Welcome to my Proverbs 31 friends visiting from Encouragement for Today. I am so thankful you stopped by. We are in the last week of The Heart of a Mighty Warrior, an on-line Bible study on the life of David. Please take a few minutes to listen to the video below. It ties in perfectly with the devotion because it shares Truths, powerful truths from God Himself, about the significance of walking in obedience to His Word and the blessings that abundantly flow when we do!
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Now on to the homework. Congratulations, my sweet sisters in Christ. Today is a day for celebration! You have spent the last six weeks journeying through one of the most beautiful yet most painful stories in all of Scripture. Thank you for your hard work and discipline to walk this journey. My prayer is that your hearts have been forever changed because of the time we have spent together in God’s Word.
We have one last set of questions below covering the last days of David’s life. We will meet here again one more time next week. I am truly sad our study is at an end. You have been the most wonderful big “small” group ever!! I am praying about what our next study will be.
Registration: We are nearly finished with our David study. If you have not officially registered for this study but are interested in any further on-line studies we do, please register now. It will ensure that you receive future e-mails about new studies, giveaways, and other good stuff. Register by leaving your first name and e-mail address in a comment on my blog, e-mailing me at email@example.com, or sending me a message on Facebook . I will never share your personal information.
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This Week’s Memory Verse: …acknowledge the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. 1 Chronicles 28:9
Homework Questions: Please do as many questions as time allows. It is in your reading and studying that God will do His greatest work.
Father, thank You for revealing powerful Truths, sometimes very hard Truths, each and every week. Be with me this week as I end my study. Father, give me an abundance of Your wisdom and knowledge, give me discernment to find the treasures hidden in these last chapters. I started this study wondering what You meant when You said David was “a man after Your own heart.”
Week after week, You have given me glimpses and windows into David’s heart. I have seen David at his best and at his worst. Help me to learn from both. When I step out of line due to sin and disobedience, humble my heart and ready me to receive Your discipline. Give me the strength to endure the consequences.
Father, breathe fresh wind and fresh fire into my dry and parched heart. Fill me with the fullness of Your Spirit. Empower me to live out what I have learned. Give me insight so I can do all that You call me to do. I desire for my life to be one long, obedient response to Your call. Let Your love and Your Word shape my life. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today is a tragic day in the life of David. These last few weeks of reading have been difficult and painful as we have watched his family disintegrate before our very eyes. As we near the end of our study, let us remember that God placed David’s life in Scripture to teach us. So although we are sometimes shocked, saddened, disappointed, even disgusted by what has gone on, God has a purpose for it. He desires us to take the story of David’s life and allow it to teach us and transform us so that we will have a heart like his.
1. Read 2 Samuel 18:1-18. David’s men did not want him to lead them into battle, so he stayed behind.
a. What specific instructions did David give to Joab, Abishai, and Ittai in verse 5?
b. What happened to Absalom?
c. When Joab asked the soldier why he did not kill Absalom, what did he say?
d. Read verses 14-17. What did Joab do next?
e. Why do you think Joab killed Absalom in direct disobedience to David’s order?
What comes to mind as we come to the tragic end of Absalom’s life is how different it could have been had he responded appropriately and chosen differently after Amnon raped his sister. He had the choice to respond in wisdom and forgiveness or in hate and unforgiveness. He chose the latter. And that is why we end up where we are today.
2. Read 2 Samuel 18:19-33.
a. Where did David go when he learned his son was dead?
b. What did he do and what did he say?
The intensity of David’s grief is apparent in his words, “O, my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you – O Absalom, my son, my son.” David found himself with two sons dead as a consequence of his one stolen moment of self-indulgent sin.
Read 2 Samuel 20:1-26.
The fighting between the Israelites and the Judeans was heating up. In this chapter we meet Sheba. He led a revolt against David. David knew he had to stop Sheba, so he sent Amasa, who had replaced Joab as David’s new commander, to do the job. In the process of this battle, Joab committed a terrible crime. What makes this crime even worse is that Joab and Amasa were in fact cousins (sons of two of David’s half sisters)
3. What did Joab do and why? (see 2 Samuel 19:13)
We see again Nathan’s prophecy in 2 Samuel 12:10 coming true, “The sword will never depart from your house.”
There are still a few chapters left in David’s life, and we do not have time to cover them all. Let’s jump ahead to 2 Samuel 24.
Read 2 Samuel 24.
Chapter 24 relays a story that I personally struggle to understand. It is believed this event happened late in David’s reign, during his most prosperous and successful period. It begins with these words, “The anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He incited David against them, saying, ‘go and take a census of Israel and Judah.’”
There is a parallel account of this story in 1 Chronicles 21:1. It says, “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.”
There have been other times in Scripture where God allows Satan to work in the lives of His children to accomplish His ultimate purposes. If you would like more understanding of this truth, please read Job 1:6-12, 2:1-6 and reread 1 Samuel 16:14 (about Saul).
What I want to make clear is that God did not incite David to do evil. He allowed Satan to provoke David to number his people.
4. Read James 1:13. What does it say? How does it shed light here?
Scholars believe that because David counted only the fighting men, he was trying to determine his military strength, and herein lay his sin. It was the sin of pride. Friends, Scripture clearly teaches that sometimes God allows us to be tempted to test us, to train us, to prune us, or to grow us.
First Corinthians 10:13, tells us
“…And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
David ordered Joab and his men to take the census. Joab knew this was contrary to what God wanted and offered David a way out. But David did not take it, so Joab obeyed, took the census, and brought the numbers back to David.
5. As soon as David received the report, what happened in 2 Samuel 24:10 and 1 Chronicles 21:8?
6. Can you believe God gives David a multiple choice question for his punishment? It is the only time we see this in Scripture. What did David choose?
7. What were David’s words to God in verse 17?
8. What happened when the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem?
9. Read 2 Samuel 24:18-24. Do you think David’s offering had anything to do with God’s action in verse 16?
Why did 70,000 have to die? Remember, the first verse of this chapter also said that God’s anger burned against the Israelites. Most likely Israel was living in disobedience to God and His law. Deuteronomy Chapter 28 warned Israel what would happen as a direct result of their disobedience. So although we do not know exactly what Israel did, we can be assured this punishment was consistent with what God promised would happen in the event of disobedience in Deuteronomy 28.
Now let’s travel back to 2 Samuel Chapter 22 and read how David celebrates God as his Deliverer.
10. Read Chapter 22. This is a beautiful memorial written by David to honor His God.
a. As you read, pay attention to the words David used to describe God and share them below.
b. Please take a few moments today and write your own memorial. Share times in your life where you have seen God at work…where He has rescued you…where He has disciplined you, blessed you, spoken to you, and/or used you.
Now we come to the end of David’s life. David decides he wants to build a permanent place of worship. But earlier in his life, God told David that it was not him that was to build the structure, it was Solomon.
11. Read 1 Chronicles 22:5-19. What did David say and do in these verses?
In First Chronicles Chapters 23 through 27, David organized his kingdom for his successor….the army, the government, and the priesthood. In chapter 28 and 29, he designed the architectural plans for God’s Temple.
12. In 1 Chronicles 28:5-6, who chose Solomon as king?
13. Read 1 Chronicles 28:8-10, 12. What charge does David give Solomon? Who gave David the plans for the Temple?
14. How can you apply this charge in your own life and in your own family?
First Chronicles 29:10-20 is another beautiful outpouring of David’s heart.
15. Read 1 Chronicles 29:10-20. What do David’s words reveal about his heart at the end of his life?
a. What does David pray for his son in verse 19?
b. In your own words, what does it mean to have “wholehearted” devotion to God? How can we achieve this?
16. Read verses 21-25. What happened the next day?
We end our time together with David’s death. Yes, it is a sad day, but how wonderful to read verses 21 through 25 and see how David’s life ended…with people praising and celebrating…with people loving and accepting his son as king…with people pledging their submission to him. Listen to these words,
“The Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him royal splendor such as no king over Israel ever had before.”
David’s life ended well.
17. Read Psalm 71:14-24. Does this psalm accurately reflect David’s life?
18. Read Psalm 78:70-72. Write verse 72 below.
David served God well. He shepherded God’s flock. He lived his life to the glory of God. 1 Kings 2:10 says of the end,
“Then David rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David.”
Life went on in Israel. But it was forever changed by God’s anointed one, the “man after God’s own heart.”