David and the theme of 1&2 Samuel

After God’s promise to David, the king blows it all by taking Bathsheba and killing her husband (incidentally, in a war against the Ammonites). The prophet Nathan announced God’s condemnation of David’s actions, as a result “the sword will never leave your house” (2 Sam 12:10). The very next chapter, David’s family is wracked by rape and murder, and soon his son Absalom is gathering support from the people to become king (2 Sam 15:13). The result is another civil war which finally results in a head-to-head confrontation which david wins (2 Sam 18:6-7). Despite David’s request to spare Absalom, Joab finds him and kills him (2 Sam 18:5, 14). Later, Sheba son of Bichri begins another rebellion, but he is also defeated (2 Sam 20). As with the previous war against the Benjaminites, God is silent throughout these events.

Near the end of 2 Samuel, chapter 22 recounts a song that David sung “2 Samuel 22:1  on the day the LORD rescued him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul” (2 Sam 22:1). This song (full text here) celebrates all that God had done for David. It  emphasises God’s sovereign acts to protect his people, and it links God’s care of his people with their faithfulness to him. The fact that this song has been placed where it is suggests that it is acting as a summary of the whole book. This means that the theological points we have noticed in 1 and 2 Samuel are not just things that can be extracted from the narrative, but are key and central themes of the book.

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One thought on “David and the theme of 1&2 Samuel

  1. Pingback: The Land and faithfulness « Constantly Reforming

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