2 Samuel 9: The son of Jonathon is found

Synopsis:

David asks his servants to go find and see if any of Jonathon’s family are alive. They find his son Mephibosheth, the one that was lame, is found.  David restores to Mephibosheth Saul’s land and house. He puts Ziba (Saul’s servant) in charge and has Mephibosheth live with David in his house. But everyone who lived in Ziba’s house – were servants to Mephibosheth.

In other words:

David finds Jonathon’s son and treats him like royalty.

Favorite bit:

2 Samuel 8: “And he (Mephibosheth) bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?”  I like that he has no idea why the King is being so nice to him.

2nd favorite bit:

2 Samuel 9:12 Mephibosheth has a young son. Here is a lame man who is taken in and treated like royalty – and he is even able to start his own family.

Moral Lesson Learned: 

Take care of the people you love. (2 Samuel 9)

2 Samuel 10: The Ammonites start a war

Synopsis:

The Ammon king dies and his son Hanun reigns. David sends comforters to him as the king had been kind to him. The princes of Ammon tell Hanun not to trust David. So Hanun shaves off one half of the beards of David’s servants, cuts off their garments and the waste and sends them home – half naked.  David is rightly upset by this so he sends Joab with a host of men. The children of Ammon get help from the Syrians. Joab and his brother Abishai spilt up their army. That way if the Syrians are too strong, they have a back up regiment. But Joab wins and the Syrians flee.  The Syrians regroup at Helam. So David gathered all of Israel together, crossed the Jordan and met the Syrians at Helam.  David is victorious, slew the men of 700 chariots, and 40,000 horeemen and smote Shobach the captain of this host.  The servants of Hadarezer makes peace with Israel and the Syrians refuse to help the Ammonites any more.

Favorite bit:

2 Samuel 10:4: “Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.”  He only did that to shame them. He intentionally provoked David. What happens next – is pretty much Hanun’s fault.

Pretty smart bit:

2 Samuel 10:11 “And he (Joab) said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee.” Military strategy, nice.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Don’t assume the worst. You may create the very enemy you feared. (2 Samuel 10)

2 Samuel 7: God wants a house of cedar built for himself

Synopsis:

Now that David is king and his enemies aren't attacking, he realizes that God might not be happy living in a tent. He asks Nathan the prophet what he thinks. God speaks to Nathan and says – I have traveled in this tent since we left Egypt. Why shouldn't I have a house made of cedar?  Look at all I have done for you, delivered you from Egypt, gave you judges and given you rest from your enemies.  I deserve a house. David then sat before God in the tabernacle tent, praises God, assures Him that he is a good servant and thanks him for his blessing.

In other words:

God wants a permanent house and promises David good things if he builds one for Him.

Favorite bit:

2 Samuel 7:2 – David asks a prophet for permission to build a permanent home for the Ark – and surprise – the prophet thinks it’s a great idea.

2nd favorite bit:

2 Samuel 7:20-27 – this is a lengthy sequence where David sits before the mercy seat speaking to God, thanking him for all He has done for him. Because – despite it all, this is all about David – and his kingdom.

Least favorite bit:

Most of this chapter – it consists of God bragging and then David false bragging about how blessed he is by God. (yawn)

Moral Lesson Learned:

No one wants to wander forever. Having a place to call home is important (2 Samuel 7)

2 Samuel 8: David conquers an empire

Synopsis:

David smites and subdues the Philistines and takes Metheg-ammah. Then he smote Moab and killed all the adults. He also smote Hadadezer, king of Zobah – even though the Syrians of Damascas came to Zobah’s aid, David still triumphed. David put garrisons in Damascus, Edom, Moab, Ammon, and Amalek. They were all servants to David and paid him tribute. He took all the chariots and gold and silver from Hadadezer (king of Zobah) and brought it back to Jerusalem. Then David apppointed Joab to manage the army, Jehoshaphat was the recorder, Zadok and Ahimelech were priests, Seraiah was scribe. Benaiaah was over the Cherethites and teh Pelethites and David’s sons were chief rulers.

In other words:

David conquer A LOT of areas and put his people in charge.

Favorite bit:

2 Samuel 8:5,6 – And when the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Hadadezerk king of Zobah David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men. Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts. And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went.  (I’m actually really impressed that he managed to rule Syria).

2nd favorite bit:

2 Samuel 8:4 – And David took from him (Hadadezer) a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots

Least favorite bit:

2 Samuel 8:4 – houghing is apparently cutting of the achilles tendon. So, David basically hobbled the horses so they couldn’t run or be used in warfare. Seems cruel.  Why not just kill the horses if you aren’t going to use them.

Interesting bit:

2 Samuel 8:16-18 – we are given the specific names of the people who helped manage David’s empire.

Moral lesson learned:

Good management requires good delegation (2 Samuel 8)