David Hears of Saul’s Death (2 Samuel 1:1 – 16)

Introduction to Second Samuel

First Samuel records three transitions of leadership for Israel – from Eli to Samuel, from Samuel to Saul, and from Saul to David. Second Samuel continues the historical narrative of First Samuel, where David’s youth and troublesome exile were the focus.

The first ten chapters of Second Samuel describe the rewards of obedience as King David’s rule is extended first over Judah and then over all Israel. His crimes of adultery and murder (described in chapter 11) mark the turning point of the book. After this, his life is a chronicle of trouble and misery.

As we have seen so far (and as we will continue to see), David’s life was a whirlwind. He lived a full and passionate life with dazzling victories and heart-wrenching crises. Although he was a murder and adulterer capable of cruelty, his leadership and character united and inspired a tattered country. The Bible makes no effort to hide his faults and weaknesses. And in this love for God, David held nothing back.

The book of 2nd Samuel covers a period of appx. 40 years. As we study through the text, you will notice that many events and details are also recorded in First Chronicles chapters 11 – 21.

Scripture Text:

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2 Samuel 1:1 – 16

Questions:

1. Where were you upon hearing  news of a famous person’s (JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., Kurt Cobain, Yitzhak Rabin, Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson, etc.) death? How did news of his or her death hit you?

2. Who has lived the longest in your family? Who has died most suddenly? Any for whom tough decisions had to be made about the use of life support systems to prolong life or delay death?

3. How does the Amalekite’s account of Saul’s death (verses 6 – 10) vary from the biblical author’s (see 1 Samuel 31)? Why would the Amalekite lie?

4. What does he hope to win by ingratiating himself to David?

5. Which of David’s responses (verses 11 – 15) surprise you? Why? Does he believe the Amalekite’s report or not? Why?

6. When have you fibbed to win someone’s favor? How might you be tempted to do so again?

7. Where does your attitude toward your enemies need to change? How so?

8. Where might you be grieving the death of a relationship? How is yours “good grief”?

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