Man is best described by what he leaves behind. When you are no longer around, how will be remember you? A legacy is something that is important to most of us. We’re finishing a series about the great King David, someone certainly left behind a legendary legacy. He did a lot in his life to be known as the greatest king Israel ever had, but do we know exactly what he did to get such a stellar legacy? Let’s explore four major events that shaped his legacy and see how we can leave a legendary legacy for God.
This is a bit of a history lesson, but also an epic action movie, so get ready…
While Saul was still king, by God’s command, the prophet Samuel blessed David as the next king of Israel. After Saul died in battle, however, there was a weird window of time when David still wasn’t king of all of Israel. The commander in Saul’s army gave Ish-Bosheth (Saul’s remaining son) keys to the kingdom, while David was king of Judah (just basically a smaller portion of Israel). David knew he was to be king and this created tension, in fact there was a full-blown civil war between David and Ish-Bosheth. In regards to this civil war, we see David’s military might in 2 Samuel 3:1
The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.
David eventually wins this civil war, and all of Israel is glad to be under his reign. You can read in 2 Samuel 5:1-3, the people recognized David’s strength as a leader and finally he is made the king of Israel. The nation that was once divided was now gladly united under David. One event that shaped David’s legendary legacy: he unified Israel, like a boss. He’s like the OG Abraham Lincoln, uniting a country post civil war.
Now that David was in full control, it was time for David domination. Being the strategic military leader he was, for many reasons (geographical, military, spiritual), he knew that Jerusalem needed to capital of Israel - but at the time was occupied by the Jebusites (enemy wicked tribe of the Canaanites). David marches to Jerusalem, and the story is found in 2 Samuel 5:6-7:
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.” Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion — which is the City of David.
The Jebusites didn’t think David had a chance, but David out-smarted them. If you continue reading in verses 8-10, you read how David sent his army through the water piping system of Jerusalem to surprise the Jebusites and conquer them. Beast! Taking Jerusalem only made David stronger and Israel more powerful. Another event that shaped David’s legacy: he conquered Jerusalem, like a boss.
Up next for David, he had a passion to bring home the lost ark of the covenant, a beautiful wood and gold box that held the ten commandment stone tablets that God gave to Moses. The ark was in a bit of a tug-o-war match with Israel’s enemies, but while Saul was king, it was in the hands of the enemies. Long story short, because there’s not enough time to describe the history of the ark, David borough that treasure home. 2 Samuel 6:12b-15:
So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.
The national treasure was now home. David was exciting and dancing in the streets, and Israel was amped and blasting their trumpets - this was a great victory. Yet another way David’s legacy was solidified: he brought the ark back, like a boss.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, is looking at the promise God makes to David in 2 Samuel 7 - which is called the Davidic Covenant. In this chapter, God is speaking to the prophet Nathan about David, and because of his dedication to all things godly, God promises in verses 12-13:
When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
King David is told the one thing I am sure all kings wanted to hear: that his kingdom would live on forever! And when God says forever, He means into eternity - and He is referring to His Son Jesus. In Jesus, God’s Kingdom will win for all eternity, and David has the blessing of having Jesus come from his own family! How awesome is that?! One more legacy-shaping moment of David’s life: God blessed him with a legendary line-up.
That was a lot of history and background on David, hopefully you still here with me… But what can we learn from this? What do we take from all of this? This is how David is remembered - his legacy is built off of the things that he did in his life: monumental accomplishments, strategic and wise decisions, but most importantly, his firefly intense dedication to God throughout all of it. So how do we leave a legendary legacy for God, like David did? Recognize that your life determines your legacy!
Your everyday choices, accomplishments you achieve, failures and mistakes you make, your every decision whether good or bad will be shaping your legacy. What’s specially awesome about David’s legacy isn’t all the accomplishments, it’s that everything he was doing was 100% for God - pushing God’s Kingdom, doing God’s will, listening to and honoring God. That’s what takes his legacy from a good one to a legendary one.
What legacy are you leaving? What legacy do you want to leave? How would people view you and remember you when you’re no longer around? I know for me, I don’t want to leave behind a bad legacy. Honestly, I don’t even want to leave behind a “good” legacy - where people think, “oh that John was a good, nice guy that was thoughtful and what not…” I want to leave behind a legendary legacy, where people remember me as a guy who did everything God wanted him to do, loved people like Jesus loved people, and even though he wasn’t perfect, he did his best to follow God’s plan and love people. That’s what takes a legacy from good to legendary.