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Old Testament Survey

2 Samuel




Key Verses

7:12-16
12:12-14


Key Chapters

Chapter 5
Chapters 11, 12


Key Concepts

David
Consequences


Thoughts for Reading

Does sin have consequences?
Even after God has cleansed us of our wrong-doing?


In 1 Samuel, there was a second anointing besides that of Saul. After Saul’s failures, Samuel was directed by God to anoint David, the son of Jesse, the shepherd boy (1 Sam 15). Much of 1 Samuel is about David’s training during Saul’s reign as king. The story of David continues in this volume. Here, with Saul’s death, David becomes king, first of Judah and, then, of the entire Nation. This will be a time of great glory for Israel, but a time of much personal trouble for David.

The heart of this book is the giving of the Davidic Covenant (7:8-16). This expansion of the covenant given to Abraham deals with the eternal throne given to the house of David, and, thus, to the house of Judah, in line with the prophecy of Genesis 49:10.

2 Samuel 7:12-16
12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

A heart for God is not a perfect heart, but a heart willing to submit its all to God -- one which promptly seeks forgiveness when confronted with its own sin.

David is a man capable of great sin, but unequaled in his repentance and desire to please God, providing the place where God&s glorious manifestation to Israel would be housed in the near future by the man of God&s own choosing, his son Solomon. David commits two great sins, that with Bathsheba (2 Sam 11) and in numbering the army late in his life (2 Sam 24). Yet, as we read through the remainder of the Old Testament history books, David is the measuring stick against which all others are compared, for his heart was a heart for God.

The Theology of 2 Samuel

One concept often hard to grasp is the relationship of the various facets of God’s character. How, for example, can a loving God be vengeful, as God sometimes seems to be? What we fail to understand or appreciate is the relationship demanded between holiness and justice, between love and mercy, and the need to deal with sin. A review of 2 Samuel puts much of this in some perspective.

Psalm 89 is the biblical confirmation and exposition of the Davidic Covenant

God is Sovereign. God will be the one who will bring David&s rule into being (2:1-2). The Lord rejected Saul&s line (perhaps including the barrenness of Michal) (6:16, 20-23). David considers the verbal abuse of Shimei (16:5-14) to possibly be of God&s sovereignty (16:10).

A simple outline of 2 Samuel is:

Purposes

2 Samuel 2:1-11
And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron. 2 So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal’s wife the Carmelite. 3 And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. 4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were they that buried Saul. 5 And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have shewed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him. 6 And now the LORD shew kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing. 7 Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them. 8 But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; 9 And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. 10 Ishbosheth Saul’s son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.

David’s Tragedies

These opening verses of the second chapter show examples of the highs and lows of David’s life. He continually sought the Lord (2:1), but he also tended to break God’s divine law by taking after the women (2:2). Bathsheba was just another in a long string of wives and concubines. The truly unfortunate consequence of David’s life is that his son, Solomon, would learn from David’s outward example, not from David’s inner heart. Just as Lamech would brag about having outdone his ancestor Cain (Gen 4:23, 24), so Solomon would “brag” through his actions by having wives and concubines that vastly outnumbered David’s (1 Kings 11:1-3). The personal tragedies of David’s life did not have any impact on Solomon.

Jerusalem lies on two mountains. Mt. Zion, the City of David, was David’s original conquest and home. Mt. Moriah was the site of Abraham’s offering of Isaac (Gen 22). The Lord stops the Angel of Death on the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite. This is the same site on Mt. Moriah. David buys this parcel, and this is where Solomon will build the Temple (24:15-25; 2 Chron 3:1).

David begins his reign in Hebron (7 years, 3 months), then becomes king of all Israel following seven years of war with Saul’s last son, Ishbosheth. Shortly thereafter, David captures Jerusalem, making the city the capital of the Nation. With the bringing of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, the city becomes the City of God.

But even this event is not tragedy free. Following the methods of the Philistines (1 Sam 6) rather than God’s law, Uzzah is killed. David is distraught and does not bring the Ark into Jerusalem until a time of consultation with the priests (1 Chron 15:1-16:3). Even with the Ark in the city, God pronounces David to be a man of war and bloodshed and will not allow him to build the Temple (7:6). This task will be left to Solomon, although David makes great plans and preparations for his son’s task (1 Kings 5:1-5; 1 Chron 22-29).

David’s last victory is recorded in Chapter 12

The later years of David’s life are fraught with rebellion and unrest, the consequences of David’s sins. Yet, the kingdom of Israel reached its largest size and, perhaps, exercised its greatest influence under David. David becomes the model by which Israel’s kings are hereafter judged.

Jesus in 2 Samuel

As has been suggested in 1 Samuel, David is the picture of anticipation of the Messiah. While David reigns but forty years, Christ’s kingdom will last forever. Yet, Christ will rule on the throne of David. This is the promise of the Davidic Covenant. David’s life and God’s covenant with him are a prophecy of the throne of Christ.

And, notice the on-going progression in God’s revelation.

In David, in David’s Psalms, in David’s actions, we see the picture of forgiveness and mercy God offers to all of us. Lest we forget the lesson, meditate on these verses. God knows what we do behind closed doors. For the proper response of repentance, forgiveness accepted, and life thereafter, review Psalms 51 and 32, written by David as a result of his sins concerning Bathsheba.

How long does it take you to seek forgiveness after you have sinned?

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December 15, 2019

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