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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

God of Hosts

Powerful servants.

2 Samuel 5:10–16

Then David dwelt in the stronghold, and called it the City of David. And David built all around from the Millo and inward. So David went on and became great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him.

Then Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters and masons. And they built David a house. So David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted His kingdom for the sake of His people Israel.

And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he had come from Hebron. Also more sons and daughters were born to David. Now these are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

Jerusalem’s structure as a stronghold is now a precious asset. David establishes Jerusalem as the capital city and then proceeds to develop the suburbs. His glorious reign has finally gotten underway, and he is blessed with the LORD’s presence.

Except that the text doesn’t just say, “the LORD was with him.” It says, “the LORD God of hosts was with him.

That’s a curious phrase. What are hosts? Is the LORD the God of a bunch of servants who say things like, “Would you like one lump or two with your tea?”

The Hebrew here is glorious. The word that’s translated as “hosts” (צְבָאֹ֖ות, tseh-vah-oat) means “armies.” Yikes. So, why doesn’t anyone translate it as armies?

Because the verbal root for tseh-vah-oat is tsah-vah (צָבָא), which means to wage war, to serve, or even just to go out. Here, tseh-vah-oat refers to angels. The Hebrew word for them is the word for messenger. So, the heavenly host is an army of angels. Angels can be very powerful when they need to be.

So, with all this going for him, David’s neighbors want to get on his good side. The king of Tyre has access to the great cedars of Lebanon and also to the best workmen.

So he builds David a magnificent house that shows off his royal status to everyone.

Of course, David’s “super alpha” status leads to lots of wives and kids. That sounds great to the secular mind, but it’s not righteous. Other than Solomon, these sons don’t do anything besides show up in lists.

Matthew Henry says it best—“David had many wives, and yet that did not keep him from coveting his neighbor’s wife and defiling her; for men that have once broken the fence will wander endlessly.

However, a glorious plot twist is coming that will display God’s amazing creativity and grace.

David’s son Nathan appears in the genealogy of Christ. (See Luke 3:31.)

These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday ones are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe click here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, can be downloaded here:

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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