Memo 1066: The Blind and Lame


David was finally the king but he did not take time to celebrate. He got busy making history by securing a place in his territory that still plays an important role in the world:

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. 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.” That is why they say, “The ‘blind and lame’ will not enter the palace" (2 Samuel 5:6-8).

David and his men did what the local inhabitants didn't think possible due to the advantage they had occupying the higher elevation of Jerusalem, but David's entourage did the impossible. Let's examine how they did it, especially looking at the saying that emerged from this historic event (and its spiritual implications).


It's interesting that David's first priority as king of the united tribes was to go after Jerusalem. This is the first mention of the city in the Bible so we aren't aware that any other campaigns were waged there and don't know the reason David felt such an urgency in capturing it. Note that while the locals were mocking David with a false confidence in the security of their position, David knew exactly what needed to be done to win the battle—the water shaft was the key.

David had insight that others probably had overlooked or didn't think was possible to accomplish, but David was so confident of his perspective that he offered a reward as we learn in 1 Chronicles 11:6: "'Whoever leads the attack on the Jebusites will become commander-in-chief.' Joab son of Zeruiah went up first, and so he received the command." When you're functioning in your purpose, you too will have wisdom and insight that you think is common sense, but it's not common; it's uncommon and unique to you.

What's more, David started his reign by setting and achieving a big goal. What big goals do you have based on the unique insight God has given you in your purpose? All those are good lessons but not the main thing we need to examine this week; it's the proverb that began to circulate after the city was won that we need to take a closer look at.


The phrase that the Jebusites used as a taunt became the battle cry for David: "the blind and lame will not enter the palace." That phrase still holds true today for God's people, which may sound odd so allow me to explain. The blind couldn't enter the house then or now, for God can only use those with eyes of faith who can see the unseen and function according to God's vision and not their own: "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1, emphasis added). Paul wrote, "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18). David saw the city falling and set out immediately to do what he had seen.

And that leads to the second group of people mentioned in the proverb: the lame. There are those who see, who have spiritual insight into many things but do nothing with it. They aren't blind but they're lame: unable to take action or make a difference with what they see. Jesus said, "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them" (John 13:17, emphasis added). Paul wrote, "for we walk by faith, not by sight." Paul wrote we "walk," which indicates we're going somewhere, making progress toward a specific objective or goal.

The sons of Issachar were "men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do" (1 Chronicles 12:32). That's what God wants you to be, too—a person who has insight into the "water shafts" of the enemy and can then go forth to do something with that knowledge. Do you need to seek the Lord for understanding about who you are and what He wants to do through your life? Do you need to do something with what you know? Keep in mind that the "blind and lame" still can't enter the king's palace, but those who see and act will be used by God to find and conquer their own Jerusalems. Have a blessed week.


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