A Town Called David
In this sermon on overcoming bad habits, we're reminded of King David, who overcame physical strongholds, but couldn't conquer those in his own life.
Bad Habits We Can’t Shake Off
The saying is that “Old habits die hard”. Perhaps are bad habits are not too harmful. But are there any habits in your life that have become a stronghold, have a strangle hold on your life and stop you from fulfilling God’s purposes?
David becomes king over Israel
5 All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, ‘We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, “You shall shepherd my people Israel, and you shall become their ruler.”’
3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.
4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah for seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.
David conquers Jerusalem
6 The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there. The Jebusites said to David, ‘You will not get in here; even the blind and the lame can ward you off.’ They thought, ‘David cannot get in here.’ 7 Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion – which is the City of David.
8 On that day David had said, ‘Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water shaft to reach those “lame and blind” who are David’s enemies.’[a]That is why they say, ‘The “blind and lame” will not enter the palace.’
9 David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the terraces[b] inwards. 10 And he became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him.
David Conquers and Renames Jerusalem
2 Samuel 5:9 ESV
And David lived in the stronghold and called it the city of David. And David built the city all around from the Millo inward.
In this sermon on overcoming bad habits, this Bible passage is the high water mark for David. Having been anointed king by God through Samuel in 1 Samuel 16, all events since have been leading up to this point.
David now reigns as king over all Israel. This in itself is a remarkable achievement: David was neither the legitimate heir to King Saul nor even an obvious choice.
David knew he couldn’t rule the new unified nation of Israel from his southern base in Hebron. Jerusalem was ideal as his new capital city. Using a clever means of attack, David turns Jerusalem into his own, and even called it “the city of David”. This is an entirely new political order.
The Things in David’s Life he couldn’t Conquer
No doubt that David was a great king. Perhaps Israel’s greatest king. But there were some strongholds he didn’t capture. If you know anything about David, then you’ll know he didn’t conquer the stronghold of illicit sexual desire. David also struggled with the stronghold of pride. David also found it difficult to conquer the stronghold of obedience. He also had a problem with the stronghold of justice.
Acknowledge Your Weakness in Humility and Rely on God’s Strength
2 Samuel 5:10 ESV
And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.
And yet, remarkably, God stayed with David. David became stronger, not weaker. Doesn’t that seem strange to you? Why would God be with and bless such a flawed person?
David had a unique ability to see his sin and his failure when it was pointed out to him and he repented of his wicked ways.
2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV
if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
It’s a promise for us too. We may have bad habits - strongholds - that are hard to break. Like David we are never good enough, wise enough or strong enough to conquer our strongholds.
But God has promised to do what we are not good enough to do. All we need is the humility to accept who we are.
If you found this podcast sermon on overcoming bad habits helpful, would you please do something for me?
Why not check out these posts from around the blog?
- Remember Who You Are (Psalm 139)
- Palm Sunday | What Kind of King?
- Death by Risk Assessment
- Fully Equipped for God's Service
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