Today’s reading: 2 Samuel 1-2, 1 Chronicles 11, Psalm 96 and 106, Acts 21
The book of 2 Samuel is the story of King David. David was born half way between Abraham and Jesus, and is described as “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 12:14). We can learn a lot from his life.
With God’s help, David accomplished much as he led God’s people to complete their conquest of the Promised Land. His devotion to God and his record of success made him a leader people wanted to follow. These things also made David a threat to other leaders, especially Saul (who, by the way, was also his father in law).
Samuel anointed David King when David was 15 years old. But he didn’t take over the throne until he was 30 because King Saul was still in power. As we’ve seen in our study of 1 Samuel, those 15 years were some tumultuous times as Saul plotted against David at every turn. Our reading for today, 1 Samuel 1-2, records the end of Saul’s life and David’s takeover as King of Judah.
Chapter 1 opens with a man, who identified himself as an Amalekite from Saul’s camp, informing David of Saul’s death. As David probed for more detail, the man indicated that he had killed Saul (at Saul’s request to help him avoid capture by the enemy). By comparing this man’s story to our text from Tuesday in 1 Samuel 31, we know this man was lying. Why? Likely he was trying to gain some personal reward from David for killing David’s nemesis (Saul).
Let’s stop here. If someone had been plotting against you and trying to kill you for years, and someone else came and took them out, how would you treat the person who had “done you a favor”? Even if I totally didn’t agree with their action, my natural instinct would have been to thank them or at least acknowledge that they were trying to help me. But that is not at all what David did. This man totally misread David’s character. David knew that God anointed Saul, and only God could remove him from power. It was God’s job, not David’s job, to judge Saul’s sins. In the end, this person who was trying to get a reward from David for killing Saul only received justice for taking the life of God’s appointed leader.
As we journey through the book of 2 Samuel, we will see that David’s successful and prosperous reign as King of Israel lasted until he fell into sin. It is very common for successful leaders to end up down the road of self-centeredness and pride. Even David, a man after God’s own heart, fell into this trap.
Again, we can learn a lot from David’s life. My takeaway from today’s text is this. Everything good and perfect comes from God. His ways are higher than ours. Stay faithful.