First United Methodist Church of Conway, South Carolina
Saturday, October 21, 2017

Week 12

Annotated Reading Guide
1 Samuel 17 – 2 Samuel 14
March 15    1 Samuel 17-20 – David and Saul, Everybody Loves David
     When you look beneath the story of David and Goliath, it is similar to the story of Moses sending spies into the Promised Land! The issue is very simple, do we trust God to deliver? …or not?
Jealousy – it begins mildly, as things in life often do… Saul is jealous of David.  But jealousy eats at the soul of a person and soon turns to hatred. Ironically, two of Saul’s own children – Jonathan and Michal protect David from their father’s wrath.
March 16    1 Samuel 21-25– David and Saul, David the Fugitive
     David decides the time has come to get away from Saul. He flees first to Nob where he is fed the sacred bread of the Presence. (Jesus refers to this when he talks about breaking ritual in a time of need – Matthew 12:3-4; Mark 2:25; Luke 6:3-4.)
     Realizing he is still not safe, David retreats to Gath, in the area of the Philistines. Soon he moves back into the hill country between Bethlehem, Hebron and the Dead Sea. Although he has the opportunity to kill Saul, David spares his life to show good will.
March 17    1 Samuel 26-31 – David and Saul, David and the Philistines
     After sparing Saul’s life a second time, David returns to Gath. (Notice that David finds safety in the land of Philistines and in the land of Moab, both traditional enemies of the Israelites.) While living with the Philistines David attacks traditional enemies of the Israelites (Amalekites, etc.), but reports that he is fighting with allies (Judah, Kenites, etc.).
     Saul’s separation from God leads him first to a medium; then wounded and defeated in battle, he kills himself before he can be killed by the Philistines. His desecrated body is retrieved by the men of Jabesh-gilead thus completing the cycle of his kingship. (Recall 1 Samuel 10:27-11:13 where Saul delivers Jabesh-gilead from Nahash and the Ammonites.)
March 18    2 Samuel 1-2 – David, King of Judah
     After Saul’s death, there are two royal families – David is king of Judah, living in Hebron; and Ishbaal (or Ishbosheth) is king of the northern tribes, living in Mahanaim. (Mahanaim is east of the Jordan, reflecting the reality of the Philistine control in tribal lands west of the Jordan.)
March 19    2 Samuel 3-5 – David, King of Judah and Israel
     After a series of betrayals and deaths, Ishbaal is assassinated and David becomes king over all of the Israelites. (Notice the complications that arise because of family connections.) David establishes the seat of this new, undivided kingdom in the city of Jerusalem. Until now, Jerusalem has been a Jebusite city in the territory of Benjamin and had not been successfully subdued. David’s conquest of Jerusalem comes by stealth, thus sparing destruction the city.
March 20    2 Samuel 6-10 – King David
     As king, David has the Ark of the Covenant brought to Jerusalem (the first step in establishing the city as the spiritual center of the kingdom). David’s success as king is seen as evidence of God’s favor (as opposed to the continuing struggles and disfavor that Saul experienced).
March 21    2 Samuel 11-14 – David, Family Troubles Begin
     The familiar story of David and Bathsheba is only the beginning of David’s family problems. Notice that David is forgiven because he repents, but there are still serious consequences of his sin. Besides the death of the child of Bathsheba, David’s sons, Amnon and Absalom, soon follow in their father’s footsteps putting their own desires ahead of responsibility and loyalty.