The main thrust of the story of Second Samuel was covered in our last article on first Samuel. I didn’t realize that I had titled it wrong until I began preparing for today’s article. It should have read “1 & 2 Samuel: a story about the dangers of desire.”
Despite that, I still want to cover some things that I didn’t get to mention in our last article. I want to talk about a couple big lessons learned in Second Samuel. Every book contains great lessons to learn about God and about ourselves. Primarily the Bible is a story about God and how he was working in their lives. Second Samuel is no exception. Within its pages, we learn several powerful lessons about life and our God.
If Second Samuel teaches us anything, it teaches us that God is a faithful and merciful God.
He is always faithful to His promises and despite the long time periods that elapse, eventually the promises are fulfilled. God fulfills his promises in his time, not ours. With that in mind, consider the young man David. He was anointed by the prophet Samuel and told he was the king of Israel, but it still took years to realize the promise. The actual reign of David doesn’t start until Saul is dead and the people of Israel agreed to make him king.
Another great example of this is David’s adultery with Bathsheba. David sees a young woman bathing on her rooftop and sends for her. Before long the reality of their affair is starting to show; Bathsheba is pregnant. In his attempts to cover up his sins, David calls Uriah home hoping he will spend time with his wife. When that didn’t work David sets a plan in motion that ultimately cost Uriah his life. David thinks the mistake is covered up but before long Nathan is standing before him with some strong words from God, “You are the man.” Despite David’s sins, and there were plenty, God is faithful and merciful to David.
One last lesson we should learn from Second Samuel is that sin always has consequences. Once God confronts David about his sins he is told that child to born to them will die. David mourns with fasting and prayers for days, hoping God will have mercy on the child and let him live. God is always merciful and faithful, but this time David must face the consequences. Another consequence of David’s sin is his family life. David’s family life goes down quickly after this and eventually, a daughter is assaulted by a son and Absalom steals the kingdom from him.
The consequences of David’s sin eventually force him to run. He loses his home and the throne. As Job said so long ago, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21, ESV). Sin robs us of life, joy, health, and the blessings of God. We must learn to take sin seriously because God surely does, and the consequences can ruin our life.
Despite all of this, God is faithful to David and merciful to his sin. God restores David to the throne and to his home. His family life never completely recovers but it does improve in a serious way.