As we study the Bible alone or in a group setting, I think there are several questions we can ask ourselves to help us dig deeper. The five questions are as follows:
- What does the scripture say about God?
- What does the scripture say about me?
- Does something in this passage challenge me?
- What gives me hope in this passage?
- Is anything unclear to me?
I hope these questions help you study the Bible as much as they help me.
Before We Begin
Today, we continue our journey through the Bible with today’s study of 2 Samuel. May we remember to ask God to show us what He wants us to learn? I found that a good prayer to offer before we study any of God’s Word comes from the following verse: Psalm 19:14(NIV); “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.” Amen.
Author: Not known, but some speculate Nathan’s son Zabud may have been the author.
Audience: The people of Israel
Date Written: 930 B.C.; written soon after David’s reign, 1010-970 B.C.
Length: 24 Chapters
Key Words: Before the Lord
Key Verses: “Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel” (5:12)
Key People: David, Joah, Bathsheba, Nathan, Absalom
Summary of 2 Samuel:
This book teaches us about kingship and covenant, with the central theme of David’s reign. And, as we dig into the scriptures, we find many “first” described. For example, in 2 Samuel 5;2 (NIV), we see the first description of a ruler as a shepherd of the people of Israel. Another first is God describing David as His anointed in 2 Samuel 1:14 (NIV). We also find the first claim of God speaking through a person in 2 Samuel 23:2 (NIV).
Another key feature of the book is that we learn that even our good purposes must be brought to God for His approval in Chapter 7:1-17. For example, David is ready to build the temple for the Lord but does not wait for the Lord’s blessing on the work. As a result, David becomes out of step with the Lord’s plans in his haste to move forward. In the end, God does not allow David the privilege of building the temple. Instead, Solomon would be the one to complete this task for the Lord.
As the book ends, we see David offer praise to God, who kept him safe from all his enemies. Further on in the last chapters, David explains that God’s promise that the King will come from the house of David and rule over men with righteousness, thus foreshadowing the coming of Jesus. These final words echo many of the same themes we found in Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel.
Sections of 2 Samuel:
A. David’s Lament over Saul and Jonathan (ch.1)
B. David Becomes King over Judah (chs.2-4)
C. David Becomes King over All Israel (5:1-5)
D. David Conquers Jerusalem (5:6-25)
E. David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem (ch.6)
F. God Promises David an Everlasting Dynasty (ch.7)
G. The Extension of David’s Kingdom (ch.8)
H. David’s Faithfulness to His Covenant with Jonathan (ch.9)
I. David Commits Adultery and Murder (chs.10-12)
J. David Loses His Son Amnon (chs.13-14)
K. David Loses His Son Absalom (chs.15-20)
And within the sections above, we can see the book split between David’s triumphs in Chapters 1-10 versus David’s troubles in Chapters 11-24.
Messages in 2 Samuel:
2 Samuel depicts David as an authentic but imperfect representative of the ideal king. We understand what characteristics make a good king, and these lessons show us how God will be the Good King who rules over us for all eternity. Additionally, the covenant outlined in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 shows us God’s promise to extend the kingdom of David for eternity. Christ fulfills this covenant as the Messiah as a direct descendent from David. As recorded in 2 Samuel, David’s life foreshadows Christ’s future kingdom.
2 Samuel teaches us the need for patience and dependence upon God to fulfill His promises. We must wait on the Lord to move and not run ahead of Him in our excitement. Patience is a virtue for which special grace is given.
As with most of the Books of the Bible, we find aspects of God’s character revealed in 2 Samuel. The list follows the pattern of the book. It shows us the good as well as the vengeful side of God. They are as follows:
- God is kind – 2:6
- God is promise keeper – 7:12, 13
- God is provident – 17:14, 15
- God is true – 2:6
- God is unequaled – 7:22
- God is wise – 7:22
- God is wise – 7:20
- God is wrathful – 6:7; 21:1; 24:1, 15, 17
Our obedience to God’s will is fundamental to our faith. But, when we walk outside His will, we will experience His discipline.
Each book of the Bible contains lessons for us to learn and historical information. But, it is essential to understand the context of the work, so we genuinely understand the meaning that God intended. We need to study God’s Word to see what to do and what not to do in life. Paul reminds us of the importance of the words within the text in 2 Timothy 3.
“14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”2 Timothy 3:14-17 (NIV)
we learn to our daily lives. Thank you for the many blessings we find within its pages. In Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen.