What Do Lions Do When They Take Over a Pride?
They often kill the cubs of the former lion king.
Similarly, in the ancient Near East, when a new king came to power, he would typically kill the rival family members of the former king (at least potential male rivals)(cf. 1 Ki 15:29; 16:11; 2 Ki 10:7, 11:1).1
In contrast, though Saul had tried to kill David several times (1 Sam 18:11, 24-25; 1 Samuel 19, etc.) — and Saul’s house waged war against David’s (2 Sam 2:8ff.; 2 Sam 3:1f.), after David became king of both Israel and Judah (2 Sam 5:1-5), he refused to be vengeful.
As he had spared Saul twice when he had the chance to kill him (1 Samuel 24, 26) — the second time after learning a valuable lesson from the wise Abigail — David chooses not to be vengeful but to be gracious.
In doing so, contrary to the cultural norm,2 he exemplifies “God’s kindness” (i.e., like that of the LORD).3 David spares Saul’s descendants — demonstrating lovingkindness (Hb. חֶסֶד | ḥesed) (2 Sam 9:1, 3, 7) — as he swore he would do (1 Sam 20:14-15, 42; 1 Sam 24:21-22).
- King David’s lovingkindness to Mephibosheth demonstrates his compassion.4
- Though Mephibosheth may have been expecting punishment or even death, he is shown grace (unmerited favor)
- He does not deserve it, and he identifies as a servant, but he is given a seat at the king’s table (2 Sam 9:7, 10, 11, 13) and is treated like a child of the king (2 Sam 9:11).
- Jesus Christ =prophesied Son of David (2 Sam 7:16; Is 9:6-7, 11:1, 11:10; Mt 1:1,6, 16, 17, 20; Rom 1:2-3, etc.) .
- Like Mephibosheth, we don’t deserve it but are shown grace by the Son of David
- In Christ, though we are servants, we all are treated like a child of the king (Rom 8:14, 16-17, 21; 1 Jn 3:1-2; Eph 5:1) and are offered a seat at His table (Mt 8:11, 22:1-14; Lk 22:15-30; cf. Is 25:6; Rev 3:20, 19:9).5
- Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (Jn 1:12, NIV)
- Since we’ve experienced grace, let’s show grace (cf. Good Samaritan Lk 10:25-276), exemplifying “God’s kindness”.
- To whom can we show lovingkindness?
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(This list is very similar to the bibliography from the previous lessons on 1 Samuel)
- Anderson, A. A. 2 Samuel. Vol. 11. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1989.
- Arnold, Bill T. 1 & 2 Samuel. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003.
- Baldwin, Joyce G. 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 8. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988.
- Bergen, Robert D. 1, 2 Samuel. Vol. 7. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996.
- Evans, Mary J. 1 & 2 Samuel. Edited by W. Ward Gasque, Robert L. Hubbard Jr., and Robert K. Johnston. Understanding the Bible Commentary Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2012.
- Evans, Mary J. The Message of Samuel: Personalities, Potential, Politics and Power. Edited by Alec Motyer and Derek Tidball. The Bible Speaks Today. Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2004.
- Harris, R. Laird, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, eds. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1999.
- Matthews, Victor Harold, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament. Electronic ed. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.
- Payne, David F. “1 and 2 Samuel.” In New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, edited by D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, and G. J. Wenham, 4th ed., 296–333. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994.
- VanGemeren, Willem, ed. New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997.
- Vannoy, J. Robert. Cornerstone Biblical Commentarya: 1-2 Samuel. Vol. 4. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2009.
- Walton, John H. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary (Old Testament): Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel. Vol. 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009.
- Wolf, Herbert in Burge, Gary M., and Andrew E. Hill, eds. The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2012.