Bible Experiment II Samuel

Bible Experiment II Samuel

Alright, so once I week I try to walk through a book of the Bible – read it, and give an overview about it and its importance today.Interested in starting from the beginning?  Join us here. Last week, in I Samuel, we walked through the reign of Saul and the up and coming little whipper snapper David. The book of II Samuel now fully focuses on David and his ascendency to the thrown and his 40 year reign as king of Israel (1011-971 BC).

What is II Samuel All About?

In 2013 Jewish Archaeologists Claimed to have found a royal residence of David’s at Khirbet Qeiyafa

Second Samuel is infinitely more easy to summarize as it is 100% about David. The book begins with David mourning the loss of his friend Jonathan and his king Saul. David is honestly torn up about both of their deaths even though Saul was possibly David’s number on trial in his life (well, beside that whole Bathsheba business anyway) and even so he mourned Saul’s death. He knew that for some reason, God had ordained Saul as the King. That he was to be subservient to him and to respect him. And even when he had a chance to kill him in a cave he chose not to. Not only that, but when he cut off a bit of his royal robe he kicked himself about it for a good while.

As the book continues on we see that God set up David as the leader of the tribe of Judah. And then a little later on, in chapter five, we see that God united all the tribes of Israel under David’s rule. The tribes become a very tight coherent kingdom and worked together under David’s leadership.

As the beginning of Second Samuel continues we see David extend grace to Jonathan’s son who is crippled. And we also see David going to town, and dancing in the streets when the Ark of the Covenant is finally returned back home. I think the first ten chapters of Second Samuel really are the glory years of David and his reign. Things seem to be going all kinds of well for him. Until they aren’t anymore.

Which sort of brings me to the first lesson in my own life. Much hay is made about David and how he is a man after God’s own heart. And yet, David wasn’t above getting complacent and riding on his laurels… and eventually wiping out. I too am good at this whole, take it easy, coast a bit, mentality. I’ve found that when I have succeeded, or had any level of success I will pat myself on my back and power down the engines. And then, that is the time when my head gets big… or I will go looking for distractions. And when I am off looking for distractions just forget about it.

Are you off trying to find what life is all about? Have you discovered what its all about, and yet find yourself content to rest on your laurels? Or maybe, you’ve just become complacent with life… and settled with this groove that you are currently in? Here’s my advice to you – well, wait… why don’t we just review what happens next. Let’s read 2 Samuel 11:1

“Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem.”

What was it that happened in the Spring time? The kings would go to war. They would protect their people and ride out against foreign lands. But what was David doing? He was sending his valiant men out to war without him.  David? He stayed at Jerusalem.

I’ve always found this verse to be one of the most portent filled verses of the Bible. But David? Oh, he hung out on his posturpedic couch and had twinkies, while watching reruns of the Game of Thrones. That just strikes me as wrong. You? But I have to admit, that I see wrong in the world, and I don’t do a whole lot about it. I see sin, and injustice… and I don’t act out against it. So I am guilty of this too. I am guilty of taking a pass on doing what I know I’m called to do. I take a pass on life in general and I just sit back and watch that movie I don’t really need to watch.  Let’s pause here for small public service announcement:



And so yeah, let’s review this together.  Please. These are weekly television viewing habits by age. 12-17 is blue. Orange is 18-24, you get it. And yes, that graphs bottom average indicator is starting us Americans out at 25 hours per week… and it goes up from there. TWENTY FIVE!  Me? I’m decided in the yellow sector (though I’m not happy about that fact at all. And my segment is bouncing around in the 35/week arena.  35. Thirty Five. I can’t even wrap my brain around that number. Thurrr-Teeee-FFFF-ive. Wha? How?  That’s like five hours a day. How does one even do that? I mean without completely disregarding all of life? Seriously. And don’t even look 50 year olds and up.

I was recently talking to a buddy of mine… who happens to be a producer on a big cable network you all know and love. I name three, no heck, FIVE random names of shows he’s produced and you’d go – I LOVE THAT SHOW. You’ve probably even had his name flash across your corneas at the end of one of his shows, so its very likely buried in your subconscious somewhere.  (If you are reading this Bri, whoops, please notice I haven’t really, given out your name, yet!  Yeah tact!) Anyway. He and I were chatting about his big plans for the weekend and he said, Saturday is a huge movie marathon of X. (You would so know this show.  B, why can’t I just say it. Anyway. I’m sure he wouldn’t even care.) Gonna be big big big he says.

My response? I swear, this was probably the most insensitive thing I’ve ever said. “Not a huge TV guy B.” And then he called me a bunch of names. Which I completely deserved because I am just that lame. And then he said, ‘nah, that’s really good.’ Or some such. But I just don’t get TV. But books aren’t much better when it comes to distractions… right? I mean, less people read, and for less duration.  I think the average is like 15 minutes a day. (Which is blog rant worthy, but I’m just going to let that go… really I am.) Regardless, reading is still a distraction when we do that instead of whatever it is that we are supposed to be doing. No?

But that is, in essence, what David chose to do… sit this one out. And that is what all of America has chosen to do. Sit this one out. It’s pretty sad really. Overwhelmingly so. Do you realize what the United States alone could do to help the world with the collective time share that we have given to mindless television entertainment? Let’s do a little rough math – 320 million people, times 5 hours a day (as a rough average), equals, woah. A single days worth of television would give the world back

67 Million Man Days. Or 183,000 years worth of lost potential. In a single day’s worth of television.  Use this throughput for just four days and you have yourself a pyramid. Literally. (I did the calculations based on this awesome site.)  Multiply that by 365 and literally my calculator breaks. A spring snaps clean through its glass screen. A years worth is something like 67 million man years. I’m guessing with our television watching spare time alone we could build something like a HUNDRED pyramids. every year. Never mind the speed of new technology. Never mind our new efficiencies we could bring to bear.

Alright I’ll stop. We KNOW what David is doing here, because we do it every day of our lives. Instead of heading out in the spring, we sit and watch the Discovery Channel (Dang it! I knew I’d let it slip eventually.) And there is nothing inherently wrong with the Discovery Channel. I mean, seriously, have you watched Mythbusters or The Biggest Catch lately? It’s money. But we choose to not pull over and help that person on the side of the road because WE ARE IN A HURRY… to get home and watch our TV. It’s messed up.

So what happened next to David? I’m concerned now, because he is us, and we are him. So maybe his story ends up like ours will. Verse TWO.

“Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance.”

And I’m done here. Yeah, this is exactly what has happened to us. We have lapsed into titillating diversions… and wonder how we have so easily gone astray. Instead of making good use of his time, he was bored. Wanders off to the edge of his home’s balcony… and ba-woogah. David then sends someone to enquire who that is. They come back and say, yup, she’s married to Uriah the Hittite. Oh, and he’s off at battle… where you should be. (No they don’t say that, but they should have.) So David has her brought to his house, and he sleeps with her. Then she sends word and says, um, that Trojan you were using, must have broken, cause I’m pregnant. DANGIT.

So David. Being a smart smart smart guy… thinks, I know. I’ll have Uriah called back from the front, and have him visit me, and he’ll sleep with his wife… and then he’ll think its his. Seriously. David starts scheming to get himself out of this mother of all jams. Uriah complies, because, I mean, David is the king after all. But what does Uriah do? He flipping sleeps outside! He won’t even sleep with his hot wife because his men don’t have the privilege of a bed and their wives. Hahah. Yeah, pardon my schadenfreude, because this totally cracks me up.

Alright. Plan A didn’t work. David begins hatching plan B. Because he is NOT going to get caught knocking up Bathsheba. So he sends word to the front lines to tell them to move Uriah to the hottest part of the battle, and then when the fighting is at its fiercest, retreat. And allow Uriah to die. This terrible plan couldn’t work… could it? Oh it worked perfectly. So perfectly that David was home free. Minus the fact that God intervened.  In chapter 12 it says that God sent Nathan to have a chat with this clever upstart king.

“There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a great many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb Which he bought and nourished; And it grew up together with him and his children. It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom, And was like a daughter to him.

“Now a traveler came to the rich man, And he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd, To prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him; Rather he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

So, with the setup complete David tells Nathan to bring the man to him so that he can napalm this wretch nine ways to Sunday. Only problem? Nathan turns to him and says, “You are that man.” And immediately David sees his guilt, repents and begs and pleads for his child that ultimately died a few days later. David got it though. He understood that he had sinned. David begged for God’s grace and His forgiveness. And even in spite of David’s wipe out with Bathsheba God promised to make David’s descendants last forever… and promised that David’s throne would last as long as the sun:

“My covenant I will not violate, Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me. It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful.” (Psalm 89:34–37)

This prophecy would be fulfilled a thousand years later in David’s descendant Jesus Christ, who will return and establish David’s throne for all eternity. We will get to that a little while later – specifically in Ezekiel, Daniel and obviously at the end of the Bible, Revelation.

Problems I have with II Samuel

Basically from chapter twelve or thirteen on II Samuel is one big soap opera of revolt, rape, plots, revenge and chaos. David’s heart is with his handsome son Amnon, but Amnon was an idiot and needed more than a little come uppance. Amnon raped his half-sister. Was given grace. Absalom, who was completely horqued that Amnon wasn’t punished attempted to overthrew his father’s kingdom. And then, with David on the run, he continued to let his people know that they shouldn’t strike back at Absalom, in spite of his evil desires to over throw his father’s kingdom.  David went from great king and uniter of the Jewish tribes to a man on the run. Eventually Absalom gets stuck, hanging from a tree by his hair (you can’t make this stuff up), and killed. David eventually gets his act together, but not before the glory days of his kingdom were long gone.

I think the lesson for me here is that God blessed David in spite of his sin. But there were still enormous consequences to his sin. Family chaos. Children that were hell bent on taking David’s kingdom from him. And a nation ultimately paid for his sins. The better path is to be faithful to do what God asks you to do. Yes, there is grace and forgiveness. But life is better and more full when we obey God and listen to his commands immediately.