2nd May - Learning From God's Word: 2 Samuel
2 Samuel 1:1-2:32
Here, we read here about the end of Saul's reign and the beginning of David's reign. For Saul, the end was tragic: "See how the mighty have fallen!" (2 Samuel 1:19,25,27). David's reign marked a new beginning. God is gracious. He gives us a new beginning when we have made a mess of things. He is the God of hope. He leads us out of our failure and into His victory.
2 Samuel 3:1-5:25
In 2 Samuel 2:1-7, we read of David becoming the king of Judah. In 2 Samuel 5:1-5, we read of him becoming the king of Israel. Behind the story of David, there is the story of God at work: "The Lord was with David." "The Lord had established him as king of Israel and made his kingdom famous for the sake of Israel, the Lord's people" (2 Samuel 5:10,12).
2 Samuel 6:1-8:18
David worships God - "I will celebrate in the Lord's presence", "You are great, Lord God. There is no-one like You, and there is no other god except You" (2 Samuel 6:21; 2 Samuel 7:22). David trusts God - Almighty Lord, You are God, and Your words are trustworthy" (2 Samuel 7:28). David obeys God - "David ruled all Israel. He did what was fair and right for all His people" (2 Samuel 8:15).
2 Samuel 9:1-10:19
"God's kindness" (2 Samuel 9:3) - God has shown kindness to us. we are to show His kindness to others. "Be strong" (2 Samuel 10:12) - We are to be strong in the strength of the Lord. We are to strengthen others, Strength and kindness - God will give us the strength to be less self-centred and more other-centred and God-centred.
2 Samuel 11:1-12:31
A summary of the shameful and sinful events of chapter 11 is found in the final verse (2 Samuel 11:27) - "The Lord considered David's actions evil." Chapter 12 is mainly a record of the consequences of David's sin. At the end of the chapter, there is a ray of hope - the birth of a son, Jedidiah, whose name means "the Lord's Beloved." God's love is greater than our sin.
2 Samuel 13:1-14:33
The theme of these chapters is sin - rape, murder, deception. This realistic account of human behaviour highlights the sin which separates us from God. This shows us very clearly our need of salvation. We need the Lord's saving grace in our lives if we are to kept from going further along the road of sinful living. By His grace, He saves us, forgiving our sin and calling us to walk with Him on the pathway of holiness.
2 Samuel 15:1-16:23
It's a very human story. It's just like our life today. We read it through. We think about our own life. We as, "Where is the Lord in all of these events?" We need to maintain the Lord's priorities - "God's ark" among us seeking His favour, honouring His servant (2 Samuel 15:25; 2 Samuel 16:18) - if we are not to lose sight of Him and be swept along by events that do not seem to give us any real sense of the purpose of God being fulfilled in our lives. When God seems far away and we can't see Him at work, we must keep on believing in His presence and power. We walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Samuel 17:1-19:43
In these chapters, we read of Absalom pursuing David (chapter 17), David defeating Absalom (chapter 18) and David being restored to the throne (chapter 19). At the heart of these very human events concerning conflict within the nation, we must see the outworking of God's purpose. This is expressed in 2 Samuel 18:28 - "May the Lord your God be praised. He has handed over the men who rebelled against "Your Majesty." As the king is called "Your Majesty", we must never forget that there is an even greater King, an even greater Majesty - The Lord is King. We worship His Majesty.
2 Samuel 20:1-21:22
In this description of various incidents, there are many names. We should not, however, overlook the spiritual dimension. We must respect the Lord and His servants (2 Samuel 20:19). "God answered the prayers for the land" (2 Samuel 21:14) - We must seek the Lord's blessing, looking to see these words being fulfilled in our generation.
2 Samuel 22:1-51
David sings his song to the Lord. It is a song of praise, a song which exalts the Lord, giving glory to Him. At the heart of David's song of praise, there is a particularly rich section, full of precious statements of faith: "God's ways are perfect" (2 Samuel 22:31); "Who is God but the Lord?" (2 Samuel 22:32); "God arms me with strength" (2 Samuel 22:33); "He makes my feet like those of a deer" (2 Samuel 22:34) ; "He trains my hands for battle" (2 Samuel 22:35) ; "You have given me the shield of Your salvation" (2 Samuel 22:36); "You make a wide path for me to walk on so my feet do not slip" (2 Samuel 22:37). These great verses jump out from from the particular historical circumstances from which David is speaking. They speak to us as words which jump across the centuries. these words become our confession of faith as well as David's.
2 Samuel 23:1-24:25
David's work was intended by God to bring blessing to the people. He was "raised up" by God (2 Samuel 23:1). "The Spirit of the Lord spoke through him" (2 Samuel 23:2). David's influence on the people was not always a good one. He "sinned" against the Lord, bringing judgment upon the nation (2 Samuel 24:10,15). Sin and judgment are not, however, the last word concerning God's dealings with the people - "So the Lord heard the prayers for the country, and the plague in Israel stopped" (2 Samuel 24:25). The Lord's servants are not perfect. There is sin in us and this affects our usefulness in God's service. God is greater than His servants. His grace reaches out to men and women through very inadequate servants: "We have this treasure in earthen vessels." Why? - "To show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to ourselves" (2 Corinthians 4:7).