The Pain of Loss (2 Samuel 19-21)

Joab was told, “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.”  And for the whole army the victory that day was turned into mourning, because on that day the troops heard it said, “The king is grieving for his son.”  The men stole into the city that day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle.  The king covered his face and cried aloud, “O my son ... [Continue Reading]

Finding the Truth (2 Samuel 16-18)

Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?  Let me go over and cut off his head.” (2 Samuel 16:9) When David was confronted by the curses of Shimei he had a couple of choices.  One option was to have his mighty warriors destroy Shimei right there on the spot.  Another option was to listen to Shimei's words and to take ... [Continue Reading]

Fighting to Be King (2 Samuel 13-15)

Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city.  If I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again.  But if he says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him.” (2 Samuel 15:25-26) David never fought to be king.  That was true when Saul was ... [Continue Reading]

A Tale of Two Stories (2 Samuel 11-12; 1 Chronicles 20)

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”  Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin.  You are not going to die.  But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.” (2 Samuel 12:13-14) Sin is serious, and it carries with it enormous consequences.  A part of the human condition, however, is that ... [Continue Reading]

Truly Humbled (2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17)

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:  “Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?  And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human!” (2 Samuel 7:18-19) David had every reason ... [Continue Reading]

Misunderstanding God (2 Samuel 5:11-6:23; 1 Chronicles 13-14)

When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled.  The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God. (2 Samuel 6:6-7) God has been misunderstood by many over the years, and some have even surmised that the ... [Continue Reading]

God’s Guiding Presence (2 Samuel 5:1-10; 1 Chronicles 10, 11:1-9)

And [David] became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him. (2 Samuel 5:1-10) A very stark contrast existed between King David and King Saul as it came to God's presence in their leadership.  The difference between the two men was that David sought to bring glory to the Lord and Saul sought to bring glory to himself.  Since David's efforts were ... [Continue Reading]

Beauty from Ashes (1 Samuel 1-3)

Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.  This went on year after year.  Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. (1 Samuel 1:6-7) It seems that brokenness is often a character trait of those who are going to be used by God.  Why?  Perhaps it's because ... [Continue Reading]

Keeping Your Head in Check (Judges 7-8)

The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’” (Judges 7:2) It's not that God wants weak people, per se.  In fact, as you look at some of the people that God has used over time, there have been some very strong people (like Samson, David's mighty men, Saul, ... [Continue Reading]