Reading 2 Samuel

2 Samuel

As we begin reading 2 Samuel we leave Saul behind and turn our attention to David as King. The life of David can be divided into three acts.  The first is his life with Saul. Saul reigned for 40 years and David was part of the king's men for the last part of that.

Now we begin our reading with David as King. He consolidates his kingdom. He continues his exploits and victories as he walks with God.  This period is often referred to by writers as "David's reign in triumph" and covers chapters 1 - 12. Then, he commits adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah (chapters 11-12). The child from this illegal union dies (probably a blessing in the eternal scheme of things). David suffers his own personal struggles. He pleads for forgiveness (Psalm 51, 32, 6). He knows that God 'abandoned' Saul for not walking in faith. He prays that God will not also take the Spirit from him as He did with Saul (Psalm 51:11).

This brings the latter part of David's life. It has often been called his 'reign of tragedy" and covers chapter 13 thru the early chapters of 1 Kings. Sin has consequences. David's life is different in the latter days than at the first. His victories and confidence are eroded. His family becomes a mess of intrigue and bickering.  Absalom rebels and then dies. David remains faithful to God through these dark days. As David draws near to his time of death we end the books of Samuel.

Even kings sin. Such was NOT a lifestyle with David. Such was not irreparable. Such sin required of David a broken and contrite heart and much prayer. The problem with so many people, like it was with Saul, is not that they sin but that they have no godly sorrow about such sin. When David is told by Nathan the prophet: "Thou are the man", he does not deny it or make excuses. He doesn't attack the messenger. He repents.

No wonder he wrote: "How joyful are those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered! 8 How joyful is the man the Lord will never charge with sin!" (Psa. 32:1-1; cp. Romans 4:7-8). Are we walking with God and rejoicing in His mercy and grace in Jesus?

Some side notes for your reading. Those reading along with our Daily Bible schedule will note that 1 Chronicles is interspersed throughout the reading from 2 Samuel as they actually overlap in the historical information. Also, the last four chapters of 2 Samuel are like an appendix to the story of David. In these chapters we see a theological interpretation of David's career as King. The contents of these last chapters are not in chronological order.