KEY VERSE FOR MEMORIZATION
“Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.” (2 Samuel 7:22)
The Book of 2 Samuel is really a continuation of the Book of 1 Samuel. Originally, the two were written together as a history for the people of Israel and Judah. Together, the two books chronicle the transition in Israel from the time of the judges to the rule of the kings. They specifically tell the accounts of Samuel, Israel’s last ruling judge; Saul, Israel’s first king; and David, Israel’s second and greatest king.
The Book of 1 Samuel is concerned mostly with the reign of Saul, his downfall, God’s appointment of David to become the next king, and how God put the shepherd boy David into a position to become king.
The Book of 2 Samuel records the culmination of God’s plans for David. Finally, after David had spent many years running and hiding from Saul and his armies, the deaths of Saul and Jonathan had opened the throne to David. After asking God what he should do, he moved to Hebron and became king of Judah, but it was not until seven and a half years later (2 Samuel 5:5), that he finally was able to govern the unified kingdom of Israel. His reign lasted a total of forty years and six months.
Of note in this account is David’s attitude. No matter what happened, he was determined to honor God, and to honor Saul as God’s anointed king before him. This attitude is evident in the first chapter, when David learned of the deaths of Saul and Jonathan. David tore his clothing as a sign of mourning, and wept and fasted to show his grief. In chapter 1, verses 19-27, the author included David’s beautiful expression of honor and lament for the two men.
Although David had known for years that he would be Israel’s next king, his patient attitude regarding his actual appointment was exemplary. During the years of civil war between Judah (who had installed him as their king) and Israel (who were following Saul’s son Ish-bosheth and his advisors), David was willing to leave the matter with God. His attitude showed that he knew God would work it all out in His own time.
In chapters 6 and 7, the author tells how David brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem, and of David’s desire to build a permanent house of God to replace the Tabernacle. God honored David’s desire to please him by promising him that his throne would be established forever (2 Samuel 7:16).
Chapter 8 tells of David’s military victories, and chapter 9 tells the story of how David honored the descendents of Saul and Jonathan through Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth.
Just as he did for David, God has a plan for each of us. Sometimes it takes a while for God’s plan to come to completion. We can chafe at having to wait on God, or we can follow David’s example and use our waiting time to carefully develop godly character in our lives.