As the book of 2 Samuel opens, Saul is dead and David learns that his dear friend Jonathan is also dead. David composes a beautiful lament in their honor, which was to be taught to the men of Judah. David enters a period in which he developed his heart for God while waiting to hear from God. David was then anointed king—first of Judah, and then of all Israel—at the age of thirty. He was the king to which all the future kings of Israel would be compared. He made Jerusalem his capital city, and God gave the Israelites victory over the Philistines. Even though battle was familiar to David, he inquired of the Lord before each battle and depended on the Lord’s aid in the battle.
In her lecture, Mrs. Kraft instructs us that a heart sensitive to God seeks God’s will and obeys it. A godly heart seeks God for refuge and trusts God to keep his promises. Those of us who are his children by faith can trust God to keep his promises, including all promises regarding this life and the next. All of life should be our ministry, and we must depend on the Lord so that our efforts are fruitful and glorify God. God can use even our ordinary efforts to make an eternal impact on those in our sphere of influence. Let the Holy Spirit develop in you the character of Christ. That is the secret to developing a heart for God.
2 Samuel 1-4
1. Read 2 Samuel 1. What did the Amalekite messenger expect David to do when he heard of Saul’s death? Why did he credit himself with killing Saul? What reward did he get?
2. What do you think is unusual about David’s lament in view of his last ten years? What does that tell us about his spirit? What do you think verse 26 meant?
3. Read 2 Samuel 2:1-7. What attributes did David display as he waited to become king over all Israel? What did he trust God for?
4. Read 2 Samuel 3:6-21. Why did Abner transfer his loyalty to David? Why did David insist that his wife Michal be returned? How did Abner keep his part of the agreement? Why do you think Joab killed Abner?
5. Read 2 Samuel 2:8-4:12. What is impressive about David’s sense of justice regarding the deaths of Saul, Abner and Ish-Bosheth? Joab was the son of David’s sister, Zeruiah. What do these chapters suggest about his character and the problem he would be to David?
6. Read Romans 5:3-5 and James 1:2-4. What does suffering accomplish in our lives? Do you remember this in your trials? Have you ever experienced waiting for God to answer prayer? What helped you to endure without losing faith?
7. Read 2 Cor 1:8-11. What is a major reason for God to permit us to suffer? How can we help each other? What will the result be?