2 Samuel 8-12

1 Samuel 8-12

First of all, I do apologize for the lack of posts this week.  Instead of having a daily posts for this week, I will give a summary of the whole week’s reading.

Bible Passage:  2 Samuel 8-12

There are 2 distinct parts in this weeks readings.

Sovereign Grace

The first part is from chapters 8-10.  David uses his new found power at war with the enemies of Israel in chapters 8 and 10.  In chapter 9, we learn of how David’s kindness towards Mephibosheth allows him to use his power to fulfill his covenant commitment to his beloved friend, Jonathan, and his promise to Saul.

This is the period for David where Israel celebrates many victories.  The enemies are defeated (8:1-13), the Israelite garrisons are found among neighbouring countries (8:14), whereas foreign garrisons had once been in Israel (1 Samuel 10:5; 13:3-4).  Effectively, this means the enemies will no longer be able to resist, harass, or oppress Israel for some time.  There will be peace in the land, just as God promised.

All the success David achieves is from God (2 Samuel 8:6, 14) and where he rules, there is justice and righteousness (8:15).

The political and military intrigue in chapters 8 and 10 are used by God to give Israel the land and the victory that He had long promised to His people (Gen 12:1-3).  The tribute that David receives from his subjected enemies will be used later for the building of the temple.  These events fulfill not only the promise of  God to David in 2 Sam 7, but also the promises God made long before to Abraham and the patriarchs and to Moses.

In the midst of David’s sovereignty, we also see of David’s mercy – shown towards Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul.  He was the last and sole heir of sole.  And usually, a king in David’s place would seek out such a man and kill him – because he would be a contender to the throne.

But David shows him mercy.  Not because Mephibosheth could contribute anything – but because of David’s love for his friend Jonathan.

Looking at how David acted as a king, also reminds me of God as the Sovereign One.  Even though He reigns over all, He still shows grace and mercy.  God’s grace is sovereign grace, not earned or deserved.

There is nothing for us to boast.

Danger in Grace

But in the second part of this week’s readings from chapters 11 to 12, it shows the dangers that lurk when we are enjoying grace.

The stories are familiar.

David sees Bathsheba and falls in lust.

David sins.  And his sins gets bigger and bigger as he desperately tries to cover the first sin.

When everything is going on well with our lives – and we often call it living in Grace – we have to be careful.

Prosperity is as dangerous – if not more dangerous – as poverty and adversity.  Often when it appears everything is going right, we are in the greatest danger.  This is because we forget that we need God and that we must rely on His power.

No longer on our guard, we can easily be drunk with our own power and control.  Yet, this will backfire on us just as it did for king David.

How can you remember God when times are good?  What can we learn from David’s sins?

The reminder to us is this… if David, a man after the heart of God, can fall, anyone can (11:14-26).

And that is precisely what Paul warns us about in 1 Cor 10:11-12…

11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

 

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