This article contains descriptions, conversations and reflections of biblical characters that the author has imagined, based on Psalm 2; 1 Samuel 16, 24; 2 Samuel 5; 1 Kings 1-2.
The two men leaned in close to one another, intent on a more intimate conversation than the bustle of the royal entourage swirling around them might have allowed. The younger man appeared worried and distracted. Uncertainty and fear lined his face. In contrast, the old man had the serene bearing of a king who had seen much, endured much and was able to pass on his royal mantle with dignity and quiet confidence. David had been Israel’s monarch for forty years, but today he would hand over the kingdom to Solomon, just as he had promised the boy’s mother.
Solomon wasn’t so sure about becoming king. His father was old and soon would be gathered to his people,” unable to help him. Meanwhile, Solomon’s older brother Adonijah had already set up a rival administration and had had himself anointed King in David’s place. Solomon’s life might soon be forfeit to the ambitions of his brother and those who had aligned themselves with him. But David’s confidence calmed Solomon’s heart. “You are the one God has chosen, my son. Nathan the prophet anointed you, not your brother, to be the King. Have no fear. Whenever God chooses to anoint a man, the enemies of the Lord will rise against him. But the will of the Lord shall prevail. Mark my words.”
Solomon knew his father spoke truth from experience. He had heard the stories many times over and had even memorized the song that commemorated his father’s anointing as king. It had been an event marked by tremendous turmoil and bloodshed.
Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.” (Psalm 2:1-3)
David was only a young man when he was anointed King of Israel in Bethlehem by the prophet Samuel. Though he had known the quiet life of tending his father’s sheep, he had already proven himself in battle—against wild animals that would attack his father’s flock, and against the Philistine giant who mocked the God of Israel. Yet he could also gently soothe “the beast within,” and he often overcame Saul’s dark moods with his music.
In return, David was forced to spend much of his young adulthood fleeing from the murderous intentions of Saul. But though the first king of Israel treated David like an enemy, the son of Jesse refused to do battle against him. David knew that God’s anointing was something special and even when it was within his power to slay Saul, he reminded his fighting men, “touch not the Lord’s anointed.”
One might have expected David to heave a sigh of relief when Saul died in battle, but that was not the case. David remembered the very best of Saul, when others might have remembered the worst. He grieved from his heart at Saul’s passing—not to mention the passing of Saul’s son Jonathan, David’s closest friend.
The men of Judah anointed David in Hebron as King a second time, but even with Saul and his heir gone, obstacles rose up, threatening to block David from his destiny. Saul’s other son, Ishbosheth, attempted to divide the tribes of Israel from Judah, and claim the kingship over Israel for himself. Though it took time, David’s patient confidence eventually paid off; the tribes united and he was anointed once again in Hebron, this time with all the elders of Israel present.
Well did Solomon remember the tales of what happened next. Instead of hailing David’s triumph, the nations raged and the people plotted—just as the song said. The Jebusites in Jerusalem mocked David as a weakling, joking that he couldn’t even defeat a group of determined blind and lame men. Of course they were wrong, and Zion, the city of David, is testament to his first victory as King of Israel. Then the Philistines, a much more formidable enemy, determined to destroy the young king when he’d barely had the time to establish himself.
“Remember, Solomon,” David would say, “when men stand up against God, God sits down to laugh.” I can imagine him teaching Solomon the song:
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.” (Psalm 2:4-6)
It was no small thing for David to go up against the mighty Philistine armies—the very ones who had killed King Saul. And now they were spread out like swarms of flies all across the valley of Rephaim. David knew he needed God’s help and so he prayed to the Lord. God loves it when His anointed son prays to Him:
The Lord has said to Me, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Ps.2:7-9).
What happened next was one of the strangest military victories in the annals of Israel. “When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees then rouse yourself,” God had said. “The Lord will go out before you.”
“It happened just like that,” David often recalled with amazement. “I can still hear the sound of God’s armies, marching in the tops of those trees. We called that place ‘the Lord broke through.’ Those Philistines threatened to ‘break our bonds in pieces’ but the Lord broke through on them instead.”
A mighty victory was secured for the Lord and His anointed on that day.
The moral of the story and the point of Psalm two is one and the same: never go against God’s anointed. Young King Solomon needed to learn firsthand what his father David had discovered long before: his security would never be in strength of arms or wealth and wisdom, but in the promises of God. Those who chose to honor Solomon as King were honoring King David, and ultimately, they were honoring God. When you honor the son, you honor the father. When you honor the anointed, you honor the One who has chosen to anoint.
Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. (Psalm 2:10-12)
God staked his reputation on David and on David’s descendants, not because they were so deserving of God’s help but because God is so faithful and deserving of true worship. King David was anointed as a foreshadowing of the ultimate Anointed One, the Messiah, David’s greater Son, King Yeshua. All the nations of the earth will one day either bend their knees in worship to Him or bow to be judged by Him, the supreme King of Kings, blessed be He.
Whenever we choose to “kiss the Son”—that is, acknowledge and obey Jesus in our own lives—we are aligning ourselves with the purposes of the King of the universe. With that obedience, we have the promise of His anointing on our own lives as well. That doesn’t mean that no one will come against us in this life. In fact, at times it may seem that the whole world is arrayed against us. But if we are standing with the Anointed One, no weapon formed against us shall prosper. Or as the song says:
“Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”