24 Dec Visiting The City of David: David’s Palace
My name is Travis Wood. I live in Laramie, WY and am currently pursuing my Master of Theological Studies at The West Institute of Shepherds Seminary. My long-term goal is to be trained for discipleship and bible teaching wherever the Lord leads!
One of our most impactful visits on the Israel tour took us to the City of David, which was the original city built up by King David when he conquered the Canaanite city of Jebus and renamed it Jerusalem. The city is built between the Kidron and Central valleys in Jerusalem, and the topography of the area has changed drastically over the centuries. Walking by, you would think you were in a typical Jerusalem neighborhood, but as archaeologists have gained access to dig, biblical stories have taken on new life.
As you descend the stairs into the site, you enter what is believed to be King David’s palace. It was excavated by Eilat Mazar in 2005. She excavated the foundations of a large palace dating back to the time of King David and found several lines of evidence demonstrating that it may very well have been his very own dwelling place. It was mind-blowing and encouraging to consider that we were in the same air space as King David. Imagining him walking around in this location, I had to consider the huge controversy concerning David in the world of archaeology.
The personae of David, outside of the biblical narrative, in the archaeological community is largely misunderstood, to say the least. Secular scholars claim he was merely a minor ruler or chieftain, since there is no evidence of him erecting monuments and lavish buildings in his honor like typical kings of his era. He did not have glorious songs and stories written to commemorate him. This line of reasoning is used to discredit him as a true king of Israel in the way the Bible portrays him. However, those of us who accept and seek to understand the Bible as truth can see that David in fact was an obedient servant of God, understanding himself as a viceroy of YHWH rather than a king mighty in his own strength.
Personally, I take away from this experience that I need to be a leader like David who gives the glory to God and does not seek to lift up my own name. I need to be content to be a servant in leadership. There are plenty of temptations and opportunities to seek self-glorification even in ministry. David, though not flawless, is a consistent example of giving glory where it was due–to the mighty hand of YHWH. I also see in David’s life that God lifted him up and called him as a man after his own heart. This is a beautiful example of how the humble man is raised up when his trust is in the Lord.
Several days previously, we stood on a hill overlooking the place where David slew Goliath, back when he was essentially a nobody from no-where Bethlehem. On this day, we saw his palace and how God’s promises to David came true as his kingdom was established in Jerusalem. This is just one more amazing testimony to the authenticity and reliability of God’s Word. We do not have faith in the Bible simply because of archaeology, but it certainly encourages our faith as we are willing to take the Bible in hand and look at what remains in the land and time and time again, see that God’s testimony of history is perfectly accurate and trustworthy.