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Day 93 – Thru the Bible
Today we conclude Second Samuel and continue Psalms.
2 Samuel 22 & 23 – The Christian life is lived out in the real world, where sin remains a problem, where the support of others remains a necessity, and where more than all else we need God. The “epilogue” to the books of Samuel is structured in such a way as to make just these points.
Gathering its materials from various times and places in David’s life, it is framed by two accounts of royal sinners: Saul and David. In the first account, David is guilty of being inconstant in prayer (21:1, 3), and in the second (24:1–25), he is guilty of wanting to number his troops and, it seems, put confidence in his own prowess rather than in God. Inside these framing narratives are two lists of David’s supporters and their victories (21:15–22; 23:8–39).
Even here, we are not allowed to lose sight of the fact that David was a sinner—the second, longer list concludes with “Uriah the Hittite” (23:39), recalling the sad and sordid events of chapters 11–12.
But David was a sinner saved by God’s magnificent grace: this is the theme of the two poems at the center of the epilogue, poems by David, chosen to epitomize the heart of who he was. First, he was a recipient of the Lord’s “steadfast love,” the Lord promising to be a “tower of salvation” not just to David but to his descendants after him (22:51). Second, David was the recipient of an “everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure” (23:5).
The gospel is unblinkingly realistic about our sin, about our need for others, and, most importantly, about our need for God at the center of our lives. Only God can save us and give us security. Only he is a “tower of salvation.” Only He is completely “steadfast” in love. Only He offers an “everlasting covenant” in which He orders and secures our lives.
To deliver on these promises, more than a king of David’s stature was necessary. That king was the Greater Son of David, King Jesus, God the Son.
What do we know about Jesus that relates to all the promises of God? Hint: 2 Corinthians 1:20.
In the light of all that God is, our calling is to give him weight in every area of our lives and to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).
2 Samuel 24 – The book of Second Samuel closes with David building an altar to the Lord and thus averting the plague that has come on the people due to David’s sin in taking a census (here again the king is representative of and for the people of God—this time negatively, a concept less familiar to us but important for the covenant people at that time).
Thus, in a fitting conclusion, the book ends with that theme that resounds so often through the pages of the Old Testament—the ongoing need for reconciliation between God and His people. Reconciliation is needed because God’s own people—even great kings such as David—so often prove fickle and faithless. The entire Old Testament sacrificial system, with its altars and offerings, represents the ever-heightening need for restoration between God and His people.
This snowballing theme is brought to climactic fulfillment and resolution in the coming of Jesus Christ. He is the propitiation that turns away God’s wrath (Romans 3:25). He is the lamb offered as the sacrifice for the sins of the people (1 Corinthians 5:7). He is the Great High Priest who not only atones for the sins of His people but who does not need to atone for His own sins—and who intercedes for His people forever (Hebrews 7:23–28). Indeed, He is the very tabernacle and temple for the people, the place where God’s presence dwells and where the people are restored to God (John 1:14; 2:19–22).
How does all of this lead you to trust in and worship Jesus?
Psalm 93 – The Believer’s great comfort is that God is a benevolent King. As sustainer of the universe, God is all-powerful, unchangeable, and eternal. His perfect sovereignty joined with absolute goodness answers every need for His people’s sustenance (Philippians 4:19–20). Not only so, but perfect sovereignty joined to passionate love makes Him triumphant over His children’s enemies (Rev. 11:16–18). No force of nature, nations, or culture can threaten the eternal security of Believers (Romans 8:38–39).
The eternality of God’s rule pointed the Old Testament saint forward to Jesus (Hebrews 1:10–12). Calling his subjects “friends” not “servants,” Jesus in His eternal kingdom provides security, which fosters loving familiarity and freedom (John 15:15; 8:36).
“Decrees” (verse 5) could be translated “testimonies,” because God’s laws, instructions, promises, rebukes, and encouragements are all testimonies of His gracious rule. His loving promise is that life for those who submit to Him will be under the control of One who is mightier than the waters He subdued in creation (Romans 6:16).
Ultimately, God’s righteousness and might were revealed in Jesus, whom God sent with the power to resist sin and defeat Satan. The result is that, as we place our trust in Him day by day, walking by the Spirit (Galatians 5:25), we begin to live the life of love to which the law always pointed, and we experience the blessings always promised (Romans 8:3).
How have you experienced God’s blessing and how is that reflected by your life to those around you?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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