Introduction to 2 Samuel
The book of 2 Samuel chronicles the 40-year reign of King David. The time is about 1000 BC. It is halfway between the time of Abraham and Jesus. David was God's leader for Israel and an ancestor of the Messiah. In this book, we will see the small nation of Israel emerge to the pinnacle of its power through the leadership of a man prepared through the trials we read about in 1 Samuel. You will also see that he was a human man who struggled with family problems and his own sin, but his life did not end in tragedy because of it.
Among all the godly role models mentioned in the Bible, there is probably no one who stands out more than King David. . . David was "a man after [God's] own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14).
Life Application Bible, p.490
Get ready for the adventure!
2 Samuel 1
The running from Saul was over. Saul was dead, and David mourned over both Saul and his good friend, Jonathan.
Admit it, most of us are glad to see wicked King Saul gone. Some of us feel like the people of Munchkin City in the land of Oz who sang . . .
"Ding dong! The witch is dead!"
when Dorothy's Kansas home accidentally landed on top of her!
Yet, David mourned the death of his anointed king. Doesn't that blow you away?! How counter-intuitive. Our human nature often causes us to rejoice over the misfortunes of the people who are against us (like the "daughters of the Philistines" mentioned in 1:20 and the people of Munchkin City!). David had reason to celebrate Saul's death, yet he chose to look at the good that Saul had done rather than his wickedness. "It takes courage to lay aside hatred and hurt and to respect the positive side of another person" (Life Application Bible, p. 493). What an example for us to follow!
Is there someone who opposes you? How about changing your negative attitude toward that other person?
The best way to overcome this tendency [toward a negative attitude] is to think deliberately about aspects of others that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy (see Phil. 4:8). Paul is not saying that we should think only about the good things in others, for he clearly understood the necessity of addressing sin and encouraging repentance (Gal. 6:1-2; Col. 3:16). Rather Paul is teaching us to counterbalance our natural tendency to focus only on what is bad about those who oppose us.
(The Peacemaker by Ken Sande, p. 87-88)I applied this principle of peacemaking in the situation that I told you about in the post for 1 Samuel 17. I did it by writing out all the things that were true, noble, right, pure, lovely, etc. about her. I found sinful attitudes toward her that I confessed and that opened up a door that eventually led to our reconciliation.
I encourage you to do this exercise whenever you tend to dwell only on the negative tendencies in others. I also encourage you to read The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict. It is a "must read" for every follower of Jesus!
Lord, help us to be courageous like David and not settle into the pattern of "dissing" those who are opposed to us. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.