Tuesday, August 18, 2009


(Draft in progress - Recent update 8/30/09)

We now approach the greatest and noblest character, after Moses, in Israelite history; we come also to the most brilliant era in the life of the nation.
David’s life falls into four periods:

(1) David the shepherd lad (16:1-13)

Of his early shepherd life we know but little, save that he kept his father’s flocks on the pasture lands about Bethlehem, and that on occasions he slew a lion and a bear.

God told Samuel is instructed to visit Jesse of Bethlehem and anoint one of his eight sons as King of Israel. (16:1)

Samuel is told to, "Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature... for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart" (16:7)

After God rejects the first seven sons, Samuel calls for David the youngest who keeps the sheep and anoints him (16:11-13)

David, in God's sight, is the anointed king, but he must suffer before he reigns

The Spirit of Jehovah came upon David and forsook Saul, who, at the same time, is troubled by an evil spirit. (16:14) If God and his grace do not rule us, sin and Satan will have possession of us.

Obviously God is working with both David and Saul only in different ways.

(2) David at the court of Saul (Singer, Harp Player, Armor Bearer)(16:14-23)

King Saul is from this point on troubled by an evil spirit.

Saul's servant's say "Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee." (i.e. by God's permission, who delivered him up to be buffeted of Satan; delivered him up to Satan)

The fame of David’s skill as an accomplished harpist causes Saul to issue a "command performance," and David readily agrees.

"And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son, unto Saul" (v. 20). What a beautiful typical picture is here presented to us. It was the dire need of poor Saul which moved Jesse to send forth his anointed son: so it was a world lying in sin unto which the Father sent His Beloved. Behold David richly laden with presents for the king: Jesse sent him
forth not with weapons of warfare in his hands, but with the tokens of his good will. So the Father sent forth His Son "not to condemn the world" (John 3:17), but on an errand of grace and mercy unto it."

David’s beautiful music helps the troubled Saul.

1Sa_17:15, But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.

David the soldier

Jesse sends David with some food for his brothers who are soldiers in Saul’s army.
Israel at this time was engaged in battle with the Philistines.

Upon arriving, David views a giant Philistine warrior who had for forty days (17:16) brazenly insulted the armies of Israel and their God, taunting them to send forth a Champion (soldier) to do battle with him and thus determine the war. The giant’s name was Goliath; he was approximately ten feet high. He wore a bronze helmet, a 200-pound coat of mail, bronze leggings, and carried a bronze javelin several inches thick, tipped with a twenty-five-pound iron spearhead.

David accepts this challenge and, armed with only the sling of a shepherd, kills the giant with a stone which he hurls into his forehead.

Saul called David to live permanently at the court.

By his genius and skill and courage, David attained the high position of captain of the king’s bodyguard, a place which seems to have been second only to that held by Abner as general of the army.

1Sa_18:2, And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house.

He now begins his lifelong friendship with Jonathan, Saul’s son (1 Sam. 18:1-4).

He is made commander-in-chief of Saul’s armies (1 Sam. 18:5).

He receives the praise of the Israelite women for slaying Goliath (1 Sam. 18:6, 7).
These women sang concerning how Saul had slain his thousands, but David his ten thousands. Apparently the Philistines would also later hear of this song. (See 1 Sam. 21:11; 29:5.)

(3) David, an outlaw chieftain sought (1 Sam 18-31)

Imperiled by the jealous enmity of Saul (18:8), David was driven forth, and for a few years became a frontiersman. Many thrilling incidents and hairbreadth escapes marked this period. Again and again, as he himself declared, there was only a step between him and death.

Saul's first attempt to kill David (1 Sam. 18:11).

He is demoted from general to a captain in Saul’s armies (1 Sam. 18:13).
Saul attempts to have the Philistines kill David, by falsely promising his daughter to wife for defeating the enemy (1 Sam. 18:19).

Saul then promises his second daughter, Michal, to David if he can kill 100 Philistines. David thereupon goes out and kills 200 (1 Sam. 18:20-27).

David marries his first of many wives, Michal (1 Sam. 18:27, 28).

Saul attempts to kill him again with a javelin (1 Sam. 19:10).

David escapes Saul’s next murderous attempt by being lowered down through his own bedroom window with the help of Michal (1 Sam. 19:12).

David goes to Ramah and reports all this to Samuel (1 Sam. 19:18).

Jonathan warns David of Saul’s renewed efforts to kill him (1 Sam. 20:18-22, 35-42).

David goes to Nob and (after lying about the nature of his visit) receives bread and a sword from Ahimelech, the high priest (1 Sam. 21:1-9).

He then goes to the Philistine city of Gath and fakes insanity before King Achish (1 Sam. 21:10-15).

David makes the Cave of Adullam his headquarters and begins gathering his "outlaw army." This army at first totaled 400 men (1 Sam. 22:1, 2).

During this period three of his mighty men slipped through enemy lines to bring David the drink of water from the well in Bethlehem he had so longed for. David was so impressed that he refused to drink it, but poured it out as an offering to God (1 Chron. 11:16-19).

David goes to Moab, but is ordered back to Judah through the mouth of Gad, the prophet of the Lord (1 Sam. 22:3-5). God had already gone to the trouble of bringing David’s great grandmother from Moab into Judah. (See Ruth 1.)

A vicious Edomite named Doeg betrays Ahimelech to Saul, whereupon the insane king orders the slaughter of eighty-five priests at Nob simply because Ahimelech had offered some bread to David (22:12-19).

David receives Abiathar, one of Ahimelech’s sons, who alone had escaped Saul’s bloody slaughter of the priests at Nob (1 Sam. 22:20-23).

David saves the Israelite city of Keilah from the Philistines (1 Sam. 23:5).

He then is warned by God to flee the city, for the fickle citizens were preparing to hand him over to Saul (1 Sam. 23:10-12).

He now has an army of 600 men (1 Sam. 23:13).

Jonathan and David meet in the woods of Ziph and renew their friendship (1 Sam. 23:16-18).

Saul surrounds David in the wilderness of Maon, but upon hearing the report of a Philistine invasion, is forced to leave before capturing him (1 Sam. 23:26-28).

David spares Saul’s life in a cave in the wilderness of En-gedi, by cutting off a piece of Saul’s coat when he could have sliced off his head (1 Sam. 24:1-15).

David’s heart immediately smote him for this act of disrespect (1 Sam. 24:5). (This "smiting" was to be recorded on two future occasions, as well.) 1. After his sin with Bath-sheba (2 Sam. 12:13). 2. After numbering the people of Israel (2 Sam. 24:10). (Psalm 7 may have been written at this time.)

Saul acknowledges both his stupidity and the fact that he knew God had chosen David to rule Israel (1 Sam. 24:16-22).

David marries his second wife, Abigail. She was the widow of an arrogant and rich Judean sheepherder who had refused to help David in his time of need and for this reason was slain by the Lord ten days later (25:1-42). (Just prior to this, Samuel had died and was buried at Ramah.)

David marries his third wife, Ahinoam (1 Sam. 25:43). Note: His first wife, Michal, had been given by Saul to another man (25:44). Ahinoam would later give birth to Amnon (see 2 Sam. 3:2).

David spares Saul’s life the second time on a hillside in the wilderness of Ziph. To prove this to Saul, he orders one of his men to take the spear and water canteen while the king lies sleeping (1 Sam. 26:1-16).

Saul once again acknowledges his wickedness and promises no more to seek his life (1 Sam. 26:17-24). Note: The wicked and frustrated king, apparently, this time, kept his word.

David backslides and moves to the Philistine city of Ziklag (1 Sam. 27:1).

David now completes his army of mighty men. These men were known for:
  • their strength (1 Chron. 12:2, 8)
  • their spiritual perception (1 Chron. 12:18)
During this time, a period of sixteen months, David carries out numerous plundering raids upon various non-Israelite cities, but convinces the Philistine king, Achish, that the cities are indeed Israelite ones. (See 1 Sam. 27:8-12.)

Saul visits the witch of En-dor in a desperate attempt to call up Samuel from the dead in order to receive advice concerning a fearful Philistine military threat (28:1-11).

Samuel appears, apart, however, from any actions of the evil witch, and predicts Saul’s defeat and death on the battlefield the following day (28:12-25).

Note: The appearance of Samuel on this occasion has created a great deal of discussion among Bible scholars and has produced a number of viewpoints with regard to the precise nature of this event. They are as follows:

"The appearance of Samuel was not a literal one, but merely the product of psychological impressions. According to this view, the woman had permitted herself to become emotionally involved and psychologically identified with the prophet, so that she was convinced that he had actually appeared when called. Two objections can be raised against this view. The first is derived from verse 12, which indicates that when Samuel did appear, the medium cried out with a loud voice, apparently surprised or startled by his appearance. Such would not be the case if she were merely seeking a vision produced by ‘psychological excitement.’ Second, the general reading of the text leads one to the conclusion that not only did the woman speak with Samuel, but Saul spoke with him as well (cf. v. 15).

A demon or Satan impersonated Samuel. Those holding this view argue for the idea that a visible form of Samuel himself appeared, which was in reality merely an impersonation of him. Many who defend this view argue that God would not permit a woman of this type to actually disturb the rest of a godly man. The whole affair is therefore considered a satanic or demonic deception of Saul. The advocates of this view remind us that Satan can appear as ‘an angel of light’ (2 Cor. 11:14) and, therefore, has the ability to carry out such deceptions. In evaluating this view, it should be pointed out that the basic reading of the biblical text leads one to the conclusion that this was actually Samuel and not an impersonation. While it is true that Satan can perform such deception, it is highly doubtful that he has the prophetic knowledge necessary to reveal that which was given to Saul in this chapter. Furthermore, if this were a demon or an evil spirit, it is improbable that he would have given the prediction found in this passage. More likely, in the light of the godly character of David and the wickedness of Saul, the demonic power would have flattered Saul with a positive prophecy.

The whole thing was a deliberate imposture practiced upon Saul. The witch really did not see Samuel, but fooled Saul into believing that her voice or that of someone else was that of Samuel. Those maintaining this view point out that only the woman saw Samuel and reported his words. Saul heard and saw nothing. A number of objections may be raised against this view. In the first place, the Bible does not specifically say that the woman reported Samuel’s words; on the contrary, it makes it clear that Samuel spoke directly to Saul. Orr’s statement that the king ‘saw and heard nothing’ is in direct conflict with the obvious reading of the text (cf. v. 15ff). It is also highly doubtful that she was in a position to predict the outcome of the battle and specifically forecast the death of Saul’s sons. It is also unlikely, from a practical point of view, that she would give such a forecast to a man obviously aligned with the Israelite camp.

The most popular view and that which is maintained by most orthodox commentators is that this was a genuine appearance of Samuel brought about by God himself. In favor of this proposal is the Septuagint reading of 1 Chronicles 10:13 which is as follows: ‘Saul asked counsel of her that had a familiar spirit to inquire of her, and Samuel made answer to him.’ Furthermore, the fact that she cried out when she saw Samuel indicated that she did not bring up Samuel and did not expect him to appear in this manner. The fact that Saul bowed himself to the ground and did obeisance is a further indication that this was a real appearance of Samuel. It is doubtful that he would have reacted merely on the grounds of a verbal description or a false impression. Samuel’s statement to Saul in verse 15 should not be regarded as a proof of the fact that the witch of En-dor or Saul brought him back from the dead. What, then, was the purpose of God in bringing Samuel back for this appearance? This unusual act on the part of God was certainly designed to emphasize the doom of Saul and God’s displeasure for his coming to a necromancer. Robert Jamieson suggests three additional reasons: (1) To make Saul’s crime an instrument of his punishment, (2) To show the heathen world God’s superiority in prophecy, and (3) to confirm a belief in a future state after death. Two other men who made an appearance on the earth after death were Moses and Elijah at the transfiguration of Christ (Mt. 17:3; Lk. 9:30, 31). They, however, appeared ‘in glory,’ but Samuel appeared in the mantle which he had worn while on earth. Therefore, in a real sense the appearance of Samuel after death was a completely unique event." (The Birth of a Kingdom, John J. Davis, pp. 96-99)

David foolishly volunteers to join the Philistines as they march to fight with Israel at Jezreel. But he is not fully trusted by the Philistine leaders, and his offer is refused (1 Sam. 29:1-11).

David avenges the sudden destruction of his adopted Philistine city Ziklag by totally slaughtering the guilty Amalekites (1 Sam. 30:1-18).

After this successful battle, David institutes an important statute and ordinance in Israel, which reads:

"But as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike" (1 Sam. 30:21-25).

Saul is defeated by the Philistines and is sorely wounded. He thereupon falls upon his sword to avoid torture at the hands of the enemy. His sons, including Jonathan, are also killed in battle (31:1-7).

(4) David, Sovereign King in Hebron and in Jerusalem (2 Sam. 1-10; 1 Chron. 11-19)

Upon the death of Saul the powerful tribe of Judah came together in Hebron and made David their king.

After reigning seven years in Hebron over the tribe of Judah, David, upon the death of Saul’s son and the collapse of his Kingdom, was solemnly chosen by all of the tribes to be their king. Reducing the fortress of Jebus (Jerusalem), which had to this time successfully resisted attack, David made it his capital and the center of his Kingdom. Here for thirty-three years David reigned over all Israel.

David hears the news of the death of Saul and Jonathan and grieves for them in Ziklag (2 Sam. 1:1-27). He orders the execution of an Amalekite soldier who attempted to take the credit for Saul’s death.

At God’s command, he returns to Palestine and is anointed at Hebron by the men of Judah as their king. This was his second anointing (2 Sam. 2:1-4). David is now around thirty and he will rule over Judah for the next seven and a half years (2 Sam. 5:5).

Abner, Saul’s general, makes Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, king over the eleven tribes (2:8-10).

Joab arranges a meeting with Abner and murders many of his men. Abner is forced to kill Joab’s brother Asahel in self-defense (2:18-23).

After a long war between Saul’s house and David’s house, Abner breaks with Ish-bosheth and attempts to negotiate with David (3:1, 21). David agrees to cooperate.

Joab hears of this and murders Abner (3:30).

At this time David gets Michal, his first wife, back. He then marries four more women, for a grand total of seven wives, while in Hebron (2 Sam. 3:2-5; 1 Chron. 3:1-4). It was in Hebron that four (of his many) children were born who would later bring sorrow to his life. They were:

  • Amnon, who would rape his half-sister Tamar (2 Sam. 13:1-14)
  • Tamar (2 Sam. 13:1)
  • Absalom, who would kill Amnon for this and later lead a revolt against the king himself (2 Sam. 13:28; 15:13, 14)
  • Adonijah, who also would later attempt to steal David’s throne while the old king lay dying (1 Ki. 1)

David learns of and bitterly laments the brutal murder of Abner (Saul’s ex-captain) by Joab (David’s captain) (2 Sam. 3:31-39). David would never forget this vicious act of revenge done by Joab to Abner. Nor did Joab stop here, for the king’s beloved (and prodigal) son, Absalom, would later be murdered by Joab (see 2 Sam. 18:14). The viciousness of this crime was intensified in that it was done in Hebron, a city of refuge (see Josh. 21:13). In such a city not even the avenger of blood might slay the murderer without a trial (Num. 35:22-25). Joab probably murdered Abner for two reasons:

  • To avenge the slaying of his brother Asahel (2:23) by Abner. However, Abner had done this only in self-defense.
  • To protect his own position as commander-in-chief of David’s armies. Joab was the son of David’s half-sister, Zeruiah (1 Chron. 2:16; 2 Sam. 17:25) and was therefore his nephew.
David avenges the murder of Ish-bosheth, Saul’s fourth son, by executing his two murderers (2 Sam. 4:9-12). This was the turning point, for after the death of Ish-bosheth, nothing could stop David from having the kingdom of Israel. Much blood had now been shed to purchase David’s throne. Death had claimed eighty-five priests, Saul, Jonathan, an Amalekite, Asahel, many Israelite soldiers, Abner, Ish-bosheth, and two captains. David was indeed (even though at that time unintentionally so) a bloody man. (See 1 Chron. 22:8.) How different would be David’s perfect Son who shed only his own blood to obtain his eternal throne! (See 1 Pet. 1:18, 19.)
10. David is anointed king over all Israel at Hebron. This marked his third anointing. It was a fantastic three-day celebration with nearly 400 thousand honor troops from the twelve tribes of Israel taking part (2 Sam. 5:1-5; 1 Chron. 12:23-40). Especially helpful must have been those soldiers from the tribe of Issachar, for we are told they were: "Men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do" (1 Chron. 12:32).
11. David then captured Jerusalem and made it his permanent capital. He enlarges his kingdom, hires Hiram, the King of Tyre, to build him a palace, and marries more wives and concubines (5:6-16).

He is victorious over the Philistines twice during this time. Both victories were at the hand of God (2 Sam. 5:17-25).

David brings the Ark of the Covenant (2 Sam. 6:1-19; 1 Chron. 13:1-14; 15:1-16:43).

1. His method of carrying the ark (in a new cart) displeases God, resulting in the death of a man called Uzzah, and brings a three-month delay (2 Sam. 6:3, 7, 11).

2. Finally, with much shouting, singing, and making of music, the ark enters the city. A history of the ark up to this time is as follows:

1. It was first made by Moses at God’s command (Ex. 25:10-22).
2. It was then transported along with the other tabernacle furniture through the forty-year wilderness journey.
3. It was eventually set up in Shiloh, the first Israelite capital (Josh. 15:1).
4. It was carried into battle and captured by the Philistines (1 Sam. 4:11).
5. It was passed on among the Philistine cities like a hot potato (1 Sam. 5).
6. It was brought to the city of Bethshemesh, where it caused a fearful plague (1 Sam. 6:19).
7. It was brought to Kirjath-jearim where it resided twenty years (1 Sam. 7:1, 2).

David then appointed some of the Levites to "minister before the ark of the Lord, and to record, and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel" (1 Chron. 16:4; 25:7). This choir, numbering 288,

David now delivers his first recorded Psalm (1 Chron. 16:7-36).

Upon returning home, he is severely rebuked for all this "religious emotional nonsense" by his wife Michal (2 Sam. 6:20-23).

He desires to build a temple, but this request is not allowed by God (2 Sam. 7:17; 1 Chron. 17:4).

He is now given the Davidic Covenant from God (2 Sam. 7:8-17). This all-important covenant stated:
1. David is to have a child, yet to be born, who will succeed him and establish his kingdom.
2. This son (Solomon) shall build the Temple instead of David.
3. The throne of his kingdom shall be established forever.
4. The throne will not be taken away from him (Solomon) even though his sins justify chastisement. (See Ps. 89:33-37.)
5. David’s house, throne, and kingdom shall be established forever. (See also Lk. 1:28-33, 68-75; Acts 15:13-18.)
17. He responds to this by offering a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving (2 Sam. 7:18-29).
18. He now consolidates his kingdom by defeating in rapid succession the Philistines, the Moabites, the Syrians, and the Edomites (2 Sam. 8:1-14).
19. He seeks out and shows kindness to Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s lame son (2 Sam. 9:1-13).
20. The Ammonites spurn his act of kindness by humiliating his ambassadors and are soundly punished for this (2 Sam. 10:1-19).

David the sinner (2 Sam. 11).

1. The indulgent king lusts after and lies with Bath-sheba, the wife of Uriah, one of his soldiers.
2. Bath-sheba becomes pregnant and reports this to David.
3. Uriah is hurriedly called home from the battlefield under a pretext that he might visit his wife and thus later believe that the unborn child would be his.
4. Uriah apparently realizes the truth of the situation and refuses to cooperate.
5. In an act of desperation, David sends him back with a sealed letter to Joab to arrange for his death in battle.
6. Uriah is killed and David marries Bath-sheba.

David the sorrowful (2 Sam. 12-24; 1 Chron. 20, 21).

After Bath-sheba’s child is born, Nathan the prophet relates to David a story of how a rich farmer who owned thousands of sheep stole a little pet lamb from a poor farmer, his only one, butchered and ate it (12:1-4).

David’s anger knows no limit and he vows that the cruel rich man will pay back fourfold for his sin (12:5, 6).

Nathan then boldly points out to David that he, the king, is that man.

David confesses his sin and repents (12:13).

God forgave David, but would require his servant to pay back fourfold, the same price the king would have made the rich man pay.

Seven days after David’s confession, the first installment comes due, for the child dies (12:18).

The king accepts this by faith, believing he will someday see him again (12:23).

Solomon is born (12:24).

David fights his last recorded battle against an outside enemy and defeats Rabbah, the capital city of Ammon (12:29).

David’s son, Amnon, lusts after and eventually rapes his own half-sister, Tamar. The second installment on David’s debt had come due (13:14).

Absalom, the full brother of Tamar, begins plotting the murder of Amnon and kills him two years later. This would be installment number three (13:29).

Absalom flees into the desert and stays with his pagan grandfather for three years (13:38).

Joab employs a crafty woman from Tekoah to trick David into permitting Absalom to return to Jerusalem.

Absalom returns, but is refused an audience with his father for two years. Finally, after Absalom burned a barley field to get attention, David agrees to see him (14:33).

Absalom begins planning a revolt against his father. After four years, he is ready, and instigates the plot in Hebron (15:12).

The rebellion gathers strength and David is forced to leave Jerusalem. God had now exacted the fourth installment (15:14).

David is accompanied into the wilderness by Ittai (a foreign guest who, along with his 600 soldiers, sides in with him) (2 Sam. 15:18-22).

Abiathar and Zadok also accompany him. However, David orders these joint high-priests back to Jerusalem. They return, carrying God’s ark with them (2 Sam. 15:24-29).

David walks up the road to the Mount of Olives and weeps (2 Sam. 15:30).

Upon learning that his advisor Ahithophel has joined Absalom’s rebellion, the king prays, "O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness" (2 Sam. 15:31).

David then orders another advisor, Hushai, also to pretend to sell out to Absalom, that he might frustrate and counter Ahithophel’s advice (2 Sam. 15:34). Absalom listens to both counselors. Ahithophel advises an immediate "hit-’em-where-they-aren’t" frontal attack, before David can muster his forces. Hushai, however, appeals to the vain pride of Absalom by suggesting that they wait until a larger army can be raised and that Absalom himself lead the attack. This inferior advice was heeded, whereupon Ahithophel went home and hanged himself (17:1-23).

He now meets Ziba, the manager of Mephibosheth’s household, who brings him food, but who lies about his master to feather his own nest (2 Sam. 16:1-4).

David is cursed out and has stones thrown at him by Shimei, a member of Saul’s family (2 Sam. 16:5-8). In spite of this, David refuses to order his execution (16:10-12).

Absalom enters Jerusalem and possesses David’s concubines (16:22).

David is warmly greeted by Shobi (an Ammonite), and others, who offer him mats to sleep upon and food to eat (2 Sam. 17:27-29).

Out of loving concern, David’s armies refuse to allow him into the battle with Absalom (2 Sam. 18:3).

He sends his troops into battle in the woods of Ephraim, but orders the life of Absalom to be spared (2 Sam. 18:5, 6).

Absalom’s green soldiers are no match for David’s seasoned troops and they quickly lose some twenty thousand men and the entire battle (18:7).

Absalom attempts to escape, but is caught in some underbrush and killed by Joab (18:14).

David learns of Absalom’s death at Joab’s hand and grieves over his dead son (18:33; 19:1-4).

Joab severely rebukes him for this (19:5-7).

He begins his trip back to Jerusalem and promises to appoint his nephew Amasa as head of his armies if Amasa can get the people of Judah (who had been miffed at David) to back his return to power (19:13, 14).

He spares the life of Shimei, who falls at his feet at the river Jordan and begs forgiveness (19:23).

He meets Mephibosheth and hears why his lame friend did not join him in the wilderness (19:24-30).

He meets Barzillai, who had befriended him in the wilderness, and invites the old man to accompany him to Jerusalem and live there (19:34-37).

Upon crossing Jordan, David is confronted with yet another rebellion, this one led by Sheba, a Benjaminite. Ten tribes now desert David. Only Judah and Benjamin remain loyal (20:1-3).

David instructs Joab to crush this revolt. This Joab does at a city called Abel, but prior to this, Joab brutally murders Amasa, thus eliminating a dangerous rival (20:6-22).

David thereupon once again returns to Jerusalem, a sadder and wiser man. He would have more troubles later, but they would not include wars and rebellions. He could now burn the mortgage on his sin-debt with Bath-sheba.

David the statesman (2 Sam. 21:1-14).

A three-year plague from God had settled down upon Israel. David is told it was because of the bloody house of Saul in the past when he slew the Gibeonites.

In Joshua 9, Israel had made a covenant with these Gibeonites that they would not be harmed. This sin was now being punished.

David negotiates with the Gibeonite leaders, and they determine that justice can be done only by allowing them to execute seven of Saul’s sons, all of whom doubtless had participated in the former Gibeon massacre. This is done and the plague is stayed.

David the statistician (2 Sam. 24).

David succumbs to the temptation of Satan and numbers Israel (1 Chron. 21:1-6).

He later repents of this and is offered by God one of three kinds of punishment:
  • seven years of famine
  • to flee ninety days before his enemies
  • a three-day pestilence
He chooses the third (2 Sam. 24:15).

As a result, 70,000 men die. The plague is stopped by David at a threshing floor as he pleads with God’s death angel. David later buys this floor (2 Sam. 24:15-25; 1 Chron. 21:18-30).

David the sponsor (1 Chron. 22-29).

David is now nearly seventy. When he was but thirty-seven, he determined to build the Temple for God, but was forbidden by the Lord to do so (22:7, 8).

The old king is, however, allowed to lead in the preparations for the Temple which Solomon will construct (22:5, 9, 10).

David therefore makes the following preparations:
  • the blocks of squared stone which will be used in the Temple (22:2)
  • great quantities of iron for the Temple nails (22:3)
  • a huge supply of cedar logs (22:4)
  • three million dollars in gold bullion (22:14)
  • two million dollars’ worth of silver (22:14)
  • 24,000 Levites to supervise the Temple work (23:4)
  • 6,000 Levites to be Temple bailiffs and judges (23:4)
  • 4,000 Levites to act as Temple guards (23:5)
  • 4,000 Levite musicians to head up the praise service (23:5)
  • a special Temple choir of 288 skilled singers (25:1, 7)
David then calls a special dedicatory service and does the following:
  • He hands over the Temple blueprints to Solomon, which plans he received directly from God’s hand (28:19).
  • He personally contributes to the work of an offering totaling 85 million dollars of gold and 20 million dollars of silver (29:4).
  • His action immediately prompts Israel’s leaders to pledge $145 million in gold, $50 thousand in foreign currency, $30 million in silver, 800 tons of bronze, and 4600 tons of silver, in addition to great amounts of jewelry (29:6, 7). Thus the total of David’s preparation must have exceeded $200 million.
  • He then offers one of the most beautiful prayers in all the Bible (1 Chron. 29:10-19).
  • This dedicatory service was ended by a massive sacrificial service, which included a thousand young bulls, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, all offered up as burnt offerings (29:21).

David the scribe: Of the 150 Psalms, David wrote seventy-seven. The Psalms will be discussed later

David the sage (1 Ki. 2:2-5).

Application to our life:
  • Every Christian is offered a kingdom
  • There are enemies threatening from outside and inside to undermine it.
  • Kings of Israel were never able to get rid of the Philistines, Ammonites, Jebusites, Perizzites and all the other ites of the day
  • Internal enemies threaten to undermine and overthrow the dominion that God intends us to have as we learn to reign in life by Jesus Christ.
  • Compare with our internal enemies such as jealousy, envy, lust, bitterness, resentment, worry, anxiety and all the other ites, isms, chasms, and spasms that afflict us in our daily walk
  • David was brought by God to a place of reigning over his kingdom
  • When Saul (man of the flesh) died, new man (David) was free to be king over the land.
  • When we put the old man to death, the new man flourished.

Rough Notes so far...

Key Facts: Israel's greatest king, author of half of the book of Psalms
Father: Jesse (Ruth 4:17; 1 Samuel 16:1)
Brothers: Eliab, Abinadab, Shammah, Nethanel, Raddai, and Ozem (1 Samuel 17:12-13; 1 Chron. 2:13-15); 1 unnamed (the seventh of 1 Samuel 16:10)
Sisters: Zeruiah, Abigail (1 Chron. 2:16)
Wives: Michal, Ahinoam, Abigail, Maacah, Haggith, Abital, Eglah, and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 3:2-5; 2 Samuel 11:26-27; 1 Samuel 18:27; 1 Chron. 3:1-8)
Sons: Amnon, Kileab (also called Daniel), Absalom, Adonijah, Shephatiah, Ithream, Shimea, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, Eliphelet (2 Samuel 3:2-5; 2 Samuel 5:13-16; 1 Chron. 3:1-8; 1 Chron. 14:3-5); 1 unnamed (2 Samuel 12:15-23)
Occupation: Shepherd, musician, songwriter, soldier, king of Judah, king of all Israel (2 Samuel 2:1-7; 2 Samuel 5:1-5; 2 Samuel 23:1; 1 Samuel 16:11, 23; 1 Samuel 18:5)
Key Events in His Life:
Anointed king by Samuel (1 Samuel 16:12-13) Psalm 78
Kills Goliath (1 Samuel 17:17-54)
Plays Harp for Saul (16:14-23)
David's friendship with Jonathan (1 Sam 18.1-4; 20.1-42; 23.14-18; 2 Sam 1.1-27) Psalm 54,63
David's Marriage to Michal (1 Sam 18.20-28; 19.9-17; 2 Sam 6.20-23) Psalm 59
Saul becomes jealous of David (18:6-30)
Flees from Saul (1 Samuel 19)
David meets and marries Abigail (1 Sam 25.1-44)
Becomes king of Judah (2 Samuel 2:1-7)
Becomes king of all Israel (2 Samuel 5:1-5)
Establishes Jerusalem as capital (2 Samuel 5:6-16)
Brings Ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:1-15)
God's covenant with him (2 Samuel 7:9-16)
Wins many military victories (2 Samuel 8; 2 Samuel 10)
Adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12) Psalm 51
Solomon Born (2 Sam 12.24,25)
Absalom's rebellion (2 Samuel 15-18)
Absalom dies David mourns(2 Sam 18.7--19.8)
David Counts the people (2 Sam 24.1-25)
Names Solomon his successor (1 Kings 1:28-39)
Age at Death: 70 (2 Samuel 5:4-5; 1 Kings 2:10-11)
Total Bible References: 1,118
Key References: 1 Samuel 16-1 Kings 2; Psalms; Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 30:8-9; Ezekiel 37:24-25; Zech. 12:7-10; Matthew 1:1; Hebrews 11:32

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Read: 1 Samuel 13 to 31

Saul was a clever man; a great military leader; an able statesman; yet his life was a miserable failure because he tried to put himself in the place of God and to carry out his own plans.

We can follow his gradual decline as he begins to take matters into his own hands, make rash vows, disobeys God's commands, is shamed by his son Jonathan's simple nobility and became jealous, bitter and depressed, wasting his time hunting down David, desperate for guidance he stooped to spiritism which he earlier had banned, and finally became one of the Bible's rare suicides. In four words we may outline the career of Saul.
1. Annointed, 2. Crowned, 3. Disobedient, 4. Rejected. We could subtitle this lesson, "The King who went wrong."

(1) Anointed

The elders of Israel had gathered at Ramah and demanded that Samuel give them a king (8:3-20). Samuel is displeased and lists the many disadvantages of having a king (8:11-18). Samuel then receives the prophecy from God that he is to give Israel a king and that the king would come to him in 24 hours (1 Samuel 9:16).

We first meet Saul in quest of his father's asses which had strayed from home. He came to inquire of the prophet Samuel as to their whereabouts and unknowingly fulfills the prophecy given to Samuel. (1 Samuel 9:18-20).
  • Saul is privately anointed by Samuel at Ramah (10:1).
  • Saul is publicly acclaimed by Samuel at Mizpeh (10:24).
Four Things in Saul's Ordination:

1. Divine Ordination (1 Samuel 9:3-20) He went out with a bridle and came back with a scepter.
2. Prophetic Ordination (1 Samuel 10:11) Samuel was his tutor and friend. What an advantage but it was thrown away. How often we do that today!
3. Spiritual Ordination - The Spirit of God came upon him (1 Samuel 10:10) He grieved this Spirit, then he quinched Him.
4. Popular Ordination - "and all the people shouted and said, 'God save the king.'" (1 Samuel 28:7)

(2) Crowned

All Israel assembled in Mizpah at the call of Samuel to choose a king. When the lot fell on Saul, the people searched for him and found him among the baggage. Saul felt unworthy at this point of being king (9:21) and actually hid himself. When Samuel officially proclaimed him king, he had to be brought out of hiding (10:21). "And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher then any of the people, from his shoulders and upward" (1 Samuel 10:23)

Saul returns to Gibeah (10:26).

Saul raised an army of 330 thousand to rescue the Israelite city of Jabesh-Gilead who had been surrounded by a cruel enemy. (11:8-15).

As we studied last week, Samuel gathers Israel at Gilgal and gives his farewell address to the people. He warns both Saul and the people about the consequences of disobeying God (12:25). God punctuates this warning by the miracle of thunder and rain (12:18)

(3) Disobedient (1 Samuel 13:1)

Saul began early to manifest a rebellious spirit against Jehovah. When he was sent to destroy Amalek, he spared a pagan named Agag the king and the best of the cattle and his city (15:9).

By offering the sacrifice of a priest (13:9)

By ordering the death of his own son. Saul had foolishly ordered no food to be eaten by his troops until the Philistines were defeated. Jonathan, his son, unaware of the command, ate some honey: The people, however, refused to let Saul carry out his foolish law and thus saved Jonathan (14:45). God saved Israel that day; this was done in spite of Saul’s stupidity, through three things:
  1. Jonathan’s battle plan and personal courage (14:6)
  2. a divine earthquake (14:15)
  3. panic among the Philistine troops (14:19)
(4) Rejected

Because of his failure to obey the word of the Lord in the matter of Amalek (15:9), the event was significant because it marked the total rejection of Saul by God (15:11)

It illustrated a great biblical principle. When Saul lamely excused his actions in not killing the animals as instructed, but in saving them for sacrificial reason, God sent Samuel to denounce Saul's wickedness:

"And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king" (1 Sam. 15:22, 23).

In other words, it is better to obey than to sacrifice (for sins) because when one obeys God in the first place, he need not offer a sacrifice. (It is therefore better to apply the principle laid down in Eph. 6:13 than the one found in 1 John 1:9.)

"Thou has rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel" (1 Samuel 15:26).

It was the last meeting between Saul and Samuel until Samuel died (15:35).

The closing years of Saul's reign are shadowed by the struggle between the wayward king and God. At last in a terrible hour of defeat and despair Saul died by his own hand on the slopes of Mt. Gilboa.

Questions for thought:

Insomuch as Saul was granted to Israel as king in response to Israel's sinful demand for a king, contrary to God's will, did Saul ever really have a chance to "make good" in God's sight? Could he possible have succeded under such circumstances? Was he not condemed by God to failure even before he started as king?

1 Samuel 12:12-15 - The prophet of God tells Israel that although they demanded their king in defiance to God (12), if both they and their king would fear Jehovah and serve Him, all would be well. Note what follows (verses 16-18). In verse 19 we see Israel confessing her sin of asking for a king, and Samuel reassures Israel promising blessing if they serve God.

The only reason why a soul is ever rejected by God is because that soul has first rejected God. God takes the initiative in love. "We love Him, because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19) Man takes the initiative in sin (1 Samuel 15:23)

Give God His Right-of-way

All through the years Samuel morned for Saul. When he failed, Samuel was faithful in warning him, then in loneliness he mourned over him. Multiplied verses tell the story. (1 Samuel 15:35)

In the battle of the philistines, Saul and his three sons met death. Here a life so full of promise ended in defeat and failure. Saul had not obeyed God absolutely. For example: If I should sell 1000 acres of land and reserve 1 acre in the center, I would have the right to go over those 1000 acres to get to mine. One trouble with us is that we reserve a room for satan in our hearts and he knows he has right of way. This was the trouble with Saul.

Think of the differance between Saul (of Tarsus) and Saul the king! One put God first, the other himself. God is showing that He must be all in all! That His children have no blessing apart from Him. The dawn morning of Saul's life was bright but soon the sky became overcast. Then his sun set in the blackest storm clouds taking him from rise, to reign, to ruin.

Application Notes:

The only reason why a soul is ever rejected by God is because that soul has first rejected God. God takes the initiative in love. "We love Him, because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19) Man takes the initiative in sin (1 Samuel 15:23)

We must be right with God. God chooses and uses those who's hearts are right with Him. He gifts, empowers and blesses those who serve him. He is equally prepared to judge and confound those who disobey Him. A good start is no guarantee of future success. We need to keep right with Him, obedient and trusting all along, not just in spots.

Samuel's Lament

As Abraham mourned once for Israel
I have mourned for Saul
His future looked so bright to me
Spirit filled, strong and tall

The demand (at Ramah), for a king was made
Saul was anointed there
At Mizpah the command of God I obeyed
Much more I could not bear

"Rejection of My Prophet", God said
was not what they had done
It was rejection of their Lord that day
And it wont be the only one

Israel was promised blessings there
If they would obey God's will
But Saul took a very different path
His own life, he'd fulfill

"To obey is better than sacrifice"
was my response to them
Because he had rejected The Word of the Lord
Kingship would be removed from him

As Abraham mourned for Ishmael
I have mourned for Saul
His lack of obedience cost his life
And he died by his own fall

Sources: KJV, Burroughs,Scofield, Willmington,Mears,Larkin,Balchin,David C. Brown, A.T. Worley, C.O. Staggs and my own personal study notes

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Rise of the Kingdom

6. THE KINGDOM (*1102-982 B.C.)
(1 Samuel 8-31, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings 1-11, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 1-9, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon)


The period of "The Kingdom," continues through three reigns (Saul, David & Solomon) of about forty years each, and hence covered one hundred and twenty years.

Most of Israel's Beautiful songs and Wisdom Literature were written during this period which would include the Song of Solomon, Proverbs, Psalms, and Ecclesiastes.

Because Israel began clamoring for an earthly king (1Sam8:4-7). A reluctant Samuel, the last and greatest of the Judges, established a Kingdom and the period begins with the selection of king (Saul, 1 Sam. 9) and ends with the rejection of another king (Rehoboam, 1 Ki. 12).

This period is also refered to as “the golden age” of Israel’s history where the chosen people attained their highest glory. Art and architecture flourished, the government was firmly established, and Israel’s borders were pushed out to “the river of Egypt” in one direction, and to the Euphrates in the other.

During this period there was a visit to the witch of En-dor (1 Sam. 28) and a visit by the Queen of Sheba (1 Ki. 10).

Record of the death of 2 babies. The first (2 Sam. 12) pointed out the sin of a king, while the second (1 Ki. 3) pointed out the wisdom of king.

"And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die" (2 Sam. 12:13, 14).

"And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other. Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof. And all Israel heard of the judgement which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgement" (1 Ki. 3:25-28).

During this period a city is saved (1 Sam. 11), some animals are spared (1 Sam. 15), and a giant is slain (1 Sam. 17).

It describes a fearless prophet (Nathan, 2 Sam. 12), and a faithful priest (Zadok, 2 Sam. 15).

The Ark of God on two occasions is carried to Jerusalem, once during a celebration (2 Sam. 6), and again during a revolution (2 Sam. 15).

"So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. And they brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts" (6:15, 17).

"And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city. And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation" (15:14, 24, 25).

A sister is raped (2 Sam. 13) and a son is hanged (2 Sam. 18).

A father’s son (Jonathan) protects young David from the son’s father (Saul, 1 Sam. 20).

A heathen city becomes the Holy City (2 Sam. 5).

"And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David. And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David’s soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house" (2 Sam. 5:6-8).

Solomon is instructed (1 Ki. 2) and the Temple is constructed (1 Ki. 6). **

This period and the 3 following:
  1. The Kingdom (This Period)
  2. The Two Kingdoms
  3. Judah Alone and
  4. The Captivity
are recorded in:

1 Samuel - Man's Choice - Saul
2 Samuel - God's Choice - David
1 Kings - Solomon and Israel
2 Kings - Israel's Kings
1 Chronicles - Solomon and the Temple
2 Chronicles - The Kings and the Temple

A study of the chart below, will show where these several records are to be found.

We will be considering this period under the following outline:
  1. The rise of the Kingdom
  2. The reign of Saul
  3. The reign of David
  4. The reign of Solomon
  5. Marks of the Period
Sunday Lesson Notes for Sunday, August 9, 2009
(1 Samuel 11:14-12:25)

(1) The sons of Samuel failed

Samuel had ruled Israel long and well. As he came to old age deep shadows were falling over the pathway of Israel. In contrast with the splendid integrity of his own life, and the dignity of his own reign, his sons, to whom he had entrusted some responsibliity of government, and who naturally would have succeeded him, were by their corruptions proving themselves unworthy to succeed their great father. The elders of Israel clearly perceived that the nation was approaching a serious crisis. (1 Samuel 8:1)

(2) The people desired a king

Assembling the nation in Ramah, the home of Samuel, the elders of the people made demand for a king to rule over them. They reminded the aged judge that his sons walked not in his ways, and they asked him to make for them a king to rule them "like the nations round about." Bringing the request of the people before the Lord, Samuel was bidden to yield to the demand and was consoled by the assurance that "they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me that I should not reign over them." He was directed to protest solemnly and to show the people the manner of king who should rule over them. (1 Samuel 8:5)

(3) Saul was chosen to be king

As Israel's first king, and by reason of his strange personality, Saul commands peculiar interest. Chosen possibly because he was the type of man whom Israel desired, he failed utterly to measure up to the high demand of the place to which he was called. (1 Samuel 9:1)

(4) Samuel's farewell to Israel

Having called the people togher in Gilgal, and made Saul king, Samuel availed himself of the opportunity thus presented to say his word of farewell to the people whom he had so long judged and whom he so deeply loved. With the utmost of dignity and with the noblest words he challenged Israel to witness against him. (1 Samuel 11:14)

Following are rough study notes that will be used in the Introduction to the Kingdom Stage in Israel's History:

These notes will be edited during the week and comments and questions are encouraged in the development of the Bible Study for Sunday

We now approach the most brilliant and prosperous era of Israel's history. The "dark ages" which we have studied is succeeded by this "golden age." Israel now took high rank among the nations of the earth, attaining a high development in architecture, literature and all the elements of civilization.
  • Period of the Judges ends with Samuel
  • Begins the 500 year period of the kings of Israel (*1095 - 586 BC)
1 Samuel Information:
  • Covers period of about 115 years From Samuel's Boyhood through Saul's Troubled reign to the choosing of King David.
  • Samuel was the last of the Judges
  • Saul was first of the kings
  • Psalm 89 - Brings us to a time when David is ready to permanently establish the monarchy and God is ready permanently to establish David's throne.
Book Outline of 1 Samuel:
  1. Samuel (1-7)
  2. Saul (8-15)
  3. David (16-31)
Most Popular Stories:
  1. Samuel (chapter 3)
  2. David & Golieth (chapter 17)
  3. The friendship of David and Jonathan (chapter 18)

*Dating Information:
1102-987BC Period of United Kingdom suggested by Burroughs
1095-586BC Period of the Kings of Israel suggested by Mears

** Willmington's Guide to the Bible