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April 2 Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 1-3
2 Samuel 17-26
The book of 2nd Samuel covers a period of about forty years, covering the entire reign of David as king over God’s chosen nation. David was, throughout his life, an eminent type of our dear Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Here God the Holy Spirit gives us the details of David’s life, his character, and his rule over Israel, because he would have us to see our Savior in this man. It is the office and pleasure of God the Holy Spirit to take the things of Christ and show them to his people. So as we read David’s history, let us look for David’s Lord. May God give us “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him,” giving us a seeing eye, a hearing ear, and an understanding heart, that this portion of God’s Holy Word may come to our hearts in power and in much assurance of faith, by the blessing of his Holy Spirit.
When we read David’s lamentation over Saul, we are given a marvelous display of God’s grace manifest in a believer. Grace enables the believer to overcome natural enmity and even to reward evil with good. O Holy Spirit of God, give me such grace! For the glory of Christ and the good of your church and kingdom, I ask, my God, for grace to forgive any wrong done to me and to do good to those who injure me, or would injure me. Give me grace never to avenge myself.
This I know: Nothing but the grace of God can accomplish this in us. Nothing but the grace of God can enable us to cast aside the jealousies of life.
As Saul and Jonathan died, so too must you and I. Are you prepared to die? Can you this day look death in the face with comfort? Until we know Christ, until we are truly and savingly united to the Son of God by faith, we cannot think of death with comfort or meet it with fortitude. It is the death of Christ that overcame death for his people. His blood has removed its sting. His victory over death, hell, and the grave is the everlasting consolation of his people. By his death as our Substitute, the Son of God has destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil. He is able to “deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-16).
What a blessing of God and his rich grace in Christ it is to think of dying with peace and joy! With my iniquity pardoned, with my transgressions forgiven, with my sin put away by my Redeemer, death has no terror for my soul, and the grave causes no alarm.
Saul and Ishbosheth
In the second chapter we see that Saul was dead; but Ishbosheth his son was alive to harass and oppose David. So it ever is with God’s saints in this world of sin and sorrow. When we are delivered from one trial another follows. We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Though David was chosen by God himself to be king, he must go through many conflicts and much sorrow before obtaining the kingdom. So it shall and must be for you and for me, child of God. Our Savior has told us plainly, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen ye out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” So it shall be because God our Father has so ordained it in infinite wisdom and goodness to our souls. But soon all our Ishbosheths shall also perish. And our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, shall make heaven more glorious than it could otherwise be!
But I cannot fail to call your attention and my own to another thing in this regard. When David went up to Hebron, he brought everything with him. He left nothing behind. O my soul, rejoice! Our great David, the Lord Jesus Christ, our King, who has gone up to the Hebron of Hebrons, the heaven of heavens, will leave nothing of his household here below! He has declared, “there shall not an hoof be left behind” (Exodus 10:26).
Depravity and Grace
The 3rd chapter of 2nd Samuel is all treachery, deceit, and evil. It shows us what the heart of man is. Your heart and mine is, by nature, but a mass of treachery! How sad the state of man is since the fall of our father Adam! How I thank God for the one word of grace, the one glimmer of hope in this chapter. We read in verse one that “David waxed stronger and stronger.” Blessed Savior, in the light of our iniquity, transgression, and sin, you and your work of redemption and grace to remove our sin and guilt and undo our ruin is prized by our ransomed souls. Our great David shall manifestly wax stronger and stronger, until he has at last put all his enemies and ours beneath his feet!