Journey Through The Scriptures

David, Part III

Lesson 6: David’s Final Acts and Words

(Scripture to Read: 2 Samuel 21:1–23:39)

This study brings us face to face with an aspect of God’s nature that we often struggle with as human beings: His righteous judgment against wrong. The reason for Israel’s famine, as revealed to David, was Saul’s murder of some Gibeonites, a foreign people with whom Joshua had made a covenant of peace many years earlier (Joshua 9:15–21). This violation of the covenant is not recorded in Scripture, but one strand of Jewish tradition says that Saul had put seven Gibeonites to death, making their request for seven descendants of Saul an act of seeking justice according to the Law, which was “life for life” (Exodus 21:23).

This harsh step of justice against Saul’s family lifted the famine from Israel, and David took the extra step of burying Saul’s and Jonathan’s remains with their seven dead family members. From there David moved on to one last great victory over his old enemies, the Philistines. But the years had taken their toll on David’s fighting ability, and he had to be rescued by one of his brave warriors. David’s great song in 2 Samuel 22, which is virtually identical to Psalm 18, is a wonderful example of Israel’s poet and singer—and man after God’s own heart—at his best. And because David was a great warrior, he inspired those around him to do great things in battle. David’s “mighty men” were among the greatest warriors in all of history.

Study Questions

  1. How do we know that the judgment carried out against the family of Saul was an act of justice and not just revenge?
  2. What are some descriptive terms David used in 22:23 to describe the greatness and power of God?
  3. What was the message of praise to God David conveyed in his poem of 23:17?
  4. What is the common element of the victories attributed to David’s mighty warriors?

Something to Think About

At every stage of his life, David was careful to give God the credit and the praise for his successes. We may not be as eloquent as David, but we too can be careful to honor the Lord as His pours out His favor and blessings on us.

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