2 Samuel

Lesson 22 Samuel 2:8 - 4:12

War, intrigue, family relationships, and ethics all play a key part in this week’s lesson. Our study of 2 Samuel continues as we again look at how David, and others, interacted in concert with God’s plan for anointing David king over a united Israel.

As you will recall from last week, Saul was killed in battle, and David has been anointed as King over Judah – one of the 12 tribes. Now, we will examine the intrigue and subterfuge that envelopes the next two years, as people struggle for power and position on Saul’s vacated throne. Throw in a tale of revenge, a couple of good battles, and a lot of relatives – and you have the background for this week’s lesson, as we look at what David teaches us about being a person of integrity.


For this week’s lesson, you will first need to read 2 Samuel 2:8 all the way through to 2 Samuel 4:12. It’s really a very interesting story, and it won’t take you long to read through it. As you go through it, make some notes on who the primary characters are, and their relationship to either David’s Throne – or Saul’s vacated one.

Read 2 Samuel 2:8 - 4:12 and answer the following:

  1. Who anointed David king over the tribe of Judah (2:4), who put Ish-Bosheth in power? (2:9)
  2. Can you see a difference in motivation between Abner and David already?
  3. Abner clearly wanted his own man to be on the throne so that he, Abner, could keep the remaining tribes from David’s rule and thus could have much influence (see 3:6) – he was selfish. Did he know that David was intended to rule over a united kingdom, and that David was appointed by God to do so? (see 3:9-10)
  4. We know from verse 3:6 that Abner had, for a long time, been scheming to get into a position of power and influence. What was his reaction to Ish-Bosheth, the man he had put on the throne, when Ish-Bosheth accused HIM of doing something unethical? (3:8-11)
  5. From our reading about Abner, what are some of the observations that we can make about his character, his walk with God, and his interactions with others around him?
  6. Abner was the leader of Saul’s army. Who was the leader of David’s army? (2:13)
  7. What happened on the battlefield to one of Joab’s brothers, and how did Joab react?
  8. How much time elapsed between the time that Abner positioned Ish-Bosheth on the throne and Joab’s murder of Ish-Bosheth? (2:10) Do you think this is an unusually long time for someone to harbor anger and seek revenge?
  9. What can you see about the integrity of Baanah and Recab and their part in Ish-Bosheth’s death? (4:1-8) What was their motivation?
  10. In all these things, the tribe of Judah saw David’s reactions and behavior. As he ruled and waited for the day when he would be king over all of Israel, he acted as he had before Saul’s death – with complete integrity. What was the reaction of the tribe of Judah to David’s behavior? (3:36)
  11. Contrast the reaction of David’s people, the tribe of Judah, to his behavior, with the reaction of the tribe of Israel to Ish-Bosheth’s behavior (4:1). What are the differences, and what does this teach us about our leaders and their affect on a nation or people?

The fundamental truths we see from this lesson are that (a) not everyone acts with integrity – even though on the surface it may appear so, (b) that actions bring consequences, and (c) that people around us are watching our behavior in order to see how we act and react in any given situation.

In the end, the righteous person should always seek out the high moral ground in every situation and not be drawn into, or lead by, selfish motivations. God calls all of us to be Davids – to conduct our lives each day in a way that honors him and brings glory to his name.

My prayer this week is that each of us will examine our own motivations, and commit ourselves to honor God in all that we do.

Have a great week everyone!

Yours in Christ,


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