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READING: 2 Samuel 1-2 – David Mourns Saul & Jonathan and Is Made King of Judah

Second Samuel takes up where First Samuel ends. See the final two chapters of 1 Samuel to understand the beginning of 2 Samuel.

David returned to Ziklag after breaking up the Amalekite band who burned it; on the third day, a man came with news Saul and Johnathan died in the battle with the Philistines. When David asked him how he knew, the man told how he came upon Saul leaning on his spear and asking him to kill him, which he did. Remember Saul asked his armorbearer to kill him: when he declined, Saul killed himself, falling on his sword. The man’s story is false.  

When David heard this, he mourned Saul and Jonathan. He asked the man who he was and where he came from. He was an Amalekite resident alien present at the battle. He brought Saul’s golden crown to David. David asked him, “Were you not afraid to destroy the LORD’s anointed?” He ordered one of his men to kill the man. 

Then David, poet, and singer, created a song to teach all Israel, a psalm of praise of Saul and Jonathan. Here are excerpts: 

  • Your glory, Oh Israel, lies slain… Tell it not in Gath… or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice… Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely! In life and death, they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions… Jonathan lies slain upon your high places… greatly beloved were you to me… How the mighty have fallen.  

David inquired of the LORD about his next move. The LORD told him to go to Hebron in Judah. There, the people of Judah anointed David king over them.  

When David learned the men of Jabesh-Gilead had buried Saul and Jonathan. He sent a message, “May you be blessed by the LORD because you showed loyalty to Saul.” He also let them know Judah had made him king.: 

This was David’s first move in gaining the crown over all of Israel. Every move he made showed political skill until he became King of all of Israel. He did not press; he was patient. 

“Abner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ish-bosheth, son of Saul, and made him king over all Israel.” Nothing happened for two years of his reign. Then Abner came to Gibeon where David’s army and Abner’s army faced each other across the pool there. Abner said, “Let the young men arise and compete before us.” Twelve from each side faced each other, each grabbed the head of the man facing him and all twenty-four put their swords through their opponents.  

The battle was on. David and his men beat back Abner and his men. Asahel, who was a fast runner, followed Abner who tried to warn him off. Asahel would not leave Abner until Abner thrust the shaft of his spear through Asahel’s stomach and out his back. David lost nineteen men that day; Abner lost three hundred sixty. Abner had killed the brother of Joab and Abishai, sons of Zeruiah David’s sister. 

Joab held that against Abner. 

What can we learn from Joab’s mistakes? 



Lord, David was such a friend to Jonathan and admired Saul so much as God’s anointed one that he truly grieved at their deaths. Help me, my Father, to be able to grieve over the death of my enemies instead of rejoicing, is my prayer, in His Name that is Wonderful, AMEN. 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself) 

Father, my prayer for those who read this devotional is that they have David’s patience in establishing his kingdom over all Israel. He knew God was with him, so he could be patient, instead of rushing ahead. It was 7 ½ years as King in Judah before he was king over all of Israel. Teach us to be patient, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, AMEN. 

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