encouraged him to put it in execution; but as at this time Nathan spake only according to the dictates of his own reason, he advised wrong; for the LORD revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, that he had appointed other business for David; and t soften the refusal, the LORD graciously promised that David's son should build the temple, and that he would establish his kingdom for ever. David, overcome with gratitude and astonishment, hasted to the Tabernacle, to pour out his acknowledgments to his Divine Benefactor; his words as recorded in this Section were expressive of the utmost piety, modesty, and humility. SECTION
DAVID understanding, from Nathan's answer, that he, was not to build a temple unto the LORD, but that he was appointed to subdue the enemies of Israel,and establish his people in peace and security; reflected, that as they were not in full possession of the promised land, it was his peculiar business to drive out the idolaters, and settle the tribes of Israel in their stead. He therefore began with the Philistines, having made no treaty with them; and it is likely that even Achish, who had behaved in so friendly a manner when David fled to him for succour, had joined in committing hostilities against him as king of Israel; besides, it was utterly inconsistent with David's present situation, to shew partial favour towards Achish, from private motives.
It is related that David subdued the Philistines, and. took from them Metheg Ammah, by which is meant the city of Gath and the territories belonging to it.
The Moabites had been so effectually subdued by Ehud, that we read no more of them in sacred history till the days of Saul, who warred against them with success. The king of Moab behaved with great hospitality to David's parents; however, when he came to the crown, they entered into a confederacy against him with the neighbouring nations, and renewed their hostilities; so David smote them also. The LORD had expressly commanded, that the Israelites should not attack the Edomites, Moabites, and Amorites, without provocation; for this reason, David was particularly careful to pre