In First Samuel we have an account of the failure of Israel spiritually under Eli, and politically under Saul. Second Samuel presents a brighter picture for therein we read of the restoration of order through the enthroning of Godís king, David. We also get from the same book the record of the establishment of Israelís political center in Jerusalem, and her religious center in Zion. When all was thus ordered, the great Davidic Covenant was established by God, Ch.7:25-29, out of which all kingdom truth is henceforth developed.
The book has four main divisions
1. Chs. 1 to 2:7. From the death of Saul to the anointing of David in Hebron as king over Judah.
2. Chs. 2:8 to 5:5. From the anointing in Hebron to the establishment of David over United Israel.
3. Chs. 5:6 to Ch. 14. From the conquest of Jerusalem to the rebellion of Absalom.
4. Chs. 15 to 24. From the rebellion of Absalom to the purchase of the temple site.
FROM THE DEATH OF SAUL TO THE ANOINTING OF DAVID IN HEBRON.
When David heard of the death of Saul and Jonathan he grieved very much. We are told in Ch.1:18, that he bade those in authority to teach the children of Judah the use of the bow, for much havoc was being wrought by their enemies by the long distance shooting of the archers.
David remembered his call of God to the throne. He had waited patiently for God to work for him, and now that Saul was dead he prayed and was led of the Lord to go to Hebron, a city of Judah, Ch.2:1. The men of those parts came to David and anointed him king over the house of Judah.
FROM THE ANOINTING IN HEBRON TO THE ENTHRONING OF DAVID OVER UNITED ISRAEL.
An attempt was made by Abner, captain of Saulís army, to make Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, king over Israel. Civil war broke out which lasted a long time, Ch.3:1. On a certain day, Abner had a quarrel with Ish-bosheth and turned from him in favor of David. The two made a covenant and Abner went peacefully toward his house. Joab, the head of Davidís army, called Abner back, unbeknown to David, and cruelly murdered him. This grieved the king very much and he showed his nobility of character by following the body of Abner to the grave, Ch. 3:17-21, 27-32. Ish-besheth was afterwards murdered by two captains of his army who brought the good news to David, but forfeited their lives for their black deed, Ch. 4:5-12. Following these sad incidents of the civil war, the people of Israel made David king over the united nation. His reign lasted forty years, seven years and six months over Judah and thirty-three years over Israel and Judah combined, Ch. 5:1-5.
FROM THE CONQUEST OF JERUSALEM TO THE REBELLION OF ABSALOM.
After king David was established on the throne of all Israel he took Jerusalem from the Jebusites and made it his own headquarters. Thus the city became the political capital of the nation, Ch.5:6-9. The Ark had been kept in the house of Abindadab for about twenty years, see I Sam. 7:1-2. Now that David was established in his kingdom he attempted to remove the Ark to his own city. By disregarding the strict rules governing the transport of same, Uzzah, the son of Abinadab lost his life as he steadied the Ark when it was shaken on the ox cart, Ch.6:6-7. Someone has said the incident is a striking illustration of the spiritual truth that blessing does not follow even the best intentions in the service of God, except as that service is rendered in Godís way. The Ark should have been carried by the sons of Kohath of the tribe of Levi, Num. 4:1-15. David became fearful and had the Ark placed temporarily in the house of Obed-edom. During its three months stay there God greatly blessed that household, showing thereby His desire to help His people if they would only walk in the right way. This time the Levites bare it, I Chronicles 15:26, and same was brought with great rejoicing to a tabernacle in the city of David, specially prepared for it by the king, v.7. Thus Zion was made the religious headquarters of the people.
In Ch. 7, we have a remarkable prophecy in which God promised King David an everlasting house or dynasty, v.11. It is important in that the birth of Christ, the Son of David is its fulfillment, in which the throne is established forever. David blessed God for his kindness and boldly claimed the promise, vs.25-29, and thus we have the first mention of the Davidic Covenant.
God greatly blessed David until his kingdom was one of the first and strongest of his day. Out of the kindness of his heart and for Jonathanís sake, he called for Mephibosheth, Jonathanís son, who was cripple in both his feet, and gave him a home with himself and the best of care, Ch.9.
The sin of David against Bath-sheba and her husband Uriah, who was unfairly exposed in war and allowed to be killed, is the one dark blot in Davidís history, Ch.11. God faithfully gives a true picture of His people, but never fails to love with an everlasting love. Because of his sin, God judged David and took by death his infant son who was born of Bath-sheba, Ch.12:22-23. Domestic troubles broke out in Davidís household. Ammon, his son, was killed by Absalom. another son and the latter fled the country and was away three years. Later he was restored to favor through the mediation of Joab, Ch.14, but proved to be a real thorn in the side of David.
FROM THE REBELLION OF ABSALOM TO THE PURCHASE OF THE TEMPLE SITE.
Absalom in an underhanded way, turned the hearts of the people from King David to himself, Ch.15:2-6. Finally he organized a rebellion and sought to take the throne, vs.7-12. David wisely retired from Jerusalem to spare the city from siege, and humbled himself before God that His will alone be done, vs.25-26. In Ch. 16:5-10, we read of Shimei cursing David who took it all meekly, and restrained one of his strong men from retaliating. What a lesson for us today. Absalom was finally defeated and slain by Joab, Ch. 18:14. The death of his favorite son grieved David but Joab rebuked him for caring less for the people than he did for his wayward son, Ch. 19:6-7. A man named Sheba led a revolt and sought to divide the kingdom. It was soon quelled and peace was restored one more, Ch. 20:22.
In Ch. 22, we have a song of praise composed by David in which he recalls all the goodness and mercy God had shown him, and in v.51, he declares that the Lord is a tower of salvation. In Ch. 23, reference is made to Davidís mighty men. They had complained with him in his humiliation, and had learned through hard knocks to become great fighters. Honorable mention is given to some, for their deeds were useful as well as outstanding in their accomplishment. Of one man, it is said that he stood alone in a field of lentils and defended it from the Philistines, whom he slew, even though the rest of the people forsook him and fled, vs. 11-12. How like some faithful souls of today who withstand the devil and protect the church that there might be spiritual food for Godís people.
In the closing chapter we have an account of how David in pride of heart called for a numbering of the people. The census showed that with Israel and Judah combined thee were over a million men trained for war, Ch. 24:9. God was displeased with this act of David and plague sent to their graves seventy thousand of those same fighting men, v.15. After David humbled himself and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord, the plague was stayed and the rest of the people spared. It never pays to glory in the flesh for the saying that ďpride goeth before a fallĒ is always true, and some suffer through the pride of life that would otherwise be spared. David purchased the pot where he made his sacrifice unto God, and it later became the site on which the temple of Solomon was built.