Readings

  • None… unless you need to catch up!

Prayer

A day off from reading is not a day off from praying or living as a Christian. Pray for something that’s on your heart today.

Day 151 – Day Off

 

 

Another half term comes and goes… for what that’s worth at this time!

 

One of the challenges a few of you guys set yourself for this half term week has been to do some catching up on your reading, and I hope you’ve had a chance to do so. If you have, I really hope too that you have enjoyed your time reading God’s Word each day (indeed, several times a day!) It *should* be encouraging and uplifting for you, not a slog.

 

I’m sure you were under no illusions that this wasn’t going to be super easy this year, and 150 or so days into it, you know it isn’t. Finding the time each day to read is one thing, and it’s another thing entirely sometimes to read with enthusiasm and focus and to challenge yourself each and every day, especially when the passages are unfamiliar, as I know several have been recently.

 

Let me keep on reminding you, however, what an awesome privilege it is to be able to do this. I’m not just referring to the people who cannot read the Bible publicly, like many can’t, although that’s part of it. No – this is awesome because in your hands you hold God’s Word. The words that God, in His divine decision, decided that we needed to hear and read and apply. The God of all that is has given us His Word in a wonderful clear way and if you grasp that, it can make even the the most seemingly dry passages come alive.

 

If you’re finding reading a chore, spend a moment thinking about what it is we’re reading. Think back on the reasons that you wrote in your journal five months ago about why you started this reading plan. I didn’t promise that it would always be sunshine and rainbows, but I do hope that each day you’re learning something new about God, or yourself, or how to live as the Christians you profess to be.

 

It’s such an encouragement for us adults to see you guys reading the Bible through in this way, and I promise you that the work you’re putting in will ground you greatly in your biblical studies throughout the rest of your life. Keep working, keep reading, keep praying and keep learning about the awesome God we worship!

Readings

  • 2 Samuel 15
  • 2 Samuel 17:25-29
  • Psalm 3

Prayer

Pray… for help from God when you feel like rebelling against your parents.

Day 150 – Absalom’s Treason

Absalom’s insurrection & David’s escape

 

Day 150! Another mini milestone. The next milestone will be the half way point, and that’s only a month away. Really well done to all who are reading steadily each day.

 

  • We’re continuing to read about the life of Absalom, one of David’s sons. Remind yourself about what we read yesterday if you need to. 2 Samuel 15 is a complex passage littered with unfamiliar names that – for the purposes of this One Story course – you do not need to remember, but use my notes below to help you get the gist.
  • The first twelve verses show Absalom working hard to win people of the city and the surrounding area onto his side. Absalom wanted the people to like him more than his father David. How does he go about doing this? What do you think his reasons were for gaining the popularity of the people?
  • Four years later, with the people firmly on his side, Absalom’s scheme begins to be put in place. What did he do that made his father the king decide to flee? Can you remember why his relationship with his father David has broken down to this state? Imagine you’re a parent (or think about your parents’ relationship with you). How would you feel if your child rebelled against you?
  • When was the last time you rebelled against your parents? Did you think at any point about their side of the situation? How did you (and they) feel afterwards?
  • Do you think David was wise to leave (as seen in 2 Samuel 15:13-17), rather than to stay and fight (or perhaps investigate Absalom’s behaviour further)?
  • What was the reaction of the various people who met David as he left the city, including in the passage from 2 Samuel 17? Were they kind, and hospitable, and loyal?
  • Psalm 3 was written at this point in David’s life. What does it reveal about David’s attitude during this difficult moment? If you were in David’s place, what would you be thinking?
  • Pick your favourite verse from Psalm 3. Think about how you can use that verse to help build the same trust in God that David did.
  • As a side note, did you spot the name of Zadok the Priest in 2 Samuel 15? It might have sounded familiar to you. If it didn’t, have a listen to the song in the video below, as you may well know it quite well… especially from 1 minute 50 seconds onwards. The lyrics of the song talk about a biblical event that is still to come.

 

About five years ago this week, I went on holiday to the British Virgin Islands. It was amazing; a really wonderful experience. But now I’m not there. I’m at home, I’ve had a long week working from home, and my boss has been on my back a bit to fix things quicker than I could manage! As I slogged through one rather stressful task after another, my mind has, from time to time this week, wandered back to the white sand beaches and tropical sunshine I was enjoying all those days ago, and at times I’ve felt rather grumpy. I wished I was back relaxing at that beach bar in Barbados, walking lazily through lapping waves breaking on a perfect beach instead of coding! And to top it all off, I haven’t got Keswick to look forward to this year either.

 

The feeling I have now is part of life’s ups and downs. That week in the Caribbean was a high as I saw the beauty of God’s creation with friends and a delicious strawberry daiquiri in my hand. To be honest, this week has been a bit of a low in comparison. Nothing particularly bad – many people have it worse during this Covid19 time – but not much cop compared to those holiday memories.

 

David’s having a low moment at the moment too, as his son chased him out of the city, and potentially away from the throne forever. Will Absalom’s rebellious plan work?

 

How can we react as Christians when we have life’s low moments? Well, we act like David in his psalm, and we continue to praise God, thank Him for sending Jesus, and trust Him. Have you ever seen that film, Facing The Giants? There’s a catchphrase that the central character, a football coach, says to his struggling team: “We praise Him when we’re winning and we praise Him when we’re losing”.

 

How are you at doing that?

 

 

 

Readings

  • 2 Samuel 13
  • 2 Samuel 14
  • Deuteronomy 22:25-27

Prayer

Pray… for decisive action against sin and for God’s guidance with today’s topics.

Day 149 – David, Amnon, Tamar & Absalom

David, the passive father

 

Please note: today’s passages, like yesterday’s deal with sexual sin, but this passage includes details of incest and rape. Please do pray for God’s help before you read, and talk to me if you have any concerns or questions.

 

  • Time has passed from the events of Bathsheba, and today we see a story about some of David’s children, with a focus on one of his sons, Absalom. The passages can be a little tricky to follow, especially the conversations depicted in chapter 14, but we’ll be thinking about Absalom over the next three days of reading, so be sure to get the events well set in your mind.
  • Spend a moment making sure you know who is who. Amnom was David’s oldest son (his mother was called Ahinoam), Absalom was David’s third oldest son (his mother was Maachah) and Tamar was David’s daughter (her mother was also Maachah). Therefore Absalom and Tamar were brother and sister, and Amnom was half brother to both of them.
  • What was Amnom’s “problem”? This feeling he had towards his half sister should, of course, have been repressed and not acted upon.
  • Who gave Amnom bad advice in 2 Samuel 13? Do you think Amnom might have gone ahead with what he did if he had had better advice from his friend? Do you spend time with friends who give you wise and supportive help in your Christian life?
  • 2 Samuel 13:78-22 records the build up, the act, and the immediate aftermath regarding the rape of Tamar by Amnom. Think about all the moments in the story where Amnom could have chosen a different path, but refused to do so.
  • Your study bible, if you have one, may help explain the events of 2 Samuel 13 after the sordid event has concluded. Pay careful attention to fact that after Amnom raped Tamar, he was obliged to provide for her by marrying her, which he refuses to do. The law about this is in today’s third passage. After ruining her life, the law was there to ensure that she remained looked after and provided for, even if it might sound a strange concept nowadays.
  • Look at 2 Samuel 13:21-23. David was angry at Amnom but he didn’t do anything to deal with the sin. Think back to David’s poor choices regarding sexual sin in yesterday’s passage. With that in mind, why do you think he didn’t confront Amnom about his sinful behaviour? What should David have done?
  • Two years later, in the final ten verses of 2 Samuel 13, what does Absalom do? Do you think Absalom spent many days planning the revenge attack on his half brother? Do you think Absalom took matters into his own hands because David didn’t?
  • What was David’s reaction to the death of his son?
  • Where did Absalom flee to, and how long did he stay there?
  • 2 Samuel 14 is a complex passage as the story the woman brings to David is rather complicated. The passage recounts the way that Absalom and his father were eventually reunited after several years apart. Can you see who concocted the plan for them to be reunited? What did the woman do, and how did she convince David to bring his son back to Jerusalem?
  • How long did it take for Absalom and David to finally see each other?

 

Well, there were plenty of events today! Today’s story covers around seven years of history, starting with an awful story of sexual sin, a murder two years later, and finally ends with Absalom returning home… but all is not well. Even Joab was probably regretting bringing Absalom home as he sat and watched his fields burn!

 

David didn’t decisively deal with Amnom’s sin, which led to a very messy few years and a rift between him and Absalom. All this happened, possibly, because David didn’t have the moral ability to confront Amnom’s sin because of his own. We’ll find out over the next two days what happens to Absalom, so make sure you’re happy with the story that has happened so far. This will mean it won’t get too confusing as the story continues tomorrow.

 

Readings

  • 2 Samuel 11
  • 2 Samuel 12:1-25
  • Psalm 51

Prayer

Pray… about your personal purity.

Day 148 – David and Bathsheba

David’s sin, confession & judgement & the birth of Solomon

 

  • Today’s passages are well known and sobering. They begin a period of time in the life of David where his human frailties are revealed and serve as a reminder to us all about how desperately in need of a Saviour we all are.
  • David made two poor choices in the first two verses 2 Samuel 11. Can you see what they are? How has David put himself in a position where sin was more likely? If you’re unsure, your study bible might help you out. Think about your own sin. Do you sometimes make (non-sinful) choices that lead you down a path which results in sin later on?
  • List the rest of the poor choices (and sin) that David makes in the rest of 2 Samuel 11. How does one sin lead to another and another? What was in David’s heart which made him make choices that were more and more rash?
  • How did David first attempt to “fix” the problem (the pregnancy) he had caused? How does Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, act honourably (to David’s frustration).
  • When Uriah refuses to sleep with his wife during the time of the battles, what does David resort to doing? See if you can read between the lines of the conversation he has, via the messenger, with his battle commander, Joab.
  • 2 Samuel 11 ends with a clear indication of God’s displeasure at David’s actions. How did God communicate that displeasure with David during chapter 12? Describe the story Nathan gave to David about the lamb, and what it meant.
  • Nathan confronted David about his sin. Does this give you some understanding about why we, as leaders, confront you with your sin or the choices you make? Do you think David particularly enjoyed his conversations with Nathan? Of course not! Do you think he appreciated them later though?
  • Did God forgive David? Nevertheless, what were the consequences of David’s sin?
  • Psalm 51 gives us a heartbreaking view of David’s remorse, and a picture of his complete understanding that it was primarily God (not Bathsheba, or even Uriah) that he sinned against. Read the psalm really, really carefully. Think about the words that David pours out to God as he understands the gravity of his sin, and consider what events he might have been thinking about as he penned the words.
  • Do you need to take some time now to use Psalm 51 to help you pray about sin in your life? Are any of the verses of the psalm ones that you could use as part of your prayer of repentance to God?
  • Out of all this mess comes some blessing. It’s the birth of Solomon, who we’ll hear more about over the coming weeks.

 

Today’s readings give us a very personal snapshot of David’s sin, and his repentance, of God’s holiness and of His mercy.

 

You may have known about this story before, but I hope that reading through the complete story of David up to now gives you a new picture of the story of his affair with Bathsheba. What’s interesting, I find, is that we can see the sin so clearly in this passage and the many opportunities David had to either not sin or make better choices.

 

Sometimes the people around us can see patterns of sin in our lives way before we see them ourselves (or before we’re willing to put that sin to death ourselves). How can you be like Nathan with your Christian friends… and more importantly, will you allow other Christians in your life to be like Nathan to you?

Readings

  • 2 Samuel 8
  • Psalm 60
  • Psalm 144

Prayer

Pray… for God to be your castle and your refuge when you are in your own battles.

Day 147 – David & His Wars

David, the warrior for God

 

  • Today’s passages pull the camera out to give us what, in a film at least, could be called a montage. A montage, as I’m sure you know, is a great film technique to give the viewer the sense of the passage of time whilst giving snapshots of lots of events. 2 Samuel 8 seems like a rather perfect example of one in written form. David is now established on the throne, 400 years or so has passed since Joshua led the people into Canaan, and Israel is having much success defending itself from enemy attacks, several of which we read about today. David, we’re told, continues to put his trust in God, and receives victory and wealth in all that he does.
  • What are some of the battles David won?
  • What do 2 Samuel 8:15-18 teach us about David and his rule at the time?
  • How does Psalm 60 link with the story in 2 Samuel 8? Where does David say his victory and strength come from?
  • David very practically relied on God to deliver him in battle. When was the last time you did that, in the sort of “everyday” battles you have?
  • What are some of the things that David says God is to him, especially in Psalm 144? In other words, how does David describe God? If you rushed through the passages today, hastily squeezing in some bible reading before bed, re-read Psalm 144 again and consider how you could consider whether your relationship with God has any similarities. Do you take refuge in Jesus when you struggle, for example, like David mentions in verse 2?
  • David wrote many psalms, but he often says he will “sing a new song” to God. What do you think that means? Here’s a thought for the day – are you singing the “same tune” over and over to Jesus? Has this bible teaching this year helped you to learn, and now sing, a “new song”?

 

 

Skim your eyes over what we’ve learnt and discussed about David since 1 Samuel 16 up until the readings today. We’ve seen an eager warrior, someone who married honourably (even if it was more than one), protected Saul when he could have killed him, came to God in effective prayer, was decisive and fearless, and who gained in standing with God and man. Today’s readings are a high point.

 

Sadly, this won’t last. In tomorrow’s passages, David will come crashing down to earth as we read of some sinful choices he’s about to make.

 

Sometimes when we feel that everything is going right, and our relationship with God is clear, and our sin is, for want of a better phrase, being placated by self control, we can feel great about ourselves. This is fine, of course – we should be rightly pleased and encouraged when things are going well and we feel closer to God. It is, however, a time when we need to remain careful, because pleasure can easily turn into an over exaggeration of our own “achievements”, which can quickly slip into pride, which in turn can quickly pull us away from God.

 

When things are going well, keep working hard at your relationship with God. Keep coming to Him in thankful prayer, remembering what He has done for you. One of the most dangerous attitudes you can have is complacency, because that relegates God to a side story – even in the lives of people who have previously put Him centre stage. Try and learn from the events we read today and consider what you can put in place in your life to keep the focus on God at all times – both in the good and in the hard.

Readings

  • 2 Samuel 7
  • 1 Chronicles 22
  • 1 Chronicles 29:1-9

Prayer

Pray… for a deep understanding of the wonderful promises God makes in today’s passages.

Day 146 – David & the Temple

David prepares for the temple after God forbids him to build it

 

  • You might have noticed that there are two stories going on today. The simple story, touched on in the first few verses of 2 Samuel 7 and discussed further in the final two passages, is one of David wanting to build a temple for God. After being told not to do it by God, 1 Chronicles 22 details how David made the necessary preparations for his (still yet to be born) son Solomon to build it instead.
  • God’s message to David about the temple is brought to David through a prophet called Nathan. A prophet, in a general sense, is a person who speaks God’s truth to others, and often tells of something that hasn’t yet happened. We’ll meet Nathan again in a few days when he once again brings a difficult message to David in a different situation.
  • Why does God say that David shouldn’t build the temple?
  • How did David prepare for Solomon to build the temple? Today’s two passages in 1 Chronicles gives more detail about David’s groundwork. The final passage today shows that David put his money where his mouth was, showing a deep desire for the temple to be built to glorify God’s name above David’s own.
  • All this story about the temple, however, is really a side story to the main event in 2 Samuel 7. This chapter is referred to as the “Davidic covenant”. Can you remember what a covenant is? Who else has God made a covenant with in the past?
  • David wants to make a temple for God, but God has a very different building plan. God is going to make a “house” for David (see verse 11) instead. In this context, “house” means a kingdom, or a dynasty. In other words, something great that will continue after David has died.
  • How is this “house” described, in 2 Samuel 7:13-16?
  • Over the next few months, we’ll see how the physical kingdom and the nation of Israel will be tossed and turned, attacked and split up. This doesn’t sound like a “kingdom that shall be made sure forever” (verse 16) does it? What do you think the people made of God’s promise for a kingdom like this when everything around them was falling away?
  • What then, does God mean when He refers to an everlasting kingdom? Whose kingdom is it?
  • As the chapter closes, David realises the magnitude of God’s promise and can only respond in worship. Take a look again at 2 Samuel 7:18-29, and consider what he’s saying.

 

 

The true “Son of David” isn’t really Solomon (one of David’s earthly sons), however wise a king he was. It’s Jesus! The promise to Abraham back in Genesis, and this promise to David, isn’t talking about any earthly nation or reign, is it? It’s a heavenly nation, found in Jesus. And what a promise it is!

 

When things don’t go right for us, we can sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture. This must have been especially true of those who lived before Jesus, wondering what to make of God’s promises in today’s readings. We, however, knowing all about Jesus, can see the upper story picture in this passage.

 

In Jesus we are promised life eternal, but not escape from earthly difficulties. In times of trouble, we sometimes struggle because we can’t see the bigger picture of eternal life with our own eyes. In these times, we can be encouraged by the words of David in today’s passage: “And now, O Lord GOD, you are God, and your words are true” (2 Samuel 7:28).

 

Do make sure you remember 2 Samuel 7. It’s an important milestone in the Old Testament narrative and you’d do well to get today’s events firmly established in your mind.

Readings

  • 2 Samuel 6
  • Numbers 4:15-20
  • Psalm 30

Prayer

Pray… that you will not take God’s word lightly, and that you will remember to give Him the praise He deserves!

Day 145 – David & the Ark

the ark, the death of Uzzah & David’s dance

 

  • David is settling into his role as king, but today we read about a misguided attempt to do something right, but in the wrong way.
  • As you’ll have read from the events in 2 Samuel 6, David decides to move the Ark, containing the stone tablets given to Moses, from its current location to Jerusalem. What mistake did he make when doing this? The mistake is in verse 3; use your study bible, or the list of rules in the passage in Numbers, to help pinpoint the problem.
  • What happened to the unfortunate Uzzah?
  • Uzzah put his hand out to stop the ark falling, which presumably was well meant, but in doing so he touched the Ark and was killed on the spot. What do you think when you read this? Does it give you an understanding of God’s holiness? Is your reaction like that of David, who expressed anger at what happened? Don’t forget that God had given clear instructions about how the Ark should have been moved, which were not followed. With that in mind, is it fair to say that Uzzah brought about his own downfall?
  • The second time David moved the Ark, what was different? What was David’s attitude, and the general atmosphere, like as the ark came into the city?
  • David is described as dancing as if nobody was watching – whooping and praising. What did Michal (David’s wife) think of David’s dancing? Her words are scornful and sarcastic, aren’t they? As a side note, it’s interesting to see Michal described as “Saul’s daughter”, rather than “David’s wife”. Why do you think the writer chose to describe her like this at this precise moment?
  • The Ark of the Covenant represented the glory of God. Jesus says that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, and we carry Him wherever we go. Bearing that in mind, how can we use our bodies in praise and honour, like David did? What stops us from doing this more often?
  • Today’s psalm is one of praise, worship and dancing! Use it to encourage yourself, especially if you are doing exams at the moment.

 

In our church we worship with genuine praise, but it is – let’s be honest – quite measured. There’s no dancing. There isn’t much clapping or raising of hands. There certainly aren’t any ribbon throwing dancers running through the isles!

 

This is, in itself, fine. People can worship God in whichever way they want, and that includes the quiet reserved attitude of our way of singing.

 

What would be a shame, however, is if we didn’t allow people to worship in a different way. Some people really do want to dance, or hit tambourines, or put both hands high in the air. That’s absolutely fine! They’re not weird, and they’re not childish. It’s simply another way of showing that we are willing to put God ahead of how we look to our fellow brothers and sisters, and that of course is admirable.

 

Today David, the king, risked some odd looks and the wrath of his wife as he celebrated what it was to know the Lord Almighty, and we should look at the verses describing it and smile in pleasure! He must have looked a picture… but good for him!

 

Here’s something for you to do at home. Put on your favourite worship song, nice and loud (or maybe on your headphones) in your bedroom and SING! Or do the same thing in the shower tonight and DANCE! Forget, for a few minutes, any embarrassment you might normally feel about this, and enjoy giving God the praise and glory He’s due. You don’t have to do this at church – I know you wouldn’t even if I paid you – but why not try it in your own space. For five minutes, utterly give yourself to God in the way you sing or dance or make a noise. See if it changes the way you think about worshipping the God who is above all things.

 

Go on, you know you want to!

Readings

  • None… unless you need to catch up!

Prayer

A day off from reading is not a day off from praying or living as a Christian. Pray for something that’s on your heart today.

Day 144 – Day Off

 

 

It’s been a great encouragement that you are reading well and thoughtfully, Harry, Jonah and Anabel, and lovely to hear of several of the adults keeping up well too.

 

Enjoy your day off. You deserve it!

Readings

  • 2 Samuel 5
  • 1 Chronicles 11:4-9
  • James 1:2-8

Prayer

Pray… that like David prayed during his battles, we will make prayer a part of our daily battles.

Day 143 – David Defeats Jerusalem & the Philistines

David’s battles & commitment to pray

 

  • Well, we’ve made it. David has finally become the king over the entire nation of Israel. At last they have a king on the throne who trusts God and seeks His wisdom! That said, God’s earlier warnings – remember them in Deuteronomy? – about having human kings still apply. The years of David’s reign, as we’ll read over the coming days, and some of Solomon’s reign afterwards, are some of the highest moments in the history of God’s chosen nation.
  • What city does David conquer today? It has several names but they all mean Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. What does it get re-named to?
  • The passage in 1 Chronicles mentions that Joab, who you will remember from yesterday’s passage, turns from villian to hero as he leads the battle to take Jerusalem. It’s worth pointing out that despite being further on in the Bible order, the passage in 1 Chronicles refers to the same events as those in 2 Samuel 5, and were probably written at a similar time.
  • When the Philistines came attacking (they did love attacking Israel, didn’t they!), what did David do each time? Did God respond the same both times? What can this tell us about making assumptions about God or not continually coming to Him in prayer?
  • What does the passage in James say we should do when we don’t know what to do? How does James say we should pray? When you pray, do you genuinely trust in God for His response?
  • James also mentions trials and temptations. David had many of them. So do we, in different ways. We might find them frustrating, or difficult, or think that it is God pushing us. But how does James tell us to consider trials and testings? Can your attitude to the hard things of the Christian life be changed by what James says, especially in verses 2-4?

 

David will continue to dominate our readings for another week or so, and we get a good sneak peak at his kingly characteristics in today’s verses.

 

David’s greatest attribute is his undoubted faith in God. We’ve seen it in the events involving Goliath and Saul, and today we read how he came to God in prayer in several situations, including the impending battles against the Philistines. A little earlier, in 2 Samuel 5:12, we are also reminded that David knew exactly who put him on the throne; something that he might have been tempted to ignore now that he had the powers afforded to a king.

 

But in these early days we can also spot undesirable characteristics. Why, in 2 Samuel 5:13, does he take multiple wives and concubines (these are like lovers who he wasn’t married to)? What was David’s issue with the “blind and lame” in verse 8 all about? Soon we’ll also read of another poor decision in regards to his handling of the Ark of the Covenant, too.

 

God is with David and is giving David strength and victory. David is showing himself as a man of faith, but nevertheless still a flawed one. And why would we expect anything else? David is human, with all the sinfulness and frailty of other humans. Only Christ would live a perfect sinless life; one where the “blind and lame” were, of course, warmly welcomed.

 

The great encouragement of today’s verses is that we can see God choosing to bless sinful people as long as their hearts were turned towards Him. That – I hope – describes you. Nobody expects perfection from you, nor could you ever achieve it, but God does ask you to strive for holiness, and to keep your eyes focused on Him, whether you’re doing well or going through a tough time.

 

Follow David’s example and focus your heart on Christ!

Readings

  • 2 Samuel 2
  • 2 Samuel 3
  • 2 Samuel 4

Prayer

Pray… that you will get a good grasp of a slightly complicated passage today.

Day 142 – Abner & Ish-bosheth Die

the murders of General Abner & King Ish-bosheth

 

Yes, quite a few verses today. Get a cup of hot chocolate, a comfy chair, and read them carefully to get a good understanding of the events

 

  • Two people died yesterday, and several more today. War’s tough, isn’t it – and the Bible doesn’t shy away from the realities of a world ruined by sin. You might have found today’s passages rather overwhelming, as there are a lot of names. If so, don’t worry unduly.
  • David is anointed king in 1 Samuel 2, but he’s only king over part of the land at this point. Who takes control of the northern areas, as described in 2 Samuel 2:8-9?
  • How long was it before David became king of the entire nation? Verse 11 will help you.
  • 2 Samuel 2 ends with a story which can get confusing if you don’t read slowly. It continues through into chapter 3. Before the king of the northern areas, Ish-bosheth (another of Saul’s sons) is killed, we meet Joab (who is David’s nephew) and Abner (who is Saul’s uncle). Joab has two brothers, Abishai and Asahel. Asahel, one of David’s best warriors, is killed by Abner (2 Samuel 2:23). Why do you think this happened?
  • In 2 Samuel 3, Abner seemingly wants to do a deal with David to make David king. This seems to happen after he has the strong disagreement with Ish-bosheth that we read about in verses 6-11. What sort of things does Abner think about as he considers his position compared to David’s? How does David react, in verse 13, to Abner’s suggestion? Who does David want back (verse 14), and who, in verses 15-16 was less then impressed at this?
  • Relations between the two parties seems to be going well, but in verses 2 Samuel 3:22-27 we read of a plot twist as Joab returns to the scene to kill Abner. This is done to avenge his brother’s death, as verse 30 shows us. The murdering of Abner was against David’s wishes. Why do you think Joab let his emotions rule his actions?
  • What is David’s response to these events, as shown in the final verses of 2 Samuel 3?
  • How is King Ish-bosheth killed in chapter 4? Note that verse 7 is just a more detailed explanation of verse 6.
  • What is David’s reaction? Is he impressed with Rechab and Baanah (the men who killed Ish-bosheth ), or is he angry? What does he do to Rechab and Baanah in verses 9-12?

 

Today’s long readings and potentially tricky story-line is one reason why I really encourage you to stay up to date with your readings. Passages like these can’t be rushed. Do your best to get up to date and stay so, if you’re behind!

 

David has nothing to do with the murders of Abner or Ish-bosheth, and he makes it clear that he is displeased with both.

 

Sometimes we, as Christians, will not always approve of the things our friends (or maybe even our family) do. How can we respond in these situations without sounding preachy or aloof? Is there anything we can take from today’s passage which help us to humbly show disapproval or disagreement about something, whilst still loving the people doing it?