The Marvel movie franchise is the most lucrative in history. In the past 12 years, Marvel movies have made over $22 billion. It is easy to understand their popularity. They depict heroes who are strong enough to deliver the world from danger. People love heroes who can win battles.
Be exalted in your strength, LORD; we will sing and praise your might. Psalm 21:13
In today’s reading, David’s star is on the rise. He had won victory after victory by defeating his enemies to the west (v. 1), east (v. 2), north (vv. 3–8), and south (v. 14). Many had been enemies of Israel since the Exodus. Until the time of David, names like the Philistines, Moabites, and Edomites had stricken fear in the hearts of Israelites. “The LORD gave David victory wherever he went” (v. 14). These victories demonstrated God’s commitment to David (vv. 6, 14) and His faithfulness to keep His promise to Abraham (Gen. 13:14).
David’s rule of Israel was characterized as “doing what was just and right for all his people” (v. 15). That is, he did not take bribes or show favoritism. The list of names and offices that David appointed show his attentive care to create a stable and just government for the benefit of the people (vv. 15–18).
The battles and government organization described in this chapter would have occupied the best years of David’s reign. They represent his most significant achievements. Ancient kings often produced long texts celebrating and describing their military victories and achievements. There are two things that stand out in this chapter. First, the Lord gets the credit for David’s success (vv. 6, 14). Second, these victories are described rather quickly. The author of 2 Samuel is much more interested in David’s character and his relationship with the Lord than his victories over enemies.
What is most important to God is not always what seems important to us. Consider how you measure success. No matter how many victories you have, it is important to remember your dependence upon God.