2 Samuel 24

Read 2 Samuel 24 – Our last chapter in 2 Samuel!  What a fine accomplishment this is – to know our Lord so much more with the reading of 1&2 Samuel. 

Verse 24:1 put a question on my heart.  God was angry with Israel, so he made David sin against Him by taking a census?  That just doesn’t make sense – it is outside of the Lord’s nature to make a person sin so He can punish.  Upon searching for an answer (thank you, Jesus, that we have access to what your great theologians before us have discovered), it seems the ‘he’ in this verse is referring to Satan and not the LORD, as one might assume without looking deeper.  Ah ha! 

Yes, even Joab questions David on his order to take the census (24:3), and may we all have a few Joab’s in our lives, willing to speak up when we start to go astray!  David’s conscience brings guilt, confession and a plea for forgiveness (24:10). 

The Lord graciously gives David a choice on his consequences: Three years of famine, three months of persecution or three days of severe plague.  David chose plague, trusting the Lord for His mercy (24:14), which He gives, relenting just before Jerusalem (24:15).  

Our book concludes with David building an altar to the Lord, with offerings, and the plague is stopped. 

Even with forgiveness, sin has consequences that humble and sanctify the forgiven sinner.  Remember, God is good all the time, and when life is hard, God is especially good.🙌❤☝️

This is not the end for our David, his story continues in 1 Kings,  which we will get to later.   Tomorrow, we will move to 1 Peter, in the New Testament. To find it, start from the back of your bible, Revelation, and flip up a bit, between James and 1,2,3 John.


2 Samuel 23

Read 2 Samuel 23 – Retirement reflections.   Remember in 2 Samuel 21:15,17, David became exhausted in battle.  Abishai saved him,  and David’s faithful men swore there would be no more battles for King David. Our valiant king was entering a new chapter and perhaps he was thinking about that when he penned these words.  David knows the Lord spoke the words through him (22:2).  He speaks of God saying he ruled in righteousness with fear of the Lord being like the sunrise on a bright,  cloudless morning, the brightness after rain that brings forth grass (23:3-4).  He uses beautiful language in summary on his life,  walking so close to the Lord and leading as truly,  one nation under God(23:1-8).  Then there is a tribute to his fighting men…. those who battled fearlessly alongside him all these years.   What is your perspective on God over your life?  Is Jesus tangible to you? He longs to be.  How about your warriors? Who has walked life’s battles alongside you?🤺☝️


2 Samuel 21

Read 2 Samuel 21 – The Bible amazes me time and time again.   It all adds up like a divine mathematical equation. 

Today,  David avenges the Gibeonites, but to fully understand why,  we need to jump back to Joshua 9!  The Lord told the Israelites not to make any covenants with the locals, but these Gibeonites tricked them by dressing as if the came from a far off land. Joshua made the treaty for their safety (see Joshua 9:15). 

Saul violated the treaty in his zeal to for Israel and Judah(21:2), and its up to David to right the wrongs.

Vows, oaths,  treaties matter to God, even those made without consulting him.  May we all be wise to be prayerful and prudent with our promises. 


2 Samuel 19

Read 2 Samuel 19 – So many details!  

Joab speaks some harsh truth to David forcing him to lead like a leader. Israel decides to ask David to be their king again (19:10). 

David appoints Amasa army commander over Joab (19:13).  The bible doesn’t say why, but my guess it is over Absalom’s death.

David crosses the Jordan and is greeted warmly.   Shimei in particular is very apologetic (see 2 Sam 16:5-13) as he should be, and David elects to spare his life (19:23).

Ziba’s deceit is corrected when David meets with Mephibosheth, although David only returns half his land. Mephibosheth is just happy to have David back(19:30). 

Our chapter closes with arguments among the tribes…. It is time for some leadership,  King David. And, how is your leadership in your realm? Are you a good steward of your time, relationships and finances? Things can get messy if you don’t lead with intent. 


2 Samuel 17

Read 2 Samuel 17 – “Many are the plans of a persons heart, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:21 

Ahithrophel presents a military strike against David using just 12,000 men – hit David only, now, while he is weary and discouraged.  He (Ahithrophel) seeks the support of Hushai.  Remember Hushai is a double agent, sent to frustrated and counter Ahithophel’s advice (2 Sam 15:34). 

Hushai stirs up fear, calling David and his men mighty warriors, enraged as a mama bear robbed of her cubs.  He recommends Absalom use the entire army, buying time.  He says Absalom should lead the troops, appealing to his ego.  And that David and his men be annihilated, fanning the flames of power. 

Absalom is sold, stating that Hushai’s plan is better, even though it wasn’t.  Did you catch why in 17:14?  Yes, because the LORD determined to bring disaster on Absalom. 

Hushai warns David, excitement unfolds, and David crosses the Jordan with all his people.  Ahithophel knows what this means, sets his house in order and kills himself.  David arrives at Mahanaim to a warm greeting and provisions. 

Beloved, when life seems utter chaos, God is still in control, causing all things to work for your good and his  glory.


2 Samuel 20

Read 2 Samuel 20 – No sooner is Israel united than Sheba starts a revolt. “So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba son of Bicri.”(20:2)  

Meanwhile, David is at home, dealing with his defiled concubines.  He couldn’t return to them after Absalom raped them publicly. He placed them in seclusion, providing for their needs, yet condemning them to live out their lives like widows… this unfair fate should serve as an example of how our personal sin often ripples onto the lives of others.  

Back to the Sheba situation. David tells Amasa to mobilize the men and they set out after Sheba. Joab meets up with Amasa, goes in for a brotherly greeting (they were cousins), but instead, plunges a dagger into Amasa, spilling his insides to the ground!  He does this right in the path of the soldiers.  This slows them down, so Joab’s man drags him to the field and covers him, and the men march on after Joab.  

They find Sheba in a town and begin breaking down the city wall.  A wise woman comes on scene, addresses Joab directly and resolves the matter quickly and without harm to the city.  I wish we knew her name.  Her intervention saved so much destruction and bloodshed.  

I read that Sheba can be considered a symbol of our sin.  Bible commentator, John Trapp explains,  “Every man’s breast is a city enclosed. Every sin is a traitor that lurketh within those walls. God calleth for Sheba’s head, neither hath he any quarrel to us for our person, but for our sin. If we love the head of our traitor above the life of our soul, we shall justly perish in the vengeance.” 


2 Samuel 18

Read 2 Samuel 18 – A father’s love knows no bounds.  

David strategizes a military attack against Israel – those who have sided with Absalom, yet asks that they deal gently with Absalom.  Crazy, right?  He is the main opponent.  He created a coup against David, and raped his concubines on the palace rooftop.  

The Lord does most of the conquering as we read in 18:8-9 that the forest killed more men than swords, and that Absalom was even captured by it!  

Joab elects to kill Absalom, against the Kings request. Absalom’s body is thrown into a deep pit in the forest; there will be no funeral, no honor for his death.  It is like a metaphor of hell. 

Joab sends a messenger with news for David, who is heartbroken to learn that Absalom is dead.  It is a peculiar response, considering Absalom’s atrocities, and the bravery of Davids army to risk their lives to stop him, yet David is a father. It is fair to surmise David felt the weight of all the things he could have done better, and the grave reality this prodigal son has lost all opportunity for reconciliation.  I think this is a picture of God’s heart.  He goes to great lengths to offer Salvation to all, but some will fight him and reject him all the way to hell.  Eternal separation from God truly breaks His heart.💔


Read 2 Samuel 16

Read 2 Samuel 16 – We see a very different King David than we are used to.  He seems to be in a very dark place, verse 16:14 describes it as weary.  

First, David makes a hasty turn against Mephibosheth, based on the testimony of Ziba (Mephibosheth’s servant).  

Second, David takes the verbal abuse of Shimel, expressing that Shimel is justified and that, perhaps, the Lord will see him and bless him for the curses.  Jesus tells us, “Bless those who curse you.  Pray for those who hurt you.” in Luke 6:28.  

Meanwhile, Absalom is up to more despicable behavior. On the advise of Ahithophel, he has sex with his father’s concubines (remember the 10 who were left to look after the palace 15:16) on the rooftop so that all might see this irreconcilable act. This is also what the Lord spoke against David for his sin in 2 Sam 12:11.  

It is for love’s sake that a father punish his child – how much more so from the Lord?  (see Proverbs 3:11-12)  Perhaps David was reflecting on this season when he penned:  “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.”  Psalm 30:5  

Daily Word

Read 2 Samuel 14

Read 2 Samuel 14 – These people did strange things. 

Joab arranges a ruse, much like the one Nathan used when confronting King David in 2 Sam 12… asking the wise woman from Tekoa to dress as if in mourning and present his script to David.  As she is revealing her true intent, she says something incredible in 14:14  “All of us must die eventually.  Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.  But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.”  She makes the point; it has a bit of a comical flare when the King asks her if Joab put her up to it (14:19).  Absalom returns on the condition he cannot come into the presence of the king. 

Verse 14:30 made me laugh, yet it worked, and our chapter ends with reconciliation.   Reconciliation is what God longs for; Jesus lived, was tested and sinless, bled, died and rose again that we might be reconciled to God – we only have to make the free-will choice to receive Salvation. 😊🤴🕊


Read 2 Samuel 13

Read 2 Samuel 13 – Grrrr!  What is love? 

Amnon loved Tamar, but his love turned to obsession and then hate.  When love of a person is played out in ones fantasy life, reality and right and wrong get blurry. (That’s just one reason that ponography is so dangerous.)  Amnon may not have acted had his crafty friend, Jonadab, not asked why he is so dejected,  I can almost hear whispers of the serpent asking Eve, “Did God really say…?” (Gen 3:1).  Jonadab then lays out a plan for Amnon to “HAVE” Tamar.  She is so kind and innocent as she falls into his plot.  When he asks her to lay with him (13:11), she does not reject him, but pleads for him to do things the right way (13:12-13).  They had a chance.  Tamar had a chance, but when Amnon’s selfish-love raped her, evil won. 

Tamar remained a desolate woman in her brother, Absalom’s house.  King David learns of this and is angry, but he seems to sweep it under the rug.  Absalom is patient to defend Tamar’s honor by killing Amnon 2 years later…. A heart that festers for vengeance is dangerous.  The most hideous atrocities must be dealt with.

Like Tamar, you may not have deserved the things that happened to you, but please, bring your wounded heart to Jesus.  Only he can bring beauty from ashes. 

Like Amnon, you may be trapped in a fantasy world that keeps you from reality, surrender your obsession to Jesus. 

Like Absalom, you may harbor a desire for vengeance, turn to Jesus. 

And like David, you may be putting off something you need to deal with.  Step out of denial and ask Jesus how to move forward. 

Jesus is the Author of Life.  You can trust him with ALL the details of yours.