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 …
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
^^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
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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.