The Inspiration of the Scriptures: 2 Samuel

2SA  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Divine Design § 10 2 Samuel
The second book (1) opens with David's resentment at the stranger who falsely taxed himself with the slaying of Saul to please him, and with a genuine lament over the fallen house. In chap. 2 at the word of Jehovah he goes to Hebron, and reigns over Judah seven years and a half. For two years reigns Saul's son Ishbosheth over Benjamin and Israel generally, through Abner's influence, with whom Joab contends. David only had title from God who let the hindrances pass, without the least sympathy on his own part with the guilty instruments (3, 4). In chap. 5 all the tribes come to him in Hebron, and anoint David king, who reigns in Jerusalem over all Israel thirty-three years more. The stronghold of Zion falls; and Tire sends gifts. In vain the Philistines gather against David, who inquires of Jehovah, instead of going at once in the confidence of prowess and old victories. Again they come; but David only acts as Jehovah commands. Still the ark remained in Abinadab's house; and David desired its presence (6). But he did not inquire, nor did he search the scriptures, how it should be done. So it ended in death, as it began in error. And the ark was carried into the house of Obed-edom for three months of blessing to all the house. Tidings of this awakened the king to the homage of faith; and the ark was duly carried into the city of David with joy. It was not yet the temple, but the provisional tabernacle beyond which David could not go. The rest of glory was reserved for Solomon, type of Christ in peace, as David was of His wars. All this appears clearly in the prophets who came afterward; here its analogue comes historically; but who could have done either but the Holy Spirit? David is not viewed as a priest on his throne, but acts by grace as a servant, and so thoroughly as to rouse the fleshly anger of Michal, who pays the penalty of her contempt.
How proper did it seem as we read in chap. 7 to build Jehovah a palace as the king had done for himself! But Nathan the prophet is corrected by Jehovah the same night: David's son, who shall be Jehovah's son, is to build that house; and his house shall be established forever. So it shall be in the most glorious way. If this be the truth, who but God could have so revealed? and how perfectly in keeping with the divine design in this book! David could no more build the temple than Moses could enter the land. Hence we may note his subduing the Philistines, Moabites, Syrians, &c., in chap. 8 He typifies the warrior still. The man of peace shall build. Christ will answer to both in the fullest perfection. David's grace to Jonathan's son shines in chap. 9. But chap. 10 shows how the type fails; chap. 11, how far he fell shamefully; and chap. 12, how the sword should never depart from his house in Jehovah's moral government. What a rebuke was Amnon's lust in chap. 13. What another was Absalom's blood-guiltiness! Nor was this all. For if through Joab Absalom returns (14), his rebellion breaks out, as chap. 15 shows, and David's flight in chap. 16. Ahithophel comes to nothing in chap. 17; and Absalom perishes by Joab's hand in 18. Touching is the king's sorrow; but he returns in chap. 19. Sheba's rebellion ends with the traitor's death, but not without Joab's guile and cruelty in chap. 20; as chap. 21 gives the striking proof that Jehovah punishes in king Saul's house perfidy toward even the accursed Hivites of Gibeon.
Then how remarkably comes in here David's song of deliverance from all his enemies and Saul too (22)! followed by his “last words” in chap. 23 when he long reigned, but also had the grief that “his house is not so with God;” and though he could say the covenant was all his salvation and desire, yet “He maketh it not to grow.” Judgment must intervene; which Christ alone could execute perfectly. Who but God could have so written? even as He will accomplish all in its day. Then follows the roll of David's worthies on the one hand, and the plague that devoured the thousands (chap. 24), about whose numbering he sinned in the pride of his heart, in painful contrast with Him Whom he foreshadowed so much. But even there mercy glories against judgment at Jerusalem, and the threshing-floor of Araunah becomes the site of the altar to Jehovah, the meeting-place of reconciliation for His people forever.
Directly and indirectly we thus see that the books of Samuel are God giving man's choice of a king superseded by the figure of the true Beloved, reducing His enemies to subjection; as the Lord will when He comes in power and glory at the end of the age, before He reigns in peace.