The Rise and Fall and Rebound of David
As we pick up the story, Saul has been trying to kill David . David had the opportunity to kill Saul, but refused, and he had hoped that Saul would see he wasn’t a threat. It didn’t work. Saul was still trying to kill David. David took refuge in Philistine territory, hoping to be safe there. Meanwhile, all this probably took Saul's attention away from fighting the Philistines.
1 Samuel 31:1-6 Why does Saul ask his armor-bearer to kill him? How do you think David is going to feel about this?
2 Samuel 1:1-16 Something doesn’t seem to add up here …Why would this man lie? Are you surprised by David’s response? David wasn’t very fond of his predecessor, but he respected Saul’s position as being God’s anointed. His response doesn’t seem to make sense, but it's also difficult, sometimes, to make sense of Jesus's commandment to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. It's a good opportunity to reflect upon how we treat and regard those whom we find challenging.
Saul is dead. David is God’s anointed, but Saul’s son, Ish-Bosheth, assumes he will be king . This leads to some civil war. Two men (read it in chapter 4) kill Ish-Bosheth and bring his head to David. It’s like a repeat of the story we just read. David is not pleased and has them killed. But then, David becomes king.
He establishes Jerusalem as the capital. He brought the Ark of the Covenant into the City. He led a huge celebration for God. (There’s some great story for you to read in chapter 6.) Meanwhile, David’s army continues to be victorious over their enemies. Things are going well for David ..but he does get tripped up.
2 Samuel 11:1-5 Bathsheba really didn’t have any say in this matter. The blame here is totally David's. Now, she is pregnant, so people are going to find out. Now what?
2 Samuel 11:6-11 What is David thinking here? Why didn’t it work?
2 Samuel 11:12-13
Try again? Maybe get him drunk first? It still didn’t work
2 Samuel 11:14-17
What do you have to say about Uriah’s honor? What do you think of David now? What do you suppose God will have to say about all this?
2 Samuel 12:1-14
What do you think of Nathan’s tact in approaching David? David had a very angry reaction to Nathan’s story…what does that tell you? How do you think David felt when he realized he was the point of Nathan’s story? How do you know? Why does David receive God’s forgiveness? What is the difference between receiving forgiveness and bearing consequences?