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2nd April

2 Samuel 19-21; Psalm 92

Bible in a Year
6 minutes
In this article
2nd April

2 Samuel 19-21; Psalm 92

Bible in a Year
6 minutes


So far in 1-2 Samuel, we've read through the rise of Samuel, Saul, and David, and then Samuel and Saul's deaths. Samuel was born to Hannah, who gave him over to the priest Eli to server in the Tabernacle. Samuel grew up in God's presence and grew in favour with God, while Eli's own sons and the rest of Israel were disobedient and rebellious. Samuel stepped up to fill the gap and led the Israelites to repentance before defeating the Philistines, giving the Israelites a new era of peace.

But as Samuel got older, the Israelites did not want his sons leading them, so they asked Samuel for a king. Samuel warned them that this king would oppress them, but they weren't interested. So Samuel gives them what they want and appoints a young man named Saul to be king. Saul started off okay, but things quickly turned south. He offered sacrifices himself when he wasn't meant to and he made foolish and impulsive decisions that impacted his people negatively.

So Samuel found a new king. A young shepherd boy, David. When Samuel anointed him, the spirit of God left Saul and settled on David. We saw as David grew in favour with the people and with Saul's children, while Saul became unhinged by jealousy, wanting to kill David. Eventually, David fled from Saul's court, fearing for his life.. But David continued to grow in favour while on the run, gathering men around him who looked to him for leadership. And in it all, David was committed to being obedient, refusing to kill Saul when he had the chance.

Saul finally died in battle against the Philistines and David was made king, but only of Judah. The rest of Israel chose one of Saul's sons as king. This led to a civil war as the two kingdoms fought it out. David's commander, Joab, showed himself to be manipulative and violent, killing the enemy commander Aber in cold blood after he had made peace. But David didn't punish him for his behaviour. We read as David won the civil war, defeated the Philistines, claimed Jerusalem as the capital city, and reclaimed the Ark of the Covenant. But cracks started to show with David taking many wives for himself and his wife Michael despising him.

David then had an affair with a married woman and then killed off her husband. The prophet Nathan pronounces God's judgement on David. While God forgave David, the consequences of this are that someone is going to rise up against David and claim his wives as David claimed this Bathsheba. That someone was one of David's own sons, Absalom, who rose up and set himself as king against David, causing David to flee. We read yesterday as David's men went to battle with Absalom's men, defeating them. Joab then killed Absalom.

2 Samuel 19-21

Yesterday, we saw David mourning the loss of his son while his men were ready to celebrate the battle they had just won. Eventually, Joab comes up and rebukes David. He points out that the message he's sending to his people was that he would have preferred they'd lost the battle, and many men had lost their lives, as it would have meant his son would have lived. So David went up to sit at the gate so that he could praise the soldiers as they came in, much like his son sat at the gate to win support many months before (2 Samuel 15).

In order to win support back to himself, David personally reaches out to the priests Zadok and Abiathar. David offers Joab’s job as commander to Amasa, who had been commander of Absalom’s army.

Now that David has been vindicated, those that have wronged him begin to come forward to ask his forgiveness. The first is Shimei, the one who had cursed and thrown rocks at him when he first left fled Jerusalem. Admitting his guilt, Shimei bows before David, asking forgiveness. David's men argue that he should be killed for what he did, but David decides there will be no more death this day, and has mercy on Shimei.

Next is Mephibosheth. His servant had claimed that Mephibosheth was trying to use Absalom's revolt as an opportunity to get his kingdom back as a descendant of Saul. Mephibosheth claims that his servant is lying. David offers to split the land and inheritance between the two of them, but Mephibosheth says he is happy for his servant to take it all because all he cares about is his king coming home.

It's not clear who is meant to be telling the truth, but what is clear is David's generosity, and Mephibosheth's willingness to submit himself under David.

Even though things are starting to look good again, the nation quickly begins to fight amongst itself. The other tribes of Israel begin to argue with the tribe of Judah. They feel like Judah is hoarding David all to themselves. Judah claims it is there right because David is the from their tribe.

At this a man called Sheba, decides to make himself king other these other tribes. Once again, the nation is at war over who gets to be king. David replaces the commander of his army, Joab, with a man called Amasa, and tells him to gather up the army for battle in three days. Amasa takes a little longer, so David sends the men he's already got out.

On the way, Joab meets Amasa and kills him, presumably because he's angry that Amasa took his job. The army continues on to Abel of Beth-maacah, where Sheba has hidden. There, a wise woman comes out, negotiates with Joab, and then convinces the town to kill Sheba and hand him over, saving countless lives. David is once again king over all of Israel with anyone challenging him for the throne.

We then move into the final section of 1-2 Samuel, the epilogue. This is a reflection back on both Saul and David’s reigns. We get a story of how God sends a famine over Israel because of how Saul had treated the Gibeonites poorly many years ago. The Gibeonites were a people group that the Israelites had made a covenant with back in Joshua 9. David needs to make things right, and so he goes to the Gibeonites and asks them what they want.

They ask for seven descendants of Saul so that they can be killed and the Gibeonites can be avenged for what Saul did. David gives them seven men, choosing to not hand over Mephibosheth because of his loyalty to Jonathan. Once it was all finished, God removed the famine and bless the land again. It's a strange story and is one of the few times we see a group punished for something the generations before them did.

Finally, as we come near to the end of the book and the end of David's reign, we get a list of some great battles and victories won against the Philistines. In these battles, we see the care the people have for David. They ask him to no longer go into battle with them because they don't want to risk him dying. We see the courage and the skill of his men as they take out the last few remaining giants, descendants of the Nephilim. It's a victorious end to a rollercoaster of a reign from David.

Psalm 92

This psalm isn’t attributed to an author, but is specifically for use on the Sabbath. It falls into the category of praise psalm.

Psalm 92:1-5 - The psalmist praises God

Psalm 92:6-9 - The wicked will perish

Psalm 92:10-15 - God lifts up the psalmist and the righteous

The psalmist opens with praise, giving thanks to God. For God is loving and faithful, morning and night. He brings joy to the psalmist. His works are great and his thoughts are deep.

The psalmist then turns their focus to the wicked, the stupid, and the foolish. None of these can appreciate God’s goodness and his works. They might sprout up and flourish to begin with, but like grass, they will eventually dry up and be blown away. They shall perish.

In contrast, God has lifted up the psalmist and caused them to flourish. They will stand while their enemies fall. Similarly, the righteous will flourish like strong trees because they are planted in God’s presence. Like trees, they will continue to bear fruit in their old age, and declare God’s goodness over their lives.

This psalm praises God for his goodness and faithfulness while also carrying that strand of wisdom. The righteous flourish and the wicked perish.

Anything you think I've missed? Maybe you've got a question that still needs answering. Send me a message over on my Instagram (@brynjoslin). I'd love to talk it through with you some more.

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