Israel was defeated, Saul and his sons killed in the great battle with the Philistines. The young Amalekite who came to David with news of Saul's death was expecting a reward. He brought Saul's crown and lied to David, saying that he had killed Saul. He assumed that David hated Saul who had harassed him so mercilessly and driven him from Israel. But David did not hate Saul. He respected him as the Lord's anointed king. He had the Amalekite executed for killing Saul.
2. The lament of the bow (17-27)
David wrote a song of lament for Saul and Jonathan and ordered the men of Judah to learn it. He was sorry that the Philistine enemies would hear of Saul's death and rejoice (19,20). Mount Gilboa, where Saul died, was shamed by that event (21). David remembered great and noble things about Saul and Jonathan. He grieved for Jonathan his friend, and wrote about his love and loyalty (26).
Prayer: Lord, take the spirit of vengeance from our hearts and help us to remember the good things about those who have harmed us.
One Word: Don't hold grudges; trust God
A MAN OF PEACE AND A MAN OF WAR
2 Samuel 2:1-32
Key Verse: 2:1
1. David seeks God and sows peace (1-7)
David knew that he should be king. But he did not act on his own. He prayed, seeking God's direction. God led him to return from exile and go to Hebron in Judah. The men of Judah anointed him king. The first thing he did was to take a step toward national unity. He praised men of Jabesh for their loyalty to Saul and for their valiant act on his behalf (1Sa 31:8-13). David wanted the support of such faithful men.
2. Joab, a man of revenge and war (8-32)
Joab, David's nephew, was his commander-in-chief. Abner, Saul's first cousin, had served Saul. Abner was ambitious. He wanted power. He set up the weak son of Saul, Ish-Bosheth, as king and called all Israel to follow him. When Joab and Abner met at the pool of Gibeon there was a bloody battle, the beginning of a fratricidal war. Joab's brother was killed by Abner, and the rivalry between Joab and Abner ceased to be political and became personal.
Prayer: Lord, give me a heart that forgives all wrongs and help me to sow seeds of peace.
One Word: A real shepherd is a peacemaker
ABNER DEFECTS TO DAVID
2 Samuel 3:1-21
Key Verse: 3:9,10
1. Abner's decision (1-11)
David was king of Judah in Hebron for seven years before uniting the kingdom. Abner was Saul's cousin and had served as his commander-in-chief. He tried to make Saul's son king, but he realized that David was getting stronger, while Saul's son Ish-Bosheth was getting weaker. Abner's interest in Saul's concubine was possibly politically motivated. When Ish-Bosheth accused him in this matter, he became angry and used this as an excuse to transfer his allegiance to David. Abner knew from the beginning that it was God's will for David to be king of all Israel (9-10).
2. Toward a peaceful unification (12-21)
Abner used his influence to bring the elders of Israel, including the Benjamites (Saul's tribe), into David's camp. David welcomed and forgave his former enemy. He did not want civil war; he could put aside personal prejudices and past injuries for the sake of peace and unity among God's people in all Israel.
Prayer: Lord, help me not to think about myself, but do what is honoring to you and best for your people.
One Word: A shepherd can't hold grudges
JOAB MURDERS ABNER
2 Samuel 3:22-39
Key Verses: 3:38,39
1. The blood of Abner (22-30)
Joab was very different from David. He didn't think about God or God's people. He had a personal grudge to settle. Abner had killed Joab's brother in battle; furthermore, Abner was his biggest rival. Joab was angry when he heard that David had sent Abner away in peace, and he sent messengers to bring him back. Then, he murdered General Abner. Because of his personal grudge and his ambition, he almost destroyed the fragile unity of the kingdom.
2. David's lament (31-39)
David was really angry with Joab. But he did not let anger rule him. His grief at Abner's passing was genuine; he walked behind the bier and wept, and he fasted all day. He wrote a song of lament and sung it at Abner's funeral, and all the people wept with him. David made it clear that he had no part in Abner's murder, and the people were pleased with the king. The real concern on David's heart was the fragile union of Israel. But he still needed Joab.
Prayer: Lord, help me to put the interests of your people and your work ahead of my personal feelings.
One Word: A king who cares--and puts God first
2 Samuel 4:1-12
Key Verse: 4:9b
1. Two opportunists (1-8)
The house of Saul became too weak to lay claim to any part of the kingdom (4). Recab and Baanah were leaders of robber bands who had sold their services to Ish-Bosheth. When they realized that Ish-Bosheth's cause was lost, they decided to betray him and get some benefit from David. They treacherously entered his house and murdered him while he was lying on his own bed. They cut off his head and brought it to David, bragging about what they had done. They expected a reward.
2. A reward from David (9-12)
These men made a big mistake about David. David trusted the living God to deliver him from his enemies (9b). He did not seek personal vengeance, no matter how much he had been wronged. He had the two murderers executed, just as he had executed the man who claimed to have killed Saul (10; 1:1-16). David was the shepherd of all the people. Those who had been loyal to Saul had nothing to fear from David.
Prayer: Lord, help me to seek truth and justice, and not be an opportunist.
One Word: Opportunists are losers in the end
FOR THE SAKE OF HIS PEOPLE
2 Samuel 5:1-25
Key Verse: 5:12
1. A shepherd for God's people (1-5)
When God's time came, all the people of Judah and Israel acknowledged David as their king. He was appointed by God to be a shepherd of God's people. A shepherd is not a tyrant. He makes an environment in which people can grow and prosper and be happy.
2. Jerusalem (6-16)
Jerusalem was on the border between Judah and Israel. It had never been conquered. The Jebusites bragged that it was impregnable; that even blind and lame men could defend it. But David found a way into the city, conquered it and made it his capital. Jerusalem became the city of David.
3. The Philistine threat (17-25)
David sought God's help, and he soundly defeated these ancient enemies of Israel in two big battles. David knew that God had established him as king so that he could be the shepherd of God's people. For David, the kingship was not an ego trip or an opportunity to indulge in personal pleasure.
Prayer: Lord, grant us leaders who honor you and who are shepherds for your people.
One Word: Leaders should be shepherds
DAVID DANCES BEFORE THE LORD
2 Samuel 6:1-23
Key Verse: 6:14
1. The Lord's wrath breaks out (1-11)
David wanted to bring the ark of the Lord to Jerusalem, but he did not move it in the way prescribed by the Bible (1Ch 15:2), so God displayed his holiness, and a man died. David feared God, so he left the ark in Obed's house. God blessed Obed's house, and David studied the Bible. Then he had the ark brought to Jerusalem in God's way, carried by the Levites.
2. David celebrates before the Lord (12-23)
When King David could finally bring the ark to Jerusalem, he was so happy. He did not act like a dignified king, but like a little child. He leaped and danced before the Lord. His wife Michal was a proud princess. She did not understand David's heart or see him as God's servant. She despised him. When the ark was in place, David blessed everyone, but he could not bless his own household. Michal became a miserable woman because of her pride.
Prayer: Lord, teach me to fear you and love you and rejoice before you. Help women to respect their husbands.
One Word: David danced before the Lord
GOD'S PROMISE TO DAVID
2 Samuel 7:1-17
Key Verse: 7:13
1. David wants to build God's house (1-3)
David loved God, and God had blessed him. He said to Nathan the prophet, "Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent." He wanted to build a magnificent temple for God. Nathan thought that this was a good idea.
2. God promises to build a house for David (4-17)
God reminded David that he was a pilgrim God who had moved around in a tent with his people. He had never asked those whom he had appointed to shepherd his people to build him a house. The Lord Almighty had taken David, a shepherd boy, and had made him ruler over his people. This was God's grace. David's whole life rested on God's grace. He could do nothing for God; God would build his house and establish his throne forever. This promise was the hope of God's people in time of shame and exile; it was the promise of the Messiah, fulfilled by Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, help me to love you as David did, and build my life on your grace.
One Word: His throne is forever
2 Samuel 7:18-29
Key Verse: 7:28
1. Who am I, O Lord? (18-21)
David was king, but he was not proud. He knew himself because he knew God. He knew that he and his family were nothing special, but God, by his grace, had done a great thing for him, and was now promising to do greater things.
2. How great you are, O God! (22-24)
God did a great and awesome thing by redeeming Israel from Egypt and driving out the Canaanite nations and their gods from the land to give it to his people. This made God's people Israel special.
3. Now Lord, do as you promised! (25-29)
God's word is trustworthy. David believed God's promises. God promised that he would bless David's house to continue before him forever. God has kept that promise by sending Jesus to be the eternal King.
Prayer: Lord, you are great and you are faithful to keep your promises. Help me to believe your promises and trust your blessing and praise your name forever.
One Word: Know God and know yourself
THE LORD GAVE VICTORY
2 Samuel 8:1-18
Key Verse: 8:15
1. The Lord gave David victory (1-6)
Until David's time, Israel had been an oppressed nation. Her battles had been defensive attempts to survive in the midst of powerful enemies. Under David, Israel became an empire, extending her borders to the limits God had promised Abraham (Ge 15), and bringing neighboring nations under the aegis of her control. God blessed David with victory everywhere he went, and the nation, under David, was firmly established.
2. David dedicated his treasures to God (7-18)
David subdued Hadadezer, a powerful and aggressive empire builder. He dedicated the gold and silver, the most beautiful and valuable of the spoils of war, to the Lord. He consolidated his empire with strategically located garrisons and he ruled Israel with justice, as the shepherd of God's flock. It was the golden age of Israel.
Prayer: Praise God who gives victory! Lord, help me to offer to you my best treasures and my heart. Grant us leaders who do what is just and right.
One Word: Give God your best treasure
DAVID REMEMBERS JONATHAN
2 Samuel 9:1-13
Key Verse: 9:7a
1. For the sake of Jonathan (1-7)
Jonathan and David had made a covenant in their youth. Jonathan had been loyal to David even at the risk of his life and the cost of his crown (1Sa 20:16,30-34,42). Now David was established as king of Israel. He did not forget the loyalty and faithfulness of Jonathan. His sense of history, and faithfulness to keep his promise went beyond politics.
2. Mephibosheth (8-13)
Jonathan had one surviving son, Mephibosheth. He was crippled in both feet, and in his spirit as well. The favor David bestowed on him was totally undeserved. David not only restored his land and personal property, he also invited him to eat at his table like his own son. David did not just give him money; he gave his love to a man who didn't deserve it. God's grace to me--for Jesus' sake--is like this.
Prayer: Lord, I was useless, like a dead dog, but you poured out your grace on me, and gave me your great love. Give me a generous and loving heart like yours.
One Word: A dead dog receives grace
A SMALL INCIDENT SPARKS A GREAT WAR
2 Samuel 10:1-19
Key Verse: 10:12
1. David's kindness spurned (1-5)
Nahash king of the Ammonites had been a friend to David during his wilderness life. When Nahash died, David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun his son. Hanun was a practical joker with a twisted sense of humor. He shamed the envoys David had sent by shaving half of their beards, cutting off their garments at the buttocks, and sending them away. This event sparked a major war.
2. Be strong; let us fight bravely (6-19)
Hanun realized that he was in trouble, so he hired mercenaries from the surrounding nations. The most dangerous of these were the Arameans led by a famous general Shobach. Hadadezer, their king, controlled the whole region. The Israelites fought for their homes and for God's people; mercenaries fought for money. Superior numbers and better weapons could not defeat men who fought with courage, spirit, and faith. David thus subdued the whole land.
Prayer: Lord, help me to take small events seriously. Help me not to indulge in sarcasm or humor that hurts others. Help me to fight the Lord's battles.
One Word: Be strong and fight bravely
DAVID AND BATHSHEBA
2 Samuel 11:1-27
Key Verse: 11:27b
1. David remained in Jerusalem (1-5)
David had won many battles and his kingdom was firmly established. He thought he deserved a vacation, so he stayed at home when his army went out to fight. He slept in every day, and did just what he felt like doing. One evening, he got up from his bed and walked around on the roof. He was bored. He saw a beautiful woman bathing. He wanted her. He was king, so who could stop him? He slept with her and she became pregnant.
2. The murder of Uriah (6-27)
Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah, a loyal and brave general in David's army. David was his shepherd. But David only thought about how to cover up his sin. Uriah's faithfulness to his duty kept him from enjoying his wife even when he came home on a short leave. When his cover-up scheme failed, David arranged his death in battle. David the shepherd became a robber and murderer. God was not pleased.
Prayer: Lord, keep me from laziness and spiritual vacations that lead to sin.
One Word: Don't take spiritual vacations
YOU ARE THE MAN
2 Samuel 12:1-13a
Key Verse: 12:7
1. Nathan's parable (1-7a)
God sent Nathan to David to tell him a story about a poor man with one little ewe lamb which he loved like a daughter, and a rich and powerful man who took the lamb and cooked it for his guests. David's shepherd heart was moved and his sense of justice outraged. He burned with anger. Then Nathan said, "You are the man." David was the rich man with everything who took Uriah's precious one ewe lamb--and Uriah's life.
2. I have sinned against the Lord (7b-13a)
God had blessed David with everything he could desire: power, fame, wealth, wives and children--and he would have given him more. But David sinned against the Lord. He despised God's word and did what is evil in God's eyes. He broke the 10 commandments by committing adultery, then murder. He had violated the sacred trust of a shepherd and acted like a thief and robber. He did not cover up or deny it. He said, "I have sinned against the Lord."
Prayer: Lord, keep me from presumptuous sins; but, when I sin, help me to confess it honestly and repent.
One Word: Take God's word seriously
DAVID'S HOPE IN HEAVEN
2 Samuel 12:13b-31
Key Verse: 12:23
1. I will go to him (13b-25)
God accepted David's repentance. But sin is always costly. God told him through Nathan that the child Bathsheba bore him would die. Shortly afterward, the child became ill. David fasted, prayed, and pleaded with God for the child's life, but the child died. Then David did a surprising thing. He bathed, dressed, and went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He humbly accepted God's sovereignty. He confessed his faith and his heavenly hope: "I will go to him, but he will not return to me." After this, Solomon was born to David and Bathsheba. The Lord loved him. God's discipline brought David closer to God. However, many people would suffer because of David's sin.
2. David finishes the Ammonite war (26-31)
The Ammonite war was still going on (10:6;11:1). Joab sent for David to come and finish it. He did. His vacation was over. The Ammonite crown was placed on his head, and the Ammonites were subdued.
Prayer: Lord, help me to accept your sovereignty and worship you from my heart in every circumstance.
One Word: Hope in God only
TRAGEDY IN DAVID'S FAMILY
2 Samuel 13:1-39
Key Verse: 13:37b
1. Amnon rapes Tamar (1-22)
God forgave David, but the influence of his sin spread to his family. Amnon was the king's eldest son, but he became a slave of his own lust. Pride and passion can make a man unbalanced. Instead of a shepherd, Amnon had an unprincipled cousin, Jonadab, who played Satan by feeding Amnon's pride. He reminded him that he was the king's son and urged him to do what he felt like doing. After he raped his half-sister, his passionate love for her turned to hatred. Her life was ruined. David was furious, but did nothing.
2. Absalom kills Amnon (23-39)
Tamar's brother Absalom said nothing, but his hatred for Amnon grew like a cancer in his heart. He waited for 2 years, then made an opportunity and killed Amnon. Jonadab took sadistic pleasure in these things. Absalom went to his maternal grandfather and lived in exile. David mourned for his son.
Prayer: Lord, help me to live by your word, not by the words of unprincipled men who stir up groundless pride.
One Word: Obey God's word, not feelings
JOAB INITIATES ABSALOM'S RETURN
2 Samuel 14:1-33
Key Verse: 14:14
1. David's sorrow (1-22)
The whole nation was unhappy because King David was unhappy. His heart longed for his son Absalom. He knew that Absalom should repent, but still he longed for him. So Joab decided to "change the present situation" (20). He did not seek God's help; he hired an actress to tell David a story that would persuade him to restore Absalom. David recognized Joab's hand in this; but he agreed to let Absalom return. However, he would not grant him an audience.
2. Absalom is restored without repenting (23-33)
Joab had brought Absalom back. The situation had been changed, but Absalom was not changed. He was handsome and popular--and unrepentant. He pushed Joab to help him restore his relationship with the king, but he never repented. Joab's human solution turned out to be a disaster.
Prayer: Lord, help me not to seek clever human solutions; give me wisdom to help people in your way instead of in my own way.
One Word: God restores repentant sinners
ABSALOM STOLE ISRAEL'S HEART
2 Samuel 15:1-12
Key Verse: 15:6
1. Absalom the politician (1-6)
Absalom was very handsome. He dressed and acted like a prince. He stood by the city gate and listened to the grievances of the people who came into the city to see the king. He sympathized with each person and promised that, if he were in power, he would see that justice was done. His campaign promises sound very modern! He used his privileges as a prince to steal the hearts of the men of Israel.
2. Absalom strikes (7-12)
Absalom had a plan to get power. He had never repented of killing his brother. After four years of hard work, he decided to act. He got the king's permission to go to Hebron to worship, and he invited some of the leading men of Israel to go with him. They didn't know what he was up to, but when he proclaimed himself king, many of them joined him. His conspiracy gained strength when Ahithophel joined him. His following kept on increasing.
Prayer: Lord, help me to use my privileges to serve you, not to steal people's hearts.
One Word: Don't be a heart stealer
DAVID'S FLIGHT FROM JERUSALEM
2 Samuel 15:13-37
Key Verse: 15:30
1. Loyal men (13-29)
Absalom's rebellion was a time of testing for everyone. David decided to leave Jerusalem rather than subject his people to a blood bath. His officials and his personal army went with him. He urged Ittai the Gittite and his army not to get involved, for they would only suffer loss. But Ittai pledged undying loyalty to David (21). The people wept as the king passed by. Zadok and Abiathar brought the ark of the covenant of God. David told them that the ark belonged in Jerusalem (25,26). He asked them to stay there too, and act as spies.
2. Hushai and Ahithophel (30-37)
Ahithophel was a military genius. When David heard that he had joined Absalom, he prayed that God might turn his counsel into foolishness. God answered by sending Hushai. Hushai, David's friend, accepted a most dangerous mission. (34) David was retreating; he was sorrowful, but he hadn't given up.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be loyal to you and to your people in times of testing.
One Word: God first, others next
THE LORD WILL SEE MY DISTRESS
2 Samuel 16:1-23
Key Verse: 16:12
1. Ziba, Mephibosheth and Shimei (1-14)
When a great man is in trouble, those around him show their true colors. Was Ziba a true friend or an opportunist? He brought David needed supplies, but his news about Mephibosheth's ingratitude and greed made David's heart sad. Later, Mephibosheth accused Ziba of lying (19:24-29). Shimei cursed David and pelted him with dirt, calling him a man of blood. Abishai wanted to cut off that "dead dog's" head, but David accepted the cursing and gave it to the Lord, just as he had given honor and love and glory to the Lord in the past. David trusted God to repay him with good because of the cursing.
2. Ahithophel's advice (15-23)
Both David and Absalom had high regard for Ahithophel's advice (23). David prayed that God would turn his advice into foolishness (15:31). Absalom followed his first advice and slept with his father's concubines, thereby fulfilling Nathan's prophecy (12: 11) and demonstrating that his break with his father was irrevocable.
Prayer: Lord, teach me not to lose my temper when insulted. Help me to wait on your solution.
One Word: God will repay
THE LORD HELPS MEN WHO DON'T GIVE UP
2 Samuel 17:1-23 (Wed.) Dec. 4
Key Verse: 17:14
1. Ahithophel's advice (1-4)
Ahithophel's second word of advice was to attack immediately, while David and his men were weary and weak, and to kill only the king. If Absalom had taken this advice, he would have probably won the war.
2. David's loyal friends (5-29)
David had sent his friend Hushai back to Jerusalem on a dangerous mission. He was to frustrate Ahithophel's advice. When Absalom asked Hushai's advice, he appealed to Absalom's pride and vanity and played on his fear. Hushai counseled Absalom to wait. Absalom decided to follow Hushai's advice. Ahithophel went home and hanged himself. He knew what the outcome of the rebellion would be. He had cast his lot with the wrong man, and he was too proud to repent. Jonathan and Ahimaaz risked their lives to warn David. While Absalom prepared for war, many people showed their love for David.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for answering prayer and for blessing men who don't give up.
One Word: God is the ruler of history
2 Samuel 18:1-33 (Thur.) Dec. 5
Key Verse: 18:33
1. Absalom's Monument (1-18)
David did what he had to do. He sent his army out to fight Absalom. But when he asked his generals to deal gently with Absalom, he spoke with a father's heart. This is how God loves rebellious sinners. But Joab was different. Once Joab had helped Absalom humanly. He was now determined to kill him. When he found him hanging by his hair in a tree, he showed no mercy. Absalom's pride and glory turned to dust. The insurrection was over.
2. A father's heart (19-33)
Two men ran to David to tell news of victory. Joab knew that the good news of victory would be bad news to David because of Absalom. When David heard the news of victory, he asked about Absalom. He wept with a broken heart. He would rather have died in Absalom's place. But he had to be the king; he had to protect God's people. He was not a pragmatist; he was a shepherd and a father, a man after God's own heart.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for loving me even when I was your enemy and lived in rebellion against you.
One Word: A king and a father
DAVID RETURNS TO JERUSALEM
2 Samuel 19:1-43 (Fri.) Dec. 6
Key Verse: 19:4
1. David overcomes his grief (1-8a)
David was in Mahanaim across the Jordan. When he was overwhelmed by grief at Absalom's death, Joab rebuked him for loving those who hate him and hating those who love him. David accepted his rebuke and came to the city gate to encourage his people. David was a humble man. He overcame his aversion to Joab, listened, and did what was right.
2. Bring the king back (8b-43)
Now the rebellion was over; people were fearful, for many had betrayed David. An ordinary king would have ordered a purge. But David forgave. He worked to unite the kingdom. He forgave all those who had supported Absalom, even making General Amasa his commander in place of Joab. He won the hearts of the men of Judah. David held no grudges. He forgave Shimei and accepted Mephibosheth's excuses and warmly thanked Barzillai. When he recrossed the Jordan, Judah and Israel bickered like children over who had been the first to bring the king back.
Prayer: Lord, help me to overcome personal feelings and act in a way that pleases you.
One Word: Forgive others; be a healer
JOAB RESTORES HIS POSITION
2 Samuel 20:1-26 (Sat.) Dec. 7
Key Verse: 20:23a
1. Joab murders Amasa (1-13)
Amasa was David's nephew and Joab's cousin. He had served as Absalom's general. Joab had disobeyed David by killing Absalom. David removed Joab from command and made Amasa, who deserved to be executed for treason, his commander-in-chief. It was a bold step toward healing. Now, a crisis arose from another quarter. Sheba started rebellion. David sent Amasa to muster the army, but he was late. So he sent out the whole army under the command of Abishai, Joab's brother. When they met Amasa, Joab killed him, declared his loyalty to King David, and took over the operation.
2. Joab completes the mission (14-26)
Joab found Sheba in the city of Abel. He besieged the city, but when a wise woman asked him not to destroy the city, he listened. The people of the city killed Sheba, and Joab and the army went home. A tragic war was averted. David overcame his personal animosity toward Joab and kept him as commander-in-chief. This is the mark of a great leader.
Prayer: Lord, grant leaders who can overcome personal feelings and act for the good of the nation.
One Word: A good leader cannot hold grudges
DAVID THE LAMP OF ISRAEL
2 Samuel 21:1-22
Key Verse: 21:17b
1. David repairs a broken oath (1-14)
David believed God's covenant because he knew that God keeps his promises. God wants his people to keep promises, too. The Gibeonites were destined for destruction, but they had tricked Joshua into promising to spare them (Jos 9). Saul had not honored that oath. When David sought God's help in time of famine, he learned that he must repair this broken oath by punishing the house of Saul. He did this by executing 7 descendants of Saul. He remembered, however, his own promise to Jonathan. God sent rain and the famine broke (10,14). Rizpah was a faithful woman. David respected her.
2. Four Philistine giants defeated (15-22)
During David's time, the Philistines were Israel's greatest threat. The defeat of these four giants by David's Mighty Men shows that he had broken the back of Philistine oppression. David was getting old. During this battle the people realized anew that David, the man of promise, was the lamp of Israel.
Prayer: Lord, help me to believe your promises and keep my promises.
One Word: God keeps his promises
THE LORD HEARD MY CRY
2 Samuel 22:1-20
Key Verse: 22:3
1. God is my fortress and deliverer (1-7)
In his young manhood David lived as a fugitive, fleeing from King Saul, who was bent on killing him. There was no one whom he could trust, but when he called on the Lord, God heard him. He confessed, "God is the horn of my salvation."
2. The earth trembled (8-16)
He praised the Almighty Lord of Creation, for he saw God's mighty hand in the awesome displays of nature. It is God who shakes the earth with earthquakes. He displays his wrath and glory in the lightning, thunder, raging storms and volcanic eruptions. This Almighty God heard David.
3. He rescued me (17-20)
David's enemies were too strong for him, but God reached down and rescued him. Almighty God rescues all who call on him.
Prayer: Lord, you are my rock and the horn of my salvation. I seek your face and ask your mercy and help. You alone are able to save me.
One Word: God is the horn of my salvation
GOD GIVES VICTORY
2 Samuel 22:21-51
Key Verse: 22:51
1. I have kept the ways of the Lord (21-30)
In his youth David kept his heart and life pure. He learned that God is faithful. God's word was David's lamp; God turns our darkness into light. David sought to live according to God's word. He learned God's ways and followed them.
2. He makes my feet like those of a deer (31-51)
God's way is perfect and his word is flawless. He trains his servants according to his word until they are disciplined in his way (33). David speaks of hands, feet, arms, ankles--trained by God. The deer's feet are coordinated so that he can run on narrow rocky heights and never slip or fall. The inner and outer life of God's man must be so disciplined and coordinated--then he can walk with God on spiritual heights. God trained David to depend on him alone. It is God who makes his servant great (36). It is God who gives victories.
Prayer: Lord, train me according to your word until I can learn your perfect way.
One Word: God trains; God gives victory
ISRAEL'S SINGER OF SONGS
2 Samuel 23:1-7
Key Verse: 23:2
1. The Spirit spoke through me (1-2)
David was a mighty warrior and a powerful king. He was a poet and a musician. Most importantly, he was a shepherd who taught his people the word of God; the Lord's Spirit spoke through him.
2. A king who feared God (3-7)
Some people become proud when they get power and authority. They use their power indiscriminately, at their own pleasure. But David was a king who ruled in righteousness because he had the fear and love of God in his heart. He was like the light of the morning sunrise which promises a beautiful day. God's covenant with David looked toward the future. His house would be the source of God's blessing for all people, for from his house would come the Messiah who would bring to fruition salvation for a sinsick world. But those who reject God's servant will be burned up like thorns on the day of God's wrath.
Prayer: Lord, let your word be on my tongue, and love for you be in my heart.
One Word: A kingly Bible teacher
DAVID'S MIGHTY MEN
2 Samuel 23:8-39
Key Verse: 23:17a
1. The exploits of David's men (8-12)
The men around a leader indicate what kind of man that leader is. The men who fought with and for David were men of courage and valor. They were incredible warriors who only shone more brightly when the odds were overwhelmingly against them. The exploits of several of the most outstanding are recorded here. The names of the Thirty, David's personal elite corps, are listed (24-39). The events of this chapter happened before David's sin (39).
2. The Three, and a king worthy of loyalty (13-39)
Three of these men did something that revealed not only their great love for David, but also the purity of David's own heart before God. When David longed for water from the well in Bethlehem, these men risked their lives to break through Philistine lines and get it for him. But David refused to drink the water--it was life; he poured it out before the Lord.
Prayer: Lord, teach me to respect others so that I may truly love and respect you.
One Word: Respect the sacrifices of others
A MAN WHO KNEW HOW TO REPENT
2 Samuel 24:1-25
Key Verse: 24:24
1. David orders a draft registration (1-10)
It was not necessary to count the fighting men. It was a concession to pride. Joab tried to talk David out of it, but he persisted. Afterward, he was conscience-stricken and repented, asking God's forgiveness.
2. These are but sheep (11-17)
Because of David's sin, God punished his people. David chose to suffer at the hands of the Lord. A terrible plague came upon Israel. The Lord grieved, and David was a broken-hearted shepherd to see his sheep suffer because of his sin (17).
3. I will not give God what cost me nothing (18-25)
David built an altar according to the Lord's instructions. Araunah was so moved when the king wanted to buy his threshing floor that he offered to give it to David free of charge. But David insisted on paying. The plague was stopped. This altar became the temple site.
Prayer: Lord, teach me to take full responsibility when I sin, and repent.