The Book of 2 Samuel recounts the tumultuous reign of King David. As the type of the Messiah who is yet to come to fully establish God’s Kingdom on earth, it is surprising to witness the many failures in the life of this great OT leader who has been characterized as “the man after God’s own heart.” Yet God demonstrates His Power and His Providence in mercifully restoring David, in sustaining and even strengthening his United Kingdom over the twelve tribes, and in preparing the way for that future Messianic Kingdom.
David’s supreme loyalty to His God amidst all of the trials and pressures stands in contrast to those who have very selfish, politically-motivated agendas. When David is confronted with his sin, he repents and seeks God’s gracious restoration. Ultimately, the state of the union which David passes on to his son Solomon far surpasses the fragmented tribal bickering reflected at the conclusion of the reign of Saul. God has granted the nation rest from attacks from external enemies and protected the nation from its own internal civil strife so that it has become an impressive showcase for His glory. The focus remains on the future where the expectations will be met by the coming of the Prince of Peace.
GOD’ POWER AND PROVIDENCE SUSTAIN HIS KINGDOM PROGRAM AMIDST THE CHALLENGES OF DAVID’S REIGN
2 Samuel 7:16 “And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”
I. (CHAPS 1-6) KINGDOM TRANSITION – FROM SAUL TO DAVID
II. (CHAPS 7-10) KINGDOM BLESSINGS – CONQUESTS AND CONSOLIDATION
III. (CHAPS 11-17) KINGDOM UPHEAVAL – HEINOUS CRIMES / PAINFUL CONSEQUENCES / PROVIDENTIAL PROTECTION
IV. (CHAPS 18-21) KINGDOM RESTORATION – SUSTAINED BY PROVIDENCE AND POWER OF GOD
V. (CHAPS 22-24) KINGDOM MEMORIES – PRAISE AND RECOGNITION / FAILURE AND RESTORATION
WHY STUDY THIS BOOK?
– To highlight the Power and Providence of God in working out His Kingdom Program throughout human history. As others have often quoted, “History” is primarily “His Story.”
– To remind us that human government, even under the best possible leadership, cannot escape the painful consequences of sin and therefore the need for God’s mercy, grace, and restoration.
– To encourage us that despite our failures and periods of walking outside of God’s will for our life, God is quick to forgive, compassionate, and merciful and able to restore us to fellowship and usefulness in His kingdom.
– To encourage the heads of families to effectively nurture and discipline their children to avoid the painful consequences of sin and rebellion which wreck the peace and harmony of the home.
– To stress the importance of doing God’s work in God’s way and in accordance with His timing and leading rather than taking matters into our own hands.
– To point our attention to the Messiah and His Kingdom which will accomplish the ultimate fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.
David Malick: The Lord’s establishment, upheaval, and continuance of the United Kingdom under David is worked out in correspondence with David’s expressions of covenant loyalty and his (and others’) expressions of covenant disloyalty, as well as in accordance with the Lord’s gracious provision.
Warren Wiersbe: One of the major themes of 2 Samuel is restoration – the restoration of national unity, the restoration of David after he sinned, and the restoration of the throne after Absalom’s rebellion. Intertwined with this theme is the emphasis on power, showing how God empowered David and his people to accomplish His will. Saul tore things apart, but God used David to start putting things back together again.
But alas, the events recorded here weren’t always honoring to the Lord or beneficial to His people. Until the nation was united under David, political ambition and civil war led to the tragic deaths of too many people. As a consequence of David’s sin with Bathsheba and his subsequent deception, David’s own family was torn apart and the nation plunged into a second civil war.
John Davis: David had enjoyed moments of great success and yet, in spite of his wisdom and political genius, as a father he failed within his own household. . . The results of David’s reign, however, were not all negative. It is very clear from a military and political point of view that David had fully established the kingdom of Israel. He had given its borders recognition and protection. He had achieved international respect and recognition for Israel in a very brief period of time. This great kingdom soon was to pass into the hands of Solomon, a young man with equal capabilities and gifts.
Simpson: At last David comes, God’s true king. And the story of his rejection, exile, and final triumph vividly foreshadows the conflicts and victories that are to usher in the reign of our Lord, and “make Jesus King.”
Mittelstaedt: It was always God’s intention to reign as king in the hearts and lives of the Israelites. A government so ordered by God in which its citizens look to God for their laws, for guidance, and for protection against those who threaten the state – such a government is called a theocracy (“rule of God”). In time God intended to give his people an earthly representative of his rule – a king who would work to preserve the unity of God’s chosen people. The rule of one king is called a monarchy (“rule of one”). God’s desire, however, was to combine the two, so that Israel, his people, would be governed by a theocratic monarchy. In other words, God wanted the kingdom of Israel to be both an outward kingdom and an inward rule of faith in the people’s hearts.
Bob Deffinbaugh: 2 Samuel leaves us with an appreciation for the greatness of David, but also a realization of his human weaknesses. If there is to be a king who will dwell forever on the throne of David (2 Samuel 7:12-14), it must be one who is greater than David. If David is the best king who ever ruled over Israel, then God will have to provide, Himself, a better King. And so He will.