Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Studies in 2 Samuel - "David as King"|
Chapter: 2 Sam 5
Passage: 2 Sam 5:6-16
A. Find Out:
1. Where did David go next, with what aim in mind? v.6a
2. How did the occupants respond? v.6b
3. Yet what happened and how? v.7,8
4. What did David then do? v.9,10
5. What did Hiram do with what result? v.11,12
6. What did David subsequently do? v.13-16
1. Read also 1 Chron 11:6. Who helped David defeat Jerusalem?
2. Why do you think David wanted to take the city?
3. What seemed to happen after its capture?
Jerusalem (possible meaning, ‘city of peace') had never fully been taken by Israel and the Jebusites, original occupiers of the land, were still there. As such it was a monument to Israel's failure to fully take the land, and as such it becomes David's immediate focal point as soon as he is made king. ‘Zion' possible means ‘prominence' and it was probably simply a fortress on a high point. So secure was it apparently, that its occupants felt that it could be defended by the lame and the blind.
Yet Joab seems to have taken a raiding party and infiltrated it by climbing up a natural water shaft into the city. The result is that it is now the ‘city of David' and so the name has remained. We aren't told why Jerusalem is chosen as his city; presumably it was simply the city of God's choosing.
Once he had taken the city, David enlarges and strengthens it and even builds himself a palace with the help of Hiram of Tyre. It is obvious (stated twice) that the Lord is with David. What is sad is that David took both concubines and more wives. Monogamy was not commanded by the law but polygamy was certainly not a wise state, and later tensions will arise between the children and different wives. David may be a man after God's own heart, but he is still a fallible man.
2. God's blessing is not a sign of our perfection, but of His grace.
Chapter: 2 Sam 5
Passage: 2 Sam 5:17-25
A. Find Out:
1. What did the Philistines do and how did David react? v.17
2. What did David do when they came, with what reply? v.19
3. So what happened? v.20,21
4. Yet what happened again? v.22
5. So what did David do, and with what reply? v.23,24
6. So what happened? v.25
1. Who initiated these conflicts?
2. What was David's response each time?
3. What was the key to his successes?
The Philistines were always a thorn in the side of Israel, a neighbour always out to cause trouble. Hearing that David has been made king and knowing of him from their past experiences (see 1 Sam) they presumably think they can easily defeat him - yet they do bring their whole army, so perhaps they aren't quite as confident as they might make out. Rather than take them on in his own land where all his people are he moves into the mountainous rugged area to the south west where he was familiar with the terrain and with fighting.
When the Philistines arrive we see David seeking the Lord for direction. We don't know how the Lord spoke to him but the guidance was clear: “Go for it”. So David defeats them. It is as simple as that. However the Philistines are not deterred and return, so again David seeks God for guidance. This time the Lord gives him specific instructions as to how to proceed and again David defeats them.
How much more the Lord is involved in this latter battle is not clear but there is an indication through His instructions that the army of the Lord was also involved. David's basic example needs to be followed. There are 2 keys: first, seek God for guidance and, second, obey what the Lord says.
2. Do we obey the Lord when He does give us guidance?
Chapter: 2 Sam 6
Passage: 2 Sam 6:1-11
A. Find Out:
1. What did David set out to do? v.1,2
2. How did they do it? v.3,4
3. What were they doing as well? v.5
4. What happened along the way? v.6,7
5. What was David's response? v.8,9
6. So what did he do and what happened? v.10,11
1. How did this procession appear all right to start with?
2. What signs are there that they were casual with the ark?
3. How did the Lord show what He felt about the ark?
David may have been a man after God's own heart but he was still a man and still prone to getting it wrong, however great he may appear to us in his victories. Having established himself in Jerusalem he is aware that the ark of God is still in a tent in another part of the land and feels that it ought to come to where he is.
Now the ark was the place in the tabernacle where the glory of the Lord had come to rest, it was the symbol of the presence of God, it was holy, and David was about to learn a lesson about dealing with what is holy. Ignoring past instructions as to how the ark is to be carried by priests, they get a cart, put the ark on it and make a joyful procession with it. If you saw this procession and the way David and the others were celebrating you might have thought, “How wonderful, isn't it good seeing people worshipping the Lord.”
However this was a man-centred celebration and they were more focused on what they were doing than about the awesome presence that was with them. Thus when one of them puts his hand out to steady the ark he is instantly struck down. “Who said you could touch My ark?” is almost what you can hear the Lord saying. David can't cope with this. He's first of all angry against God and then fearful of Him. He still has some learning to do.
1. Are we casual about God? Do we not realise He is holy?
2. We are to do things God's way, not with our own bright ideas!
Chapter: 2 Sam 6
Passage: 2 Sam 6:12-23
A. Find Out:
1. What did David hear about the ark that brought him confidence? v.12
2. How did they go about bringing in the ark the second time? v.13-15
3. How did he complete the bringing in of the ark? v.17-19
4. How did Michal respond to David? v.16,20
5. What was David's response to this? v.22
6. What was the effect on Michal? v.23
2. Why do you think Michal felt as she did about David?
3. What do you think David's response indicates?
There several important lessons here. Lesson number one: you treat the things of God with respect and do things the way God has said. That was the big difference between the two episodes. In the first one they were casual, while in this one they were careful to do everything as God had said. There was respect and honour for God is this one!
Lesson number two: it is easy to fall to the temptation of being more concerned with what man thinks than what God thinks. That was Michal's problem. She thought David ought to be dignified because he was the king. She was worried about what others might think about him. She derides him!
Lesson number three: we are not to be put off by the criticism of others when it comes to our worship of Almighty God. Others may jeer or deride us, but we need to determine to carry on extravagantly worshipping God. How different David's worship is to the neat, orderly and respectable, so-called worship that we so often see. Here is a man who is a man after God's own heart and who has recently realised the holiness of God. For him, worship must be wholehearted. As you consider his preparations, there is nothing casual about this. This is planned and purposeful. May ours be the same.
1. Is our worship of God completely wholehearted?
2. Are we too concerned with what other people think?
Chapter: 2 Sam 7
Passage: 2 Sam 7:1-17
A. Find Out:
1. What had happened just prior to this prophecy coming? v.1-4
2. What does the Lord say about Himself? v.5-7
3. What does the Lord say He has done for David & will do? v.8-11a
4. What does He say he will further do? v.11b
5. How will He do this? v.12-14
6. How long will David's house last? v.15,16
1. What had been David's desire?
2. How does the Lord change that desire around?
3. How do you think this prophecy was fulfilled?
David has now settled in Jerusalem , has brought the ark to Jerusalem , and now thinks about establishing a permanent place for it there in Jerusalem . He shares this thought with Nathan who thinks it is a good idea, but the Lord has other ideas! He gives Nathan a prophecy.
First of all the Lord gently chides David. Had the Lord asked David to build Him a house? Had the Lord ever wanted a permanent dwelling place? No and no! Then the Lord reminds David what He has done for him. He has been with him, provided for him, and given him success in all he had done. He has used David to bring His people to a place of peace.
Now, says the Lord, instead of you building a house for me, I will provide a house for you, but it won't be one made of wood or stone, it will be the family I will raise up for you, to ensure this peace continues for my people. He then speaks of a son to David who will build a temple for the Lord. This was obviously Solomon who built the temple, fell away from the Lord and was chastised. Yet there are also elements of the prophecy that go beyond Solomon and must include Jesus. It could all apply to Jesus except the phrase “when he does wrong”. The eternal kingdom has been established by Jesus and through him the spiritual house continues. (e.g. Eph 2:19-22)
1. We want to provide for God, but He provides for us.
2. We work materially, He works spiritually.
Chapter: 2 Sam 7
Passage: 2 Sam 7:18-29
A. Find Out:
1. About what does David seem surprised? v.18,19
2. Why had God done it? v.21
3. What did David declare about God? v.22
4. What did he say about Israel ? v.23,24
5. What did David ask? v.25,29
6. What reasons are given why he asked? v.26-28
1. What grounds of confidence in asking did David have?
2. What did he ask?
3. What is the lesson for us here?
Perhaps to understand this passage we would do well to consider it in reverse order. First then, what David asked for in prayer. He simply asks that God will do what He has promised He will do, to bless David's house so it will go on for ever. That is remarkable: David asks that God will do no more than he said He would do! In Mt 6:10 Jesus instructed us to pray, “your will be done”. That should be at the heart of our desires in prayer, that God's will be done. How do we know His will? It is what He has already declared.
Next, let's consider just why David was praying. David recognises God's grace towards him and is amazed at what the Lord has done for him (v.19,20). He recognises that the Lord had declared His will (1 Sam 13:14 & 16:13 ) and done it (v.21). He was aware of the Lord's greatness (v.22), and the amazing things that God had done with Israel (v.23,24), and now he had received his prophecy via Nathan (v.27) and that prompted him to pray. If God had fulfilled David's earlier word, he now asked that He would fulfil this latest word as well. David's praying was thus an acknowledgement of God's will and an affirmation of it. All of our praying should be seeking to know God's will and then affirming it. Prayer is a faith act whereby we seek the Lord's will and affirm our intention to be conformed to it.
1. When we affirm God's will, we align ourselves with it.
2. God's declared will is to be at the heart of our praying.
A. Find Out:
1. Who did David defeat? v.1-5
2. Why? v.6
3. What did David do with his spoils? v.11
4. Who else did he defeat, and with what effect? v.13,14a
5. Why was he able to do all this? v.14b
2. How does David show his love for God?
3. How does the passage reveal the Lord in all this?
The thing that stands out first in this passage is that the Lord is the source of David's victories. David does the fighting but the Lord enables him to triumph. How? We aren't told. War was a natural part of those troubled times where there were “kings” over every little area or city. The king was simply the strongest man there, and he made sure his rule extended as far as he could. The various people that David came against were those who had plundered Israel previously.
The next thing to note is that whoever David fought, he defeated, with the result that the whole area came under his rule. For the first time since Israel had come into the land, it was at peace. Nobody before David had achieved this. Yes violence was involved, but that was part of the uncivilised nature of those days, and the end result of it was peace for the area. Finally note David dedicating the spoil to the Lord. His heart is for the Lord and this is way of expressing it. Do we dedicate the material side of our lives to the Lord?
In a spiritual parallel we have to destroy sin in our lives and the result is peace reigning, but sometimes it seems to take drastic action to deal with the sin. However, if the long-term effect is peace and righteousness, then nothing is too costly. Every area is to come under Jesus' reign.
1. The Lord was with David for success in bringing righteousness.
A. Find Out:
1. What did David want to do? v.1
2. So who did they ask? v.2
3. Who did he speak of? v.3b
4. So what did David first do? v.5-7
5. What provision did David make for him? v.9,10
6. So what happened to him? v.13
1. Read 1 Sam 20:12-17,42 Why was David acting as he was now?
2. Read 2 Sam 21:7,8 What does that tell us about Saul's family?
3. How would you describe David's actions in today's passage?
In the somewhat primitive days that we are reading about, when one king triumphed over another, it was often the practice to completely wipe out the entire royal family so that there was no one left who might cause an uprising. When we observe David's actions, therefore, they are all the more surprising, showing us even more of the man who is described as a man after God's own heart (1 Sam13:14).
We find here an act of mercy and grace. First an act of mercy that did not hunt out Jonathan's son and destroy him as was the common practice. Second, an act of grace, that when he did find him he heaped him with provision, he provided for him so that he would have no need unmet.
So why did David do it? We are not told a reason but we must remember the covenant that David had entered into with Jonathan. David is a man of his word and so, both now and later on after the rebellion, he protects and provides for this grandson of Saul. It is also clear that there were other sons of Saul in the background but David's covenant had been with Jonathan and not Saul, and so David does not appear to provide for them in the same way. David is a covenant keeper, with God and with man. Another way of putting it, is that David was a man who acted on the basis of relationships.
1. Do we ensure we keep our promises as David did?
2. Can we exercise mercy and grace similarly?
A. Find Out:
1. What was the Ammonites' first wrong? v.3,4
2. What was their second wrong? v.6-8
3. How did the Arameans compound this? v.6,15-17
4. Who fought the first battle, with what outcome? v.7,13,14
5. Who fought the second battle with what outcome? v.17-19
6. What had been David's original intent? v.1,2
1. What do you think caused the Ammonites to act as they did?
2. How might they have avoided a war having done what they did?
3. What was the end outcome of all this?
Nahash the Ammonite had been a thorn in Israel 's side, yet somewhere along the line he had been friendly with David, probably when David was on the run from Saul. When Nahash dies, the good in David rises up and he decides to honour Nahash by sending a royal delegation to express his sympathy to the son who now reigns.
It is at this point that the leaders of the Ammonites express fear, and so this incites their new king to do something stupid which, if they had thought about it beforehand, they must have realised would act as an insult and inflame an international incident. Fear often comes from insecurity and we so often act in a defensive manner when we are unsure of ourselves. That is so obviously what happens in this situation and it merely gives rise to a need to fear – which hadn't been there before!
Having created an international incident these foolish Ammonites could have simply issued an apology to David and avoided confrontation, but insecure and foolish people don't change over night, so they hire an army and provoke David even more. The end result is that instead of being friends with David they end up being in submission to him.
A. Find Out:
1. What was happening and where was David? v.1
2. What did David do? v.2-4
3. With what result? v.5
4. How did David try to cover it up? v.6-8
5. Why didn't it work? v.9-13
6. So what did David do with what consequence? v.14-17
1. What was David's first sin?
2. How did he try to cover it up?
3. What was his second sin?
We now come to one of the lowest points of David's life. The lesson must be that even a “man after God's own heart” can sin. Before we cast the first stone may we remember that we also have the same tendency. It may not appear as bad as David's sins but it is merely a matter of degree. May we grieve over David rather than condemn.
Spring came, a time when it was possible to go out and deal with the enemy. David's first mistake was that he didn't go and carry on doing what he had done before - lead his men. While he is at home, by chance he observes from his roof a woman nearby bathing. His next mistake was that he carried on looking. That was followed by allowing a growing wrong desire to come. He thought about it and allowed it to dominate him. His next mistake was to act on it.
The consequence of that, first of all, was that Bathsheba became pregnant. The second effect was that David sought to be deceitful and cover it up by having her husband come up and apparently seem to be the father - but that didn't work. So the third effect was that he then sought to remove the husband and have him destroyed. Sin always has consequences! One wrong leads to another. The sinful act is followed by deception and further sinful acts to cover up.
1. Resist temptation. Don't look, don't dwell, don't sin.
2. If you sin, confess it immediately else it will breed more sins.
RECAP - "Victory & Defeat" - 2 Samuel 5-11
In this second group of 10 studies we have seen :
- David taking Jerusalem (5:6-16)
- David triumphing over his enemies ( 5:17 -25)
- The Ark into Jerusalem but death ensuing (6:1-10)
- The Ark brought in correctly ( 6:11 -23)
- Prophecy being spoken over David (7:1-17)
- David's prayer for fulfilment of God's word ( 7:18 -29)
- David's victories over his surrounding enemies (8:1-14)
- David's kindness to Jonathan's son (9:1-13)
- David's victories over the Ammonites (10:1-19)
In these chapters we have seen David becoming established in Jerusalem and triumphing over his enemies, bringing the ark of God's presence into Jerusalem , God's promise of a house for David and David's response in prayer, David's kindness to the family of his old enemy, and his ongoing triumph over the surrounding enemy nations. In all this David does well! Then comes downfall, his sin with Bathsheba, and this will be the turning point of his activities. To whom much responsibility is given, much is required. It's tough from now on.
1. When in difficulty, seek God.
2. God is holy, don't become over-familiar.
3. God will bless to defeat unrighteousness in our lives.
4. God's will is to be at the heart of our praying.
5. Temptation is to be resisted.
Take one lesson at a time and pray it out.
PART 3 : "Disciplined"
In this next Part we see the Lord bringing a disciplining process into David's life. This is not a happy time for David but there are strong lessons for us to learn.