David’s Victorious Reign

2 Sam 8:1-18

Today, we read of David‘s exploits and conquests as king. He took over lands, received gifts in silver and gold. He defeated the Philistines, the Moabites, and Syrians. He also built alliances with Toi king of  Hamath,  who brought him gifts through his son Joram.

All of David’s exploits were due to the fact that God was with him, and preserved him whereever he went. With God on your side exploits are possible, victory is assured. Are you a friend of God?

Some verses to remember

vs 14b-15 And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went. And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people.

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David Plans to build a House for God

2 Sam 7:1-29

In today’s passage, David having gained rest from his enemies all around sat in his house one day and thought to himself, “why should i be living in such a beautiful house, and the ark of God live behind curtains”? He called Nathan the prophet and told him this, to which Nathan replied that David should do all that was in his heart for God was with him. We could see the reason why David was described as a man after God’s heart. His thoughts were on God even in the time of comfort, his heart was focussed on God and not on his own comfort, ego, or needs.

After Nathan left David, God spoke to him about David’s desire and the fact that he would give David rest and cause him to be established, but it would not be David rather his son, who would build the house for the Lord’s name. He also promised to be with that son and bring him up as His own son, showing him mercy continually even when chastised. The Lord promised to establish the throne of David forever, and Nathan delivered all these messages to David.

In concluding the chapter, David went in and sat before God, thinking on all the words Nathan had spoken, and he then went ahead to pray. He praised God for his kindness and goodness all through the years, and prayed on the promises God had made that his house would be blessed forever. What a man after God’s heart!

David gave us an example of having a heart for God and his things. How often do you think on God? How often do you ask what he wants, or make yourself available for his service? The Lord blesses people with such heart for him, if only you will cast your thoughts on him, and make him the focus of your heart desire.

Some verses to remember

vs 2:  That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.

vs 16: And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

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Moving the Ark – Uzzah, Obededom and Michal

2 Sam 6:1-23

As David arranged for the ark of God to be moved from Gibeah to Jerusalem, we read of three different experiences from Uzzah to Obededom and finally Michal – Saul’s daughter, who was also David’s wife. We ask the question of what we could learn from these three experiences.

The first experience was that of Uzzah, who was with the cart in which the ark was placed when moving  from Gibeah. As David and all Israel were praising God on the way, when they got to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah stretch forth his hand and held the ark to stable it when the oxen shook it. Right and there the Lord smote him in anger and he died by the ark of God. The immediate question would be what had he done wrong, as it seemed he was trying to help to prevent the ark from falling. I will borrow from Matthew Henry’s explanation to show this. First, Uzzah was a levite and by God’s command, only priests were allowed to touch the ark and not levites (Numbers 4:15). Secondly, as God knows the intentions of the hearts beyond what we see, a question was raised of Uzzah’s pride or haughtiness in trying to rescue “God” and show the people he could do that, which is presumptuous and irreverent to God. In the light of this we could get a bit of understanding of the severity of his Judgment.
David was afraid of the incidence himself, even up to the point of being displeased. He asked, ” how would the ark of God come to me”? So, the left the ark in the house of Obededom, which leads us to the second experience in the passage. The same ark that brought judgement upon Uzzah, brought blessings upon the house of Obededom within three months of staying there. Isn’t it amazing? The benevolence of the presence of God in a man’s house! It was possible that others had rejected having the ark in their houses based on the previous incidence, but Obededom took it in, and I beleieved also revered the ark and the God of the ark, no wonder he was blessed.
Lastly we move on to the third experience in this passage. Having heard of God’s prosperity on the house of Obededom, David decided to bring back the ark to the city of David. This he did with dancing and rejoicing before the Lord, as sacrifices were made after every six paces. Also, David was clad in just an ephod linen round his waist as he danced before God. When Michal his wife saw this, she despised him, thinking to herself, “how could the whole king of Israel dance shamelessly like this before maidens”? We could immediately see a parallel here between Michal’s action and that of her father – Saul. The problem was that of ego, or “what others think of me”? Exactly what led to the downfall of Saul.
After David returned to bless his own household after blessing the people once the ark had been delivered, Michal approached him and spoke of his shameless dancing before the maidens. However David made it clear that he was dancing before the Lord, his own concern was not what people thought but what God thought, it was God who chose him over Saul and his house, and will even exalt him before the so called maidens Michal was talking about. We learnt that Michal was barren all the days of her life for what she did. Whether that was because David never slept with her again or directly from the Lord, we are not certain, however we are sure she was judged for despising David’s action in praising God.
What will your experience be before God’s presence. Do you have reverence and fear for the almighty. He is a loving God, but also a consuming fire. It is terrible to fall into his judgement, but also very pleasant to have his favour. Walk with him diligently with reverence and blessings shall be yours.
Some verses to remember
vs 7: And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.vs 11: And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household.vs 23:  Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.

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David made king over Israel

2 Sam 5:1-25

After seven years of reigning in Hebron over Judah, David was made king of the whole of Israel. The elders approached him and declared his contributions in fighting for the land even when Saul was king. He was anointed as king, and the fulfilment of God’s promise through Samuel eventually came to pass.

David then moved on to Jerusalem, where his house was built. He became established as his family increased, taking more wives and concubines who bore him more sons. In those days, it was common for kings to have a lot of wives and concubines, at times borne out of allegiance with other kings and other lands, or just as a sign of wealth and influence. As we would however see later, having many wives is not a guarantee against sexual sins.

In the latter end of the chapter, David had his first battles as king of Israel against the Philistines. The main lesson we took from here is the fact that God is the source of David’s strategy in war. In both instances cited here, he inquired of the Lord before going to battle, and the Lord told him how to approach the battles. The mode adopted the second time was quite different from the first. David did not assume that since success was ensured the first time, that should be the way to go again. He sought God, got direction, attacked the Philistines, and had victory.

Do you depend on God all the way, or do you lean on your own understanding. Have you confidence in your own methods or do you seek God’s heart for guidance. God is willing to guide us and grant us the victory we crave if we would ask him how he wants us to approach life, then we would find out it is easier doing it his way than ours in the long run.


Some verses to remember

vs 3 : So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel.

vs 19: And David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.

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The Assassination of of Ishbosheth

2 Sam 4:1-12

When Ishbosheth heard that Abner was dead, he was very afraid, and rightly so. For afterwards, two men who were captains in the bands of Saul his father plotted to have him killed. Baanah and rechab were sons of Rimmon, but they had been sojourners in Gittaim till the time of all these events.

So, both men went in to Ishbosheth while he slept in the noon, and they smote him and cut off his head. They ran away with his head and took it to David. The brothers thought they had done David a favour by killing the son of Saul his “enemy”, but David’s stance had not changed. He rebuked them for killing a righteous man while he slept, he then ordered his men to kill the two brothers who had done evil by killing Ishbosheth.

David clearly showed that he loved Saul and his family. He kept the promise he had made to Jonathan and Saul in not cutting off Saul’s family, and when others do it he brought them to justice. DO you remain faithful to your words and promises, even when the people you promised are no longer there? Learn from David!

Some verses to remember

vs 10-12:  When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings: How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth? And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron.

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Abner’s league with David

2 Sam 3:1-39

This chapter starts by revealing that the house of David continues to wax stronger in the war with the house of Saul. David was increasing while Saul was diminishing. We learnt of David’s first six sons – Ammon, Chileab, Absalom, Adonijah,  Shephatiah and Ithream,  all from six different wives.

While David’s house was growing, argument broke between Ishbosheth and Abner, as the king accused the highly influential captain of sleeping with his father’s concubine. Abner was wroth with the accusation, though it looked as though he was guilty, he would not take rebuke from Ishbosheth, considering all the sacrifice he had made for him, and all the support he had given him and his father. In his anger he decided to break allegiance with Ishbosheth and switched sides to David’s.

So, Abner sent word to David about bringing all Israel under him. So surprising how God could use the mundane events of men’s life, their folly and sins to still bring about the fulfilment of his promises. David had been anointed king a long time ago, but now with the disagreement between Abner and Ishbosheth, the promise was being brought into manifestation. To confirm Abner’s support, David requested for Michal, his first wife, who was Saul’s daughter. At Ishbosheth’s command, Abner took her from her current husband to be returned to David.

Later we learnt that David hosted Abner and twenty of his men to a feast. However this last act led to the demise of Abner. Although David made reconciliation with him, when Joab (Asahel’s brother) learnt of his visit, he was unhappy, and plotted revenge for the death of his brother from Abner’s hand. So he sent back for Abner, and as he went with him to the gate, he smote him. So Joab and Abishai the sons of Zeruiah avenged the death of their brother. David was however not pleased with these brothers, and placed a curse on their family for killing such and important man in Israel. David mourned and lamented for Abner with fasting with the whole of Israel with him.

Even in his dealings with his enemies, David showed true reconciliation and love for those who had hated him. He had learnt to leave vengeance for God, and would not personally smite those appointed by God over his people, not even in his bid to become king. Abner handed the kingdom over to David, but he died from the hands of the sons of Zeruiah for his previous sin against them.

Some verses to remember

vs 1:  Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.

vs 37:  For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner.

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David made king of Judah -First war with Israel.

2 Sam 2:1-32

After the death of Saul, David inquired of the Lord if he could return to Hebron, and God told him yes! So he went to Hebron and the men there anointed him as king over Judah. he also commended the bravery of the men of Jabeshgilead in burying Saul. However, Abner the captain of Saul’s army made Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, king over the rest of Israel. This was the beginning of dichotomy between Israel and Judah – the house of David and the house of Saul.

So, one day, Abner with his men, and Joab (David’s captain) with his men met by the pool of Gibeon and started a war by inviting their young men to fight each other. The combat deteriorated into war with Asahel, Joab’s brother (one of the three sons of  Zeruiah – Joab, Abishai and Asahel) running after Abner until he was killed.  The enmity would have deteriorated further until the war was called off and both armies returned.

It is clear from this passage that there’s still division in the land with supporters on either ends of the Saul and David spectra. How would this be resolved? How would enmity end?

Some verses to remember

vs 26: Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?

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How Are The Mighty Fallen?

2 Samuel 1:1-27

As we start the second book of Samuel, we are told of David’s reaction to the news of the death of Saul and is sons. David and his men just returned from the victory over the Amalekites when a young man came to deliver news about the war between Israel and the Philistines. The young man was an Amalekite and he gave a narration, albeit slightly falsified, of how Israel was defeated in battle. The young man also claimed that he was responsible for killing Saul when he was in misery of the pain of death.

In reality, the young man thought he was bringing David a good news of the death of his ‘enemy’ Saul. He probably thought he would be rewarded by David. David however made it known to him that he had just killed the Lord’s anointed, and he asked the young man to be killed, as he brought it on his own head. David was ot the one to rejoice in the death of Saul despite the hatred Saul had for him.

In the concluding part of the first chapter, David composed a song for Saul and his son Jonathan, who was David’s faithful friend. He asked the searching question that, “How are the mighty fallen”? Saul and Jonathan were indeed mighty men, with numerous victories in battle, but they fell easily at the last battle. It was really more because of what Saul brought upon himself by disobeying God.

How are the mighty fallen? They are fallen when God leaves them, when they begin to depend on themselves and not God, when the source and the sustenance departs, the mighty falls. Conttinue to rely on God, trust in him, depend on him, and you will never fall.

Some verses to remember

vs 14 And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD’S anointed?

vs 19:  The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!

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The death of Saul

1 Sam 31:1-13

Today we finish the book of 1 Samuel on a tragic note as Saul and his sons were killed in battle. This is the endless warnings Saul had been given by Samuel. The judgement of God eventually came as Samuel had warned. As the arrows flew all around Saul was caught by one of them, and rather than being killed by the Philistines, he asked his armour bearer to slay him, but the young man was too afraid to do it, so Saul fell on his own sword. the armour bearer to killed himself  once Saul was dead.

The Philistines defeated Israel that day, capture Saul’s body and cut off his head, they then hung his body on a wall. However, mention must be made of the bravery of the men of Jabeshgilead, who went all night to retrieve the body of Saul and his sons. They brought back the bodies and cremated them.

God’s judgement eventually comes even if it tarries. The better thing is to be in right standing with him lest we become fearful of his judgement. Do not let your life be like Saul’s obey God today.

Some verses to remember

vs 12 All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there.

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David’s Recovery from the Amalekites

1 Sam 30:1-31

When David and his men returned to Ziklag after being dispatched by Achish, the found out that the Amalekites had invaded the land and burnt it with fire. They had also captured all their wives and children and all they had. This brought about great pain and sorrow for David and his men, as they wept all day long. It got worse to the point that David’s men were angry with him, and almost stoned him, but David encouraged himself in the Lord.

He called Abiathar the priest and inquired of the Lord if he should pursue after the Amalekites, and whether he would overtake them and recover all they had stolen, the Lord answered him yes. Here we see again David’s dependency on God, even when all around him was crumbling, in the face of great sorrow and deeply felt rejection from his own men.

So David and some of the men went to pursue after the Amalekites, with the remaining two hundred waiting behind as they were to tired to go. God answered David’s prayer using an Egyptian slave they found on the way. The young man had been abandoned by his Amalekite master because he was too sick to continue the journey. David asked that they should feed him and help him regain his strength, and in return he showed them where the Amalekites camped. So David and his men fought with Amalekites from that evening till the next, and slaughtered them with a great slaughter. They eventually recovered all that the Amalekites stole – wife, schildren, animals, and even much more of the loots of the Amalekites.

God helped David again, restored the confidence his people had in his leadership, provided for him and his men, and made his wax stronger and stronger in influence. When leadership gets lonely, you can still  call on and depend on God, he has the answers when everything else fails. Trust him!.

Some verses to remember

6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

8 And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.

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