2 Samuel Reflections

These are notes collected from studying with Matt Lantz and Matt Roefer. Anything good comes from the Lord. Everything else is from us!

More David and Saul

I think starting 2 Samuel today continued to hit home how David extends mercy. He actually weeps over Saul and avenges his death (ch 1) and and also Abner (ch 3). You would think in his flesh he would be celebrating in a sense that the guy who has been trying to chase him down and kill him is finally dead but he does not seem to hold bitterness or resentment at all- he just does the right thing time and time again. Really incredible

Agree. I’ve been struck by his trust of the Lord to deal with Saul, instead of taking it into his own hands when he could. Very admirable. We will see something similar with his son, Absalom, when he turns against David and tries to kill him. Though, as I recall, he did get rebuked for being “too soft” with Absalom when he should’ve taken a stand a bit more against the abuse. But clearly his default is to love and forgive instead of fight: this is what it looks like to be a man after God’s heart!

…saying that, as we will also see, David is by no means innocent in his dealings on his way to the throne. We’ve already seen a fair amount of dishonesty in 1 Samuel, as well as multiplying wives, for instance. A reminder that God is the one who shows the MOST MERCY to all of us in using us who are full of sin. And as we see that truth, I believe we will be freed to forgive and give others mercy and love (instead of fighting back), which David models so beautifully.

something that really strikes me with the David-Saul story is how much David trusted the Lord and wanted to honor Him. Logically speaking, he could’ve said, “Saul is crazy and used of Satan…he’s no longer a trustworthy king…he’s out to murder me and Samuel anointed me as a king…it only makes sense that, in self-defense, I kill him and take the throne.” Granted he wouldn’t get the throne quite that easily (as we see in the skirmish for the throne in 2 Samuel). But a lot of that would make logical sense. However, David didn’t trust his sense of logic or right and wrong. He trusted the Lord who anointed Saul to “de-throne” if He must, at the time He appoints. And, if God wants David as king, He will appoint David at the time of his choosing. David didn’t want to get in the way of God’s appointment.
This seems a contrast to when Saul depended on his logic and offered the sacrifices that God didn’t warrant because everything made sense to his own mind of doing things:
“there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end leads to death” Prov. 16:25

David Accumulates More Wives

Reading further in 2 Samuel we see that David accumulates more wives. It seems a pretty depressing account to read about him forcing Saul’s daughter to come back as one of his wives while her husband follows behind her weeping. Of course, there’s A LOT I don’t know about all of what was going on in surrounding context when that happened, but it doesn’t strike me as a really righteous move at first blush.
I also think some of his actions come off pretty savage. Again, I don’t know the full story, though I do recall later God saying something to the effect that since there was so much blood on David’s hands he wouldn’t let him build the temple. I could be getting that wrong. We’ll have to wait and see :slightly_smiling_face:
But all to say, even David (a man after God’s own heart) may have had some glaring issues. Reading the Bible more almost always confronts 2 things in me: (1) I’m not as great as I thought I was, (2) God’s mercy is MUCH greater than I can imagine. Reading about heroes in the faith who are a bit “unsavory” in some areas gives me hope for all of us :slightly_smiling_face:

^^of course, not to excuse sin…and also recognizing that there’s a lot going on we have to account for in stories of people in other cultures, times

I’ve been thinking the same in reading about his multiple wives even before the Bathsheba episode. It was interesting to me that God sent Nathan to confront/speak to him about Bathsheba/Uriah but never seemed to really confront him about the multiple wives earlier in the book…

sobering to consider what are the sins in our hearts that God has yet to point out because He is currently working on some “bigger fish” in us / our community :thinking_face:
all to say…we ain’t as great as we think we are!

2 Sam 7

I’m very touched by 2 Sam 7. Namely:

  1. David relates with the Lord not as “Being up there” but as the Living God in front of him. Further, He recognizes His great value and worth. When no one thought the Lord’s reputation and honor was worth the fight with Goliath (nor trusted the Lord’s power to win the battle), David did. And now, when no mention has been made of God having a home more worthy to who He is, David did. He sees and considers the Lord and His value in ways unlike anyone around him. Lord, may that be said of us!
  2. The Lords response to David’s request also blows me away. It’s almost like a father who has been providing a really nice home for his family and loved ones, all the while living outside in a tent, and never saying anything about it. He probably heard so much grumbling and complaining concerning their living conditions while He just accepted a more humble home. Then one of his kids says, “Wait, Dads been outside this whole time we’ve had nice living conditions. That’s not fair to Him.” All while everyone else just thought about themselves. And God never once complained though He would’ve been the only One justified to do so. Seems similar to when Jesus came to earth: born in a manger, didn’t have a home to lay his head, died poor and in miserable condition in the prime of his life. While his disciples were arguing about who was greater and gets to sit with Him in honor. Lord forgive us.
  3. I love how David says he has boldness and confidence to approach the Lord since he has heard God’s word on the matter. Again, contrast that to so many who brashly pray about whatever THEY THINK would be good, but don’t open God’s word to pray God’s desires. Or, others who might see God spoke a certain way about a certain matter, and so they think they have no responsibility to do anything. Instead, David says, “God said thus would happen. Now I know to pray for that thing to happen.” Similar to Dan 9 where he knew God wanted to free the Jews after 70 year captivity, so he determined to pray, fast, and repent that God would indeed do that.

David as 2nd

Joshua came 2nd, but conquered Promised Land instead of Moses.
David came 2nd, but established good rule and reign over Israel instead of Saul.
…all points to…
1 Cor 15: Jesus is called the “2nd Man” (Adam is the first)…He came second to bring a new humanity that Adam failed to bring.
Jesus = Joshua (same name)
Jesus = Son of David (Matt 1:1)

More on David

  • 2 Sam 11:1 – if David would’ve engaged in battle as a king, things would’ve been different with Bathsheba…
  • “I [God] gave…wives into your [David’s] arms” 2 Sam 12:8…very interesting comment. I think it means that God allowed him to take Saul’s place, including having multiple wives (which would’ve been a sort of status symbol)…not that God wanted that for David per-say.

2 Sam 13

(A) it almost seems like a sort of “generational curse” that David’s son is following after his footsteps in forcing sex on someone not his wife.
(B) I told you that polygamy always ends up bad!! …way worse than a soap opera!

2 Sam 15-16

Again, I see a sort of repeat of David’s sins in Absalom:

  • it starts by Absalom lying about giving a special sacrifice to God (as David and Jonathan lied in a similar manner to Saul)
  • Then he openly fornicates with 10 concubines of David (just as David secretly did with Bathsheba)

…see this very thing prophesied in 2 Sam 12:11!

David’s sins were more “justifiable” and hushed…but they were still there…and in the next generation they are much more brash and open.

God help us not do the same and keep repeating this! I fear we are already seeing this trend continue in US today.

2 Sam 17

God saw Ahithophel’s advice as good, though Absalom rejected it. Interestingly, it really spoke to me as I’ve discerned how to best confront a sticky sin situation…I was weighing out whether to involve more people to confront or just do little “one-off” stuff where it comes up, only addressing the person directly who is stirring up. I thought the latter and believe God used 2 Sa 17 to confirm it.

2 Sam 22

I was really touched by David’s song of praise in ch. 22! Amazing

David and Us

Matt: I see a lot of myself in David- both in his honest lament, deep love of the Lord, and his struggle with sin, and his need of the Lord to redeem Him.

1 Samuel Reflections

These are notes collected from studying with Matt Lantz and Matt Roefer. Anything good comes from the Lord. Everything else is from us!

God’s Victories

2 quick things from 1 Samuel that speak to me:

  1. The place that holiness and integrity plays in advancing against the enemy (see 1 Sam. 4). From the outside, it seemed like they had all ingredients for success: the Ark, the poeple, the passion, etc….but in reality, it was just a shell and a performance…their hearts were self-centered and far from God with no sign of repentance…they mistakenly thought God wanted outward things to win victory…but soon they tragically learned God wants your heart pure before Him (think of Josh 7 – Achan)
  2. When God miraculously routes the enemy (1 Sam 14) – I’m amazed at how often the people STILL advance against the enemy after the routing!! If I were in their shoes, I wonder if I’d watch the miracle and think, “Phew, we dodged a close one,” then go back to my home. But these guys see the miracle (and still being outnumbered) charge ahead. The same with Gideon, and other times. This has really struck me. I’m leaning into this…chasing down the enemy a bit where I see God’s hand of deliverance moving.

2 More Things

  1. Look at how strong God’s anointing is toward Saul in 1 Sam. 9-10. Prophecy, sign, wonder…it is all so powerful. He was clearly the one appointed by God to “restrain My people” (1 Sam. 9:17). But as you read on in 1 Samuel, Saul gets worse and worse and worse :disappointed: …this doesn’t mean God wasn’t in his appointment or beginning. But it does mean God may start something, and yet it goes south later. God is still perfect, and good, and holy through it all…and then redeems it later for His glory and purposes. I dare say this is the summary of the entire Bible (starting with Adam and Eve who God started everything off with)
  2. I was struck this morning by the beginning traits of David’s mighty men: (1) his family members, (2) those in hard times, (3) those in debt, (4) those unhappy/disgruntled (see 1 Sam 22). This is the kind of rag-tag team the Lord is looking for — Amen!

Music, Prayer, Prophecy

After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim,  where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying.

1 Samuel 10:5 – I am struck by how much music and prayer and prophecy are all together in the scripture

1 Sam 1-12 Reflections

This is an incredible book! Really a fun read for me anyway because of all the drama and cast of characters. It’s amazing thinking of all David had to endure for so long at the hands of Saul and really gives even new perspective to so many of his Psalms for me when he was really in distress for so long and running for his life for a lot of his young life but yet holding fast to the Lord.

In the beginning of the book I was really struck how much the people were begging for a king and how this was not God’s intention. He has set them up with judges but then eventually He relents and gives them a king (Saul)

8:19-“the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No.” there shall be a king over us.”

For almost all human history people have wanted power and influence (a king/political influence) and the same was true when Jesus came on the scene. The people wanted a king and a political figure, not someone coming humbly on a donkey and they were furious.

So God gives in and gives them Saul and this is the start to a mess yet it’s still redeemed through the lineage of David which is amazing!

Samuel’s farewell address in chapter 12:19-25 absolutely rocked me. We can sin, but we still can be redeemed if we turn back and follow God with our whole hearts and turn from our wickedness. There is great hope for redemption in this! 12:24-“only fear the Lord and serve Hum faithfully with all your heart. For consider the great things He has done for you.”

1 Sam 13

been thinking about 1 Sam 13…

  • Saul waited the allotted time for Samuel
  • Samuel didn’t come as soon as it seems like he should’ve (or as Saul expected)
  • The Philistines were getting ready for battle with them
  • Saul wanted to appease God and seek his help/favor before battle, so…
  • Saul took it upon himself to offer the burnt offering (instead of Samuel)

Logically speaking, this makes a lot of sense and seems a very natural conclusion.BUT, God’s word said only a priest should offer the sacrifice.THUS… he chose human logic over God’s wordAND… he was rebuked and his reign began to end because of this 1 “logical” decision.”Trust in the LORD with ALL your heart, and LEAN NOT on your OWN UNDERSTANDING.” (Prov. 3:5)

David & Saul

I also think it’s a big turning point in chapter 18 after David & Goliath when David starts getting praised and everyone is singing “Saul has struck down his thousands and David his ten thousands.”

Yes, Saul had pride but even more so he was jealous of David which was the root of so much hatred.This book has so much to say about good and bad leadership, but one thing is for sure- we need to guard our hearts against jealousy.

Brian says: Though where does the pride start and the jealousy begin, right? Seems like the one fuels the other….what is your experience in counseling, Matt?

Matt says: Great question! Yes, I agree one fuels another generally. They are often intertwined and I think we see this with Saul. The Bible has much to say about pride (and also jealously) but I think of you look close it’s hard to see one without the other.

Brian responds: Good points, Matt…I’ve also wondered where insecurity interacts with pride (and jealousy). Seems like it is there often with pride. Not sure where the 1 starts or the other begins…just an observation that they often seem to go together from my very amateur eyes.

1 Sam 28 – Samuel’s Spirit Returns?

Please see Samuel’s Spirit Brought Back?

I just finished 1 Sam tonight and that medium/spiritous woman is messing with me a little.  How could a great leader who Loved God turn so hard to “other” mediums to find direction…. I guess if you turn from the Lord anything is possible (sadly).

David and God’s Mercy

Another thing that hit me was David’s mercy on Saul (how many times could David killed Saul 2-3 times?).  What a picture of the mercy and grace God gives us.  He could strike us down so quickly, yet extends grace. 

Multiple Wives

Random thought, the multiple wives things messes me up.  It’s not a good picture of Christ and the Church.  But God allowed it.

About the multiple wives thing…

  • God shows his original intent in creating Adam and Eve (not Adam and Eve, Victoria, Susanna, you get the picture). From the beginning He designed 1 man to 1 woman.
  • Then, even before Israel fell into sin by demanding a king, God prophetically knew it would happen. And says this about the kings: “He [the king] must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray.” (Deut. 17:17). Again, consider God warned about this before they even had a king! Sadly, the kings seem to rarely follow this command.
  • God also shows the picture of 1 man and 1 wife in His marriage to the church: Christ is our husband, we are his 1 Bride (Eph. 5). To bring in any other lovers is idolatry, adultery, and blasphemy.
  • So, saying all this, it’s true that God allows multiple wives, though it’s never His highest intent. He allowed for it in the OT because He knew their hearts were hard, and would already do it, so He gave some accommodation for it (like in Matt. 19:8). But it was never his intent. In fact, as we will see soon in David’s life, it always seems to be a VERY BAD idea in the Old Testament because it leads to lots of drama and issues and fighting, etc.