When Responding to Loss
Explore the Bible Series
November 2, 2008
Background Passage:† II Samuel 1:1-4:12
Introduction: II Samuel extends the Davidic narrative after the death of King Saul; in fact, the entire book centers on the monarchy of David.† As we have seen, Davidís pilgrimage to the throne did not prove easy.† For years a jealous Saul sought Davidís ruin, and, even after Saulís demise, the new king had a difficult path to power.† He will become monarch in stages, and every step along the away proved difficult.†
Bible students should appreciate the stark candor of II Samuel.† The narrative details Davidís great successes, but it does not conceal his horrible failures.† Even in I Samuel the text reveals some unseemly events in Davidís rise to prominence: his alliance with the Philistines, feigning insanity, occasional seasons of deception, and his brutality in dealing with some of his enemies.† Before we complete our study of II Samuel we will discover even more sinister moral failures in David: adultery, deception, conspiracy, and murder.† God forgave David, but it still seems difficult to comprehend why God dealt with Davidís failures in one way and with Saulís sins in a different manner.† These things, perhaps, can only be understood in the mysterious counsels of God.
I and II Samuel originally existed as one document.† Traditionally, this work has been attributed to the Prophet Samuel, but the text records the prophetís death in I Samuel 25:1; therefore, he could not have written the materials contained in II Samuel.† No one, with any certainty, can identify the author of this narrative. Conservative Bible scholars generally believe this important work of history was completed during the Exile, drawing on sources that date to the time of Samuel. Much of II Samuel is paralleled by passages in I Chronicles.
I. Davidís Response to Saulís Death (1:1-27)
false report of the Amalekite messenger (vv. 1-16): Three days after the Battle
of Mount Gilboa an Amalekite man arrived in Davidís camp at Ziklag.† The messenger told David of the death of Saul
and Jonathan, but he fabricated some of the story.† He recounted that the Philistines had mortally
wounded the king, but the messenger lied about killing Saul.† Perhaps the man believed David would delight
in Saulís demise and, therefore, would reward the man who claimed to kill
dirge for Saul and Jonathan (vv. 17-27): In this lament David refers to the
Book of Jashar, apparently an ancient account of acts of bravery by the heroes
II. Davidís Early Days as King of Judah (2:1-4:12)
named king of
warfare against Davidís army (2:12-32): Abnerís forces met Davidís army, under
the command of Joab, at
D. Abnerís attempt to defect to Davidís cause (3:1-39)
1. The advance of Davidís house (vv. 1-5): God blessed David.† The kingís family grew as did his military success over the remnant of Saulís army.
defection (vv. 6-25): Abner, in an effort to assert his power in
3. The murder of Abner (vv. 26-39): Joab killed Abner, but David did not know of the murdererís intent. The king did not punish Joab, but he did grieve for Abner and arranged for the fallen manís honorable burial.
murder of Ish-bosheth (4:1-12): Two Benjamites, Baanah and Rechab, conspired to
assassinate Ish-bosheth.† The
conspirators came to Ish-boshethís house, and as the king tested in his bed,
the two men killed him and mutilated his body.†
Thinking that David would reward their violence, the men bought
Ish-boshethís head to