2 Samuel 3:1 is an interesting verse to me. It says, “Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.” To say that the war was over between the two houses after the death of Saul would have been wishful thinking. The king had been taken off the board, but the deadly game continued. There were still violent battles that would be fought and acts of treachery that would take place between the two camps for quite some time to come. And despite the length of the skirmishes it soon became a war of attrition, and with one party on the in and the other on the out, the conflicts only delayed the inevitable.
The house of David no doubt grew in confidence. On the run for so many years but now sitting in the seat of power. They were no longer pursued; they were the pursuers! Each subsequent battle would seal the entire political, and nearly the entire physical fate of Saul’s progenitors.
The house of David no doubt grew in number of followers. What had been a relatively small number of men who fought for the cause of David had now swollen to the giant majority. In the past they had lacked food and force, but now with the changing tide of influence the ones who once had to resort to eating the showbread of the Tabernacle now had a multitude of tables at their disposal. Soon all of Israel would serve David.
The house of David obviously grew in descendants according to 2 Samuel 3:2-5. David had multiplied wives while in Hebron and therefore he had several sons. A reading of 2 Samuel 5:14-16 also reveals the names of those born to him in Jerusalem as well. A person with knowledge of David’s future would notice the name of Solomon in 2 Samuel 5, and with that knowledge they would know that David’s bad habit of multiplying the women in his life would lead to the sad and painful loss of several of his sons. The mighty house of David would suffer great loss, but its promise of lasting strength rested upon a descendant that David could only see through the Spirit (Acts 2:22-36).
The history that makes up the rift between the houses of Saul and David is powerful, intriguing, suspenseful and but for the grace of God it would be an altogether tragedy in every sense of the word. It highlights the deceptiveness of sin, the dangers of politics, the consequences of quenching the Spirit of God and the awe-inspiring providential will of God. It reveals how a righteous God works with and even in spite of the intentions of man. And in the end it shows what happens to every house (people, places, and nations) who resists the will of God.
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)