1 Samuel ends tragically, with King Saul a virtual madman. He turns against David, his loyal servant and friend. He becomes paranoid, seeking to kill David as though he were a traitor. He fails to obey God’s Word, and so brings about his own downfall and demise. Saul even goes so far as to consult with a medium. The closing chapter of 1 Samuel is the account of his death, at the hands of the Philistines and his own. Sad though this may be, we breathe a sigh of relief, for now David’s days of fleeing from Saul as a fugitive are over. Now, David will reign in Saul’s place.
It doesn’t happen quite this quickly, or this easily. Thanks to the intrigue of men like Abner and Joab, Israel temporarily becomes a divided nation – a foreshadowing of future times for the nation Israel. Finally, David becomes king of all Israel. As he sets out to establish his throne, he seems to do everything well, and God’s blessing is clearly upon him.
Nevertheless, David is still a man with “feet of clay.” His sin against Bathsheba and her husband Uriah sets a whole new course of events into motion. There are more dark days for David, darker than he has seen before.
His child dies, one of his sons rapes David’s daughter, and one of his sons kills another son. To cap matters off, David’s son Absalom rebels against his father David and seeks to kill him. And yet through it all God brings David to repentance and ultimate restoration. God in no way winks at David’s sins, because the remainder of 2 Samuel describes the fallout of David’s sin with Bathsheba.
2 Samuel leaves us with an appreciation for the greatness of David, but also a realization of his human weaknesses. If there is to be a king who will dwell forever on the throne of David (2 Samuel 7:12-14), it must be one who is greater than David. If David is the best king who ever ruled over Israel, then God will have to provide, Himself, a better King. And so He will. This is a great book, one well worth our serious study. Let us look to God to work in our lives through our study of 2 Samuel.