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The book of 2nd Samuel. Check out the video on First Samuel where we were introduced
to the book's three main characters: Samuel, Saul and David and
then also to the book's literary design which first introduced Samuel and then
traced the rise and fall of king Saul in contrast to the rise of king David.
2nd Samuel tells the story of David as Israel's King and in two movements;
there's a season of success and a blessing, followed by a huge moral failure and then sad consequences.
And then the book ends with this well-crafted conclusion that reflects back on the good and the bad in David's life,
generating hope for a future king to come from his line.
So 2nd Samuel picks up after Saul's death and David surprises everyone by composing this
long poem where he laments the death of the very man who tried to murder him.
And so once again the author is presenting David's humility and compassion;
he's a man who grieves the death even of his own enemies.
After this, David experiences a season of success and God's blessing. All of the Israelite
tribes they come to David then they ask him to unify all the tribes as
their king so the first thing David does as king, is to go to the city of
Jerusalem, he conquers it, and he establishes it as Israel's capital city
which he renames as Zion. And from there David goes on and he wins many battles
and expands Israel's territory. Now after making Jerusalem the political capital
of Israel he wants to make it their religious capital as well and so he has
the Ark of the Covenant moved into the city and then in 2nd Samuel 7, he
tells God now that Israel has a permanent home he thinks that God's
presence should also get a permanent house so he asks if he can build a
temple for the God of Israel but God says to David: "Thank you for that thought but
actually I'm going to build you a house, a dynasty." Now 2nd Samuel 7, this is a
key chapter for understanding the storyline of the whole Bible because God
here makes a promise to David that from his royal line will come a future king
who's going to build God's temple here on earth and set up an eternal kingdom
and it's this
messianic promise to David that gets picked up and developed more in the Book of
Psalms and also in the books of the prophets and it's this king that gets
connected to God's promise to Abraham. The future messianic kingdom will be how
God brings His blessing to all of the nations and it's right here in the midst
of all this divine blessing that things go horribly wrong. David makes a fatal
mistake. Not fatal for him, but for a man named Uriah. One of David´s prized
soldiers. So from his rooftop David sees Uriah´s wife Batsheba, bathing. David
finds her, he sleeps with her, gets her pregnant and then he tries to cover the whole
thing up by having Uriah assassinated and then marrying her. It is just horrible. So when
David´s confronted by the prophet Nathan about all of this, he immediately owns up
to what he's done. He is broken, he repents. He asks God to forgive him and God does
forgive him but, God doesn't erase the consequences of David's decisions. And so
as a result of this horrible choice David's family, his kingdom, and all falls
apart and makes this section a tragic story, much like Saul´s downfall.
So David´s sons end up repeating his own mistakes but in even more tragic ways so
Amnon sexually abuses his sister Tamar and then their brother Absalom
finds out about all of this and has Amnon assassinated and then Absalom goes
and he hatches the secret plan to oust his father David from power and he
launches this full-scale rebellion and so for a second time David is forced to
flee from his own home and go hide in the wilderness, except this time he is
not an innocent man. The rebellion ends when David's son is murdered. And it
breaks David's heart and so once again he laments over the very man who tried to
kill him.
David´s last days find him back on his throne but as a broken man
man, he's wounded by the sad consequences of his sin. The book concludes with a
well-crafted epilogue. With stories that are out of chronological order, but they
have this really cool symmetrical literary design. So the outer pair of
stories come from earlier in David's reign and they compared the failures of
Saul and then of David, and how each of them hurt other people through their bad
decisions. The next inner pair of stories are about David and his band of mighty
men, who went about fighting the Philistines and what's interesting is
that both sections have a story of David's weakness in battle, so in contrast
to the victorious David of chapters 1 through 9, here we see a vulnerable David, who is
dependent on others for help. The center of the epilogue has two poems that act
like memoirs, and David reflects back on his life and he remembers times when God
graciously rescued him from danger, and he sees these as moments where God was
faithful to His covenant promise to him and to his family. Both poems conclude by
looking back onto the hope of God's promise of a future king who will build
that eternal kingdom. Now these poems and then God´s promise also connect back to
Hannah´s poem that opened the book. And so these key passages from the beginning
now the middle and the end of the book bring the book's themes all together.
Despite Saul and David´s evil, God remained at work moving forward His redemptive
purposes. And God opposed David and Saul´s arrogance, but He exalted David when he
humbled himself. And so the future hope of this book reaches far beyond David
himself. It looks to the future to the messianic king who will one day bring
God's kingdom and blessing to all of the nations. And that´s what the book of Samuel
is all about.


聖經撒母耳記下 (Read Scripture: 2 Samuel)

522 分類 收藏
sophia 發佈於 2017 年 5 月 2 日
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