Through the Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 11-15

This Week’s Readings

Monday, May 21: 1 Samuel 25-31
Tuesday, May 22: 2 Samuel 1-6
Wednesday, May 23: 2 Samuel 7-10
Thursday, May 24: 2 Samuel 11-15
Friday, May 25: 2 Samuel 16-20

Monday, May 28, we’ll finish the last four chapters of 2 Samuel and finish the week with some Psalms and Proverbs. That will cause some change to the overall year’s plan. Sorry about that. I miscounted the number of chapters in 1 Samuel when I did the original plan. I made the changes on the year plan page, and I filled it out into August.

The overall year’s plan is here.

2 Samuel 11

This is the great sin of David’s life. The Law had warned the king not to multiply wives to himself, but neither David nor his son Solomon heeded that advice.

We overestimate our strength. Jesus taught us to pray, "Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." If we provide opportunities for the flesh (Rom. 13:14), our flesh will drag us into sin (Jam. 1:14-16).

2 Samuel 12

Jesus’ lineage is full of human error and human problems. He was a direct descendant of Rahab the harlot, and now adultery and murder are in his lineage, because Jesus descended directly from Solomon (Matt. 1:6).

The Bible doesn’t cover up the shortcomings of its heroes. There are some who didn’t seem to have any shortcomings, like Joseph the son of Jacob. Mostly, though, we see ordinary humans trusting in God and doing superhuman things, yet capable of great falls.

This does not mean that we can use this as an excuse. David had to repent with tears and never repeat his terrible sin. It does mean that we can hope and trust that God can use us too. The limit is how willing we are to courageously follow our faith and trust God, not the weakness of our flesh.

2 Samuel 13-14

This is the story of Absalom. The details are possibly worse than the details of David and Bathsheba!

As a note, the "200 shekels" that Absalom’s hair weighed (14:26), was about three pounds.

2 Samuel 15

Absalom pulls off a successful rebellion against his father. David, to his credit, continues to put his future in God’s hands.

Verse 7: Some Bibles say that it was 40 years before Absalom’s rebellion. This is obviously impossible, as David only reigned 40 years total. The Masoretic text, which is the Hebrew text carefully kept by the Jews during much of the first millennium A.D., has 40 years here. The texts we have in other languages, such as Syriac and Greek, say 4 years. Most modern translations know to use 4 years, no matter what the Masoretic text says, but several use 40.

One comment on Hushai, who is mentioned at the end of the chapter. He is described as the king’s friend. 1 Chronicles 27:33 makes it appear that this was his primary role in the kingdom, just to be the king’s friend!

We, too, have the opportunity to experience that role with King Jesus. In John 15:14-15, we read:

You are my friends if you do whatever I command you. From now on I do not call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, for everything that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

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