NextLevel Online: 2 Samuel

by Michael DeFazio

Michael DeFazio (New Testament and hermeneutics professor at Ozark Christian College) opens the book of 2 Samuel to discuss what we can learn about God and ourselves through the life and reign of David. By discovering what kind of King David will be, we can see our own need to repent from sin and receive God’s grace.

2 Samuel



Lessons

Session 1
Session 1

Approaching 2 Samuel

Session one sets the stage for our study of 2 Samuel by placing the book of 2 Samuel within its various contexts and thinking through how these help set a framework for reading it well.

Session 2
Session 2

What Kind of King? (2 Samuel 1:1-2:7)

Session two examines the opening scene of 2 Samuel in which David responds to the death of Saul, the previous (and first) king of Saul and his personal enemy. The question this text raises is what kind of king David will be, specifically in comparison to Saul. We will also reflect on how to connect David’s royal responsibilities with God’s calling on each of our lives.

Session 3
Session 3

God’s Mission and the World’s Pain (2 Samuel 2:8-4:12)

Session three examines the time when David ruled as king over a single tribe. This story focuses on the action of David’s lead general Joab, who helped him but was also often a thorn in his side. It provides an opportunity to reflect on how God’s mission engages a world that is far from ideal. We are encouraged because God’s mission does not jump over the world’s mess but rather moves through it, and we are warned not to allow the mess to creep in on us.

Session 4
Session 4

From Rise to Reign (2 Samuel 5-6)

Session four follows David’s ascent to full kingship. Ever since we met David, he was singled out to rule, but so far he has been on the way to that destiny. Now he reaches it, and we can’t help but wonder what sort of ruler he will turn out to be. This text will begin to answer that question, and along the way we get the remarkable and instructive story of Uzzah’s death.

Session 5
Session 5

David’s Dream and God’s Plan (2 Samuel 7)

Session five covers what may be the single most important chapter of 2 Samuel with respect to the overall storyline of Scripture. Here God establishes a covenant with David that will forever mark God’s dealings with Israel and humanity as a whole. We will learn about the covenantal structure of God’s mission, noting characteristics of God’s covenant(s), what is uniquely emphasized in this one, and how it all points forward to Jesus.

Session 6
Session 6

A Season of Faithfulness (2 Samuel 8-10)

Session six covers 2 Samuel 8-10, which is basically a series of victories for David and his men. We first see David faithfully leading Israel in battle and then we see his willingness to act with mercy and kindness toward potential enemies. We will learn from David’s faithfulness, but we will also notice a deeper and even more important faithfulness revealed in these accounts.

Session 7
Session 7

David’s Sin (2 Samuel 11-12)

Session seven explores one of the most famous and tragic events of David’s life. We will pay close attention to how the storyteller presents the narrative, taking care to learn as much as we can while focusing on the primary message being communicated. Perhaps the question is not whether we will fail, but how we will respond when we realize what we’ve done.

Session 8
Session 8

David’s House Unravels (2 Samuel 13-14)

Session eight follows the tragic fallout of David’s sin. On the one hand, David is restored to his place as king, but on the other hand, things will never be the same. Nathan’s prophecy about the sword not departing from his house proves true almost immediately. First Amnon rapes Tamar, then Absalom kills Amnon. Amnon in particular exposes the truth about what happens when we give into sin.

Session 9
Session 9

David and Absalom (2 Samuel 15:1-19:8)

Session nine follows the tension between David and his son Absalom, who conspired to the throne and effectively put Israel into small-scale civil war. While only God emerges as the hero in this story, we will contrast David and Absalom as kings/leaders/men. Then we will, as always, make sure our eyes stay open to the gospel.

Session 10
Session 10

The Return of the King (2 Samuel 19:9-20:26)

Session ten follows David’s movements as he returns to Jerusalem once the threat of Absalom has been moved. After tracing the movements in this final section of chronological narrative, we consider how to read the various layers of significance in these events. We note in particular how David’s “return from exile” speaks to Israel’s history as well as the mission of Christ.

Session 11
Session 11

David’s Reign in Retrospect (2 Samuel 21-24)

Session eleven examines 2 Samuel 21-24, which is something like an “epilogue” for 1-2 Samuel. This section is set off from the rest and does not represent chronological continuation of the story but rather a retrospect on David’s reign. We will look at each of the accounts, examine its literary structure, and focus in on the very center in order to hear the primary message, which is a call to Israel to center themselves on Torah meditation and obedience.

Session 12
Session 12

The Books of Samuel in Scriptural Context

Session twelve wraps up our study of 2 Samuel but looking at how both “books” of Samuel fit into their Scriptural context. We will first look back and note many of the parallels between the lives of Samuel and Moses. Then we will look ahead at where we see David in the prophets and especially the New Testament. We’ll examine many of the NT connections and reflect on how David helps us make sense of Jesus.