War—what is it good for? Well, showing off the dominance of your God for one. And crushing your enemies to a pulp. War was part of the landscape in ancient Israel. David was not only a savvy ruler, he was also an impressive warrior. For much of David's life it was all war, all the time. The Chronicler clearly believes that David's winning record on the battlefield came directly from God. God is very active in this story in directing battle action and making sure that David is victorious. In the books of the Major Prophets, it's very clear that God enjoys these military victories so that everyone can know that he's more powerful than other so-called gods.
Questions About Warfare
The Chronicler obviously believes that God approves warfare. Is this is dangerous position to take?
Is it odd that God would sanction the killing of thousands of people? How does that affect our view of the Almighty in this book?
Sure, David is a warrior, but Solomon is going to be a peaceful ruler. How does the author strike a balance between these two styles? Does God prefer one to the other?