Study Notes

2Samuel 7:1-8:18

7:1-2 Rest On Every Side

David came to a time in his kingdom that he had rest on every side from his enemies. If you look at the life of David, you will realize how unusual this was. The majority of the time, someone was attacking from some direction.

We find that in our Christian lives, we suffer attacks as well. Be they financial, personal, spiritual, physical, or otherwise, we suffer times of being afflicted. Usually, we cry out for deliverance. We question, "Why is this happening to me? Life isn't supposed to be this difficult!" But that's not the understanding the Scripture gives us. Peter wrote,

1Pet. 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you

What he's telling us is that fiery ordeals are not strange. They are not uncommon or unusual. The strange thing is actually getting rest from your enemies for a season. Learn to recognize two things: Number one: attacks from our enemies are not God's curse on us. Number two: rest from attacks is unusual, so enjoy those times while you have them.

David's Desire To Build The Temple

David was living in his house, but the ark of God was in a tent. This seemed wrong to David. He told Nathan the prophet how he felt this was wrong. At this point, the tabernacle was over 400 years old (1Kings 6:1), but David's house was brand new. The tabernacle was covered in porpoise skins, but David's house was paneled with cedar.

I really love what this shows us about David's character here. During this time of rest and relaxation, his heart really shows through. He could have spent his time planning his next vacation, but instead, he is planning to build a house for the Lord. He could have occupied his thoughts with self-indulgence, but instead his heart is on the things of God. He could have surrounded himself with party-ers, but instead is fellowshipping with Nathan the prophet.

What kind of person are you during times of rest? Do you turn on the tube, or open the Word? Do you indulge yourself, or ask the Lord how you might serve Him? Are your thoughts centered around worldly things, or towards God?

Col. 3:1-2 If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

David's character really shines here.

7:3 Do All That Is In Your Mind

Nathan encourages David regarding his thoughts. "Yes, David, you're right. Do whatever you think is best." Now, this is the first time we've read about Nathan in the Scriptures. And while we don't know if he is new at this or not, he does make the mistake that many people new in ministry do: making spiritual-sounding decisions without first seeking the Lord.

Indeed, David's thought was noble: build a house for God. His heart was right in motivation. Many people wouldn't have prayed about it either. I myself encourage people to step out in ministry and service when their hearts are directing them. But we must always pray. No matter how righteous a cause seems, no matter how motivated a ministry it appears to be, we've got to first seek the heart of God in prayer.

Remember how the apostle Paul and Silas had set out to preach the gospel in the book of Acts.

Acts 16:6-7 And they passed through the Froog-EE-ahn and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and when they had come to Moo-SEE-ah, they were trying to go into Bee-thoo-NEE-ah, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them

Did God not want the Word spoken in Asia? Of course God wanted the Word preached there - but not by Paul and Silas. Was Jesus preventing the people of Bee-thoo-NEE-ah from being saved? Not at all - but it wasn't supposed to be Paul and Silas' ministry.

So it is easy to be convinced that a spiritual idea is God's desire. It's not always, and it wasn't in this case. David and Nathan are about to hear from the Lord regarding this.

7:4-17 God's Response To David

The Lord spoke to Nathan that night regarding David's plans. It was not for David to do.

Don't read into the Lord's words any anger. God was not angry with David - his heart was right. As Solomon later said,

1Kgs. 8:17 -18 "Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. But the LORD said to my father David, ‘Because it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart.'"

Although God had never requested a house from the people of Israel, it blessed Him that David desired to do this. He told Nathan to tell David that his offspring would build his house.

But there is so much more that God is saying. David's kingdom is going to last forever - not that David or his son Solomon will live forever, but that through the leadership of Jesus Christ, the root and son of David, this throne will be established for all eternity.

7:18-29 David's Response To God

David responds to God's message through Nathan by being in awe of God's blessings. "Who am I, that you are blessing me so abundantly?" He says,

2Sam. 7:25 "Now therefore, O LORD God, the word that Thou hast spoken concerning Thy servant and his house, confirm {it} forever, and do as Thou hast spoken,"

What a submissive heart David had! How many of us would have responded so? Imagine that you've got a dream, a vision for your life, or a big plan you want to accomplish. Then God tells you no. Most of us would kick and scream, either becoming angry at God or trying to convince Him that we know better than He. But as the Lord has told us,

Isa. 55:8-9 "...My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. For {as} the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

So, David submits himself to God. Doesn't get angry or pout, but praises the Lord, because He knows what He is doing, and he trusts that God's plans for him are better than his own.

8:1-2 David's Defeats The Philistines And Moabites

David's military victories were many. With the empowering of the Lord, he was victorious over his enemies. The Philistines were subdued, even losing their chief city - Gath (1Chron. 18:1) to David.

The Moabites were defeated as well, David having two thirds of the prisoners executed. Now, you may recall that David's great-grandmother Ruth was a Moabitess. David had also entrusted the care of his parents to the king of Moab years earlier.

1Sam. 22:3-4 And David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, "Please let my father and my mother come {and stay} with you until I know what God will do for me." Then he left them with the king of Moab; and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.

We don't have any clues in the Bible as to what may have turned the relationship between David and the Moabites around, but according to the Jewish commentators, the Midrash says that the king of Moab had put David's father and mother to death. This may or may not be true. As with all extra-Biblical histories, we need to be cautious about adding them to our understanding of the Bible.

Whether or not the king of Moab put David's parents to death, the Moabites had a sordid history. Born from the sin that Lot's daughters committed with their father (Gen. 19:30-38), the Moabites made themselves enemies of Israel by hiring Balaam to curse them, which made them enemies of the Lord. In the days of the judges, Moab's king Eg-LAWN made the Israelites subject to him. Even into Saul's reign, Moab had been an enemy of Israel. They were an idolatrous and immoral people.

8:3-8 David Defeats Hadadezer And The Arameans

2Sam. 8:3-8 Then David defeated Had-ad-EH-zer, the son of Rekh-OBE king of Tso-BAW, as he went to restore his rule at the River. And David captured from him 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers; and David hamstrung the chariot horses, but reserved {enough} of them for 100 chariots. And when the Arameans of Damascus came to help Had-ad-EH-zer, king of Tso-BAW, David killed 22,000 Arameans. Then David put garrisons among the Arameans of Damascus, and the Arameans became servants to David, bringing tribute. And the LORD helped David wherever he went. And David took the shields of gold which were carried by the servants of Had-ad-EH-zer, and brought them to Jerusalem. And from BEH-takh and from Bay-ro-THAT-ee, cities of Had-ad-EH-zer, King David took a very large amount of bronze.

When David defeated Had-ad-EH-zer, the king of Tso-BAW, he kept only enough horses for 100 chariots. Why didn't he keep all of the horses? The commandment for the king of Israel said,

Deut. 17:16-17 "...he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.' Neither shall he multiply wives for himself..."

He wasn't very successful at keeping the second part of the commandment, but obeyed the first!

When the Arameans came to help Had-ad-EH-zer, David defeated them too, and put them in subjection to Israel.

All this time, he was amassing wealth from the spoils of these victories that the Lord was giving him.

8:9-12 Dedicated To The Lord

2Sam. 8:9-12 Now when TO-ee king of Kham-AWTH heard that David had defeated all the army of Had-ad-EH-zer, TO-ee sent Yo-RAWM his son to King David to greet him and bless him, because he had fought against Had-ad-EH-zer and defeated him; for Had-ad-EH-zer had been at war with TO-ee. And Yo-RAWM brought with him articles of silver, of gold and of bronze. King David also dedicated these to the LORD, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations which he had subdued: from Ah-RAWM and Moab and the sons of Ammon and the Philistines and Amalek, and from the spoil of Had-ad-EH-zer, son of Rekh-OBE, king of Tso-BAW.

TO-ee, the king of Kham-AWTH was an enemy of Had-ad-EH-zer. When David defeated his army, TO-ee rewarded David with riches.

All of the wealth that David obtained from these wars were dedicated to the Lord. David figured, "Well, hey, if I can't build the temple, I can finance it, right?" These treasures eventually were placed in the temple.

1Kgs. 7:51 Thus all the work that King Solomon performed {in} the house of the LORD was finished. And Solomon brought in the things dedicated by his father David, the silver and the gold and the utensils, {and} he put them in the treasuries of the house of the LORD.

Once again, David's righteous heart was displayed for us. Let's ask ourselves, "If the Lord increased my wealth, to what purpose would I use it? If the Lord gave me victories, who would they benefit? Would I dedicate them to the Lord's house, for the Lord's use? Or would I increase my standard of living by getting a bigger house, a better car, etc.?"

Maybe you don't know how you would really respond to inheriting or gaining great wealth. But I can tell you very simply how you can know for sure. I know because Jesus said,

Luke 16:10 "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much."

All you have to do to know how you'd act with much is to see how you act with little. Are you faithfully tithing to the Lord with your small amount? If not, what makes you think you'll be more faithful with much? If you are, I can guarantee you that you will be faithful with the larger amount too.

8:13-18 A Name Of Justice And Righteousness

2Sam. 8:13-18 So David made a name {for himself} when he returned from killing 18,000 Arameans in the Valley of Salt. And he put garrisons in Edom. In all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became servants to David. And the LORD helped David wherever he went. So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered justice and righteousness for all his people. And Yo-AWB the son of Tser-oo-YAW {was} over the army, and Jehoshaphat the son of Akh-ee-LOOD {was} recorder. And Tsaw-DOKE the son of Akh-ee-TOOB and Ahimelech the son of Ab-yaw-THAWR {were} priests, and Ser-aw-YAW {was} secretary. And Ben-aw-YAW the son of Yeh-ho-yaw-DAW was over the Ker-ay-THEE-ites and the Pel-ay-THEE-ites; and David's sons were chief ministers.

This is one of the greatest seasons of David's life. He had been given victories from the Lord, and was proving to be a godly and faithful king. He had a name for himself, and had become infinitely wealthy. But look at how his kingdom was run: "David administered justice and righteousness for all his people."

This is the kind of leadership that truly godly men will have. Justice and righteousness. Whether it be a father in the home, a pastor in the church, a mayor in his office, or the president in the White House, a godly leader will administer justice and righteousness.

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