Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. How does David’s response to Nathan’s rebuke (see 2 Samuel 12:13 and Psalm 51) compare with Saul’s response in similar situations (see 1 Samuel 13:11, 12; 1 Samuel 15:13 – 26)?
2. What is God trying to teach David (and us) by the death of David’s son (verses 13b – 23)? What other redemptive purpose is ultimately accomplished by this severe mercy (verses 24, 25)?
3. What is your reaction to this story?
- I didn’t know the Bible contained soap operas
- I’m glad the Bible doesn’t sugarcoat life
- God doesn’t seem very loving
- It stirs up feelings I’ve had myself
4. How would you describe God’s response to David’s repentance?
- to be expected
- not strict enough
- other: _____________
5. Who do you relate to in this story?
- David – I’ve suffered some painful consequences for my actions
- Nathan – I’ve had to confront someone about serious issues
- David’s servants – I’ve been confused by another’s grief
- The child – Life hasn’t seemed fair to me
6. Why did David fast, weep and spend his nights lying on the ground?
- he was consumed with grief
- he was begging God for the child’s life to be spared
- he was tormented by “if only” thoughts
- he was promising not to fail God again, hoping his son would live
7. David stopped mourning when his son died because he:
- accepted the child’s death
- was exhausted after seven days of intense grieving
- realized he deserved what he got
- admitted “bargaining” didn’t work
8. If you are in the midst of a loss in your life, what lesson about grief sticks out to you from this story?
- bargaining is a normal part of grief, but don’t expect it to work
- even if bargaining isn’t so good to do, prayer and confession is
- intense grief is awful, but at least it helps you move on with life
- it’s possible to worship God even in the midst of terrible loss
9. In what ways has a lack of gratitude led you to sin, as it did David? In being reminded of all that God has done for you, how might you be kept from deliberate sin?
10. We reap not only what we sow, but also what others have sown. How are you suffering because of what your parents or previous generation did wrong? How might your children be suffering likewise? What hope do you have that the sins of one generation will not be passed to another?
11. From 1 Chronicles 3:1 – 9, 2 Samuel 3:2 – 5 and 2 Samuel 5:13 – 16, what can you tell about David’s family life? What must relations among 19 named siblings and the 7+ sets of half-brothers have been like?
12. Why do you think the lists vary in name and number between Samuel’s account and the chronicler’s?
13. Why are children of concubines named in other royal family lines but not in David’s? And why list Tamar alone of all his daughters (see 1 Chronicles 14:3 – 7)?