2 Samuel 1
Shawn Bumpers / General
For the last 20 or more chapters, we’ve been primarily focused on Saul.
But now the text focuses on David.
But remember that not all of Saul’s sons were in the battle.
So we have 2 kingdoms here … the kingdom of Judah ruled by David and the kingdom of Israel, ruled by Ishbosheth.
Over the next years there were minor skirmishes between the two kingdoms.
One of his great accomplishments was establishing the kingdom.
This first of all required defeating Israel’s enemies and setting up a boundary zone of safety.
These conquests set up a number of subordinate states.
Another of David’s great accomplishments was Government organization.
to maintain all of his military and political gains, David would need to act quickly.
As we will see, the core of David’s military organization was 600 key commanders.
Centralization or perhaps we could say Nationalism was also one of David’s accomplishments.
Since the times of Joshua, the people of Israel had thought more in terms of tribal than national identity.
However, the city David selected to be that capital was occupied by Jebusites.
The city of Jerusalem was located on the border between Judah and the northern tribes.
Jerusalem then became David’s capital.
Deuteronomy 12:5 NIV84
But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go;
Structuring Worship was another great accomplishment of David.
Zadok and Abiathar served as chief priests and were members of David’s cabinet.
David was also served by several prophets … most notably Gad and Nathan.
They had a special ministry of instructing and reproving the king.
As we’ve noted before, David has prophetic significance as well as historic significance.
When the kingdom of Israel had been firmly established, David yearned to build a suitable temple for the Lord.
2 Samuel 7:13 NKJV
He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
Psalm 89:3–4 NKJV
“I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: ‘Your seed I will establish forever, And build up your throne to all generations.’ ” Selah
Psalm 89:34–37 NKJV
My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David: His seed shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me; It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky.” Selah
Luke 23:42 NKJV
Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
Even after Jesus’ resurrection, His disciples could not understand what had happened.
Acts 1:6 NKJV
Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Acts 1:7 NKJV
And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.
2 Peter 3:8–9 NKJV
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
It is important that you and I see Jesus as coming King.
Psalm 2:7–9 NKJV
“I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ”
The Second book of Samuel records the highlights of David’s reign.
It records his dramatic rise to power and his terrible sins of adultery and murder as well as the horrible consequences.
1 Chronicles 29:29–30 NKJV
Now the acts of King David, first and last, indeed they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer, with all his reign and his might, and the events that happened to him, to Israel, and to all the kingdoms of the lands.
For ten years David lived as an exile.
He hid from and ran from Saul.
Psalm 78:72 NKJV
So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
We open here with the continuation of where we left off with the last chapter of 1 Samuel.
The Lord prevented David and his men from assisting the Philistines in their battle against Saul and Israel, so David returned to Ziklag.
At the same time that David was returning to Ziklag, the Philistines were desecrating the bodies of Saul and his sons.
Also, an Amalekite messenger was on his way to bring the news to David.
There are a few things we should observe in these verses.
• First, it says this man came from Saul’s camp … it means he was in the army of Israel.
• Secondly, notice it says that he comes to David in Ziklag with his clothes torn and dust on his head … these were signs of mourning.
It would seem that the first part of his plan was to ingratiate himself to David.
Notice how this man tells David.
He’s saving what he thinks David will consider to be the best news for last.
David wanted to know how this man knew … did he have proof?
David is not hoping what this man is saying is true … he’s hoping that it might not be true.
1 Chronicles 10:14 NKJV
But he did not inquire of the Lord; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.
However, the Amalekite didn’t kill Saul as he claimed, because Saul and his sons were already dead.
The Amalekite expected celebration from David.
Imagine his surprise when David and his men rose up and tore their clothes … a sign of mourning.
In David’s eyes, Saul was never his enemy.
And on two occasions, in 1 Samuel 24 and 26, when David could have killed Saul, he made it clear that he would never lay hands on the Lord’s anointed.
Their mourning ended at evening, which would have been the beginning of a new day by their calendar.
And David went further in questioning this messenger.
Deuteronomy 25:17–19 NKJV
“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore it shall be, when the Lord your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.
In slaying the messenger, David vindicated Saul and his sons.
He also demonstrated publicly that he had not been Saul’s enemy and did not rejoice at Saul’s death.
David’s mourning over the death of Saul and his sons was by no means insincere.
To help people remember them, David wrote a very touching song in their honor.
Beauty here is better translated “glory” … “Your glory, O Israel.”
David calls the dead king and his army “Your glory, O Israel” and “the mighty.”
The mountains of Gilboa is where the battle had just been fought.
It’s where Saul was defeated.
Psalm 84:9 NKJV
O God, behold our shield, And look upon the face of Your anointed.
Psalm 89:18 NKJV
For our shield belongs to the Lord, And our king to the Holy One of Israel.
This is the heart of the song.
Even though the army of Israel was defeated, David wanted the people to remember the greatness of their king and his sons.
In spite of his faults and failures, during his reign Saul had brought stability to the nation.
Saul’s victories over enemy nations, brought a measure of safety in the towns and farmlands.
“My brother Jonathan” carries a double meaning.
They were brothers-in-law (David was married to Michal, Jonathan’s sister) and also brothers in heart and spirit.
Song of Solomon 8:6 NKJV
Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame.
1 Samuel 18:1 NKJV
Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
1 Samuel 9:2 NKJV
And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.
But he ended his career a fallen king.