2 Samuel 8-10
(Promises Fulfilled)
April 2nd

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”

- 1 Samuel 9:7 (NIV)

Summary of Chapters

We read in previous chapters that David, son of Jesse, had succeeded Saul to become the second king of the nation of Israel. In today's chapters we read how David and his army conquered all the surrounding kingdoms, fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham that had been recorded in Genesis. We are reminded that it was the LORD that gave David these victories:

    The LORD gave David victory wherever he went – 2 Samuel 8:5 (NIV)
    The LORD gave David victory wherever he went – 2 Samuel 8:14 (NIV)

The Moabs that David defeated were descendants of Lot, the nephew of Abraham, who narrowly escaped Sodom. The Edomites were descendants of Esau, the older twin brother of Jacob. Jacob grasped his heel at birth and their descendants continued to grasp at each other for generations.

David sent a friendly entourage to the Ammonites on a peace mission, but the new king there disrespected them by cutting their beards and slicing their clothes so that they were exposed. The cutting of beards was a serious form of disrespect, because the beard was a sign of manhood. Therefore, David allowed his ambassadors a respite to re-grow their beards after the childish act of the Ammonites, as described in chapter 10.

God had fulfilled his promise to Abraham by giving David victories that led to the acquisition of the remaining areas of the Promised Land. David fulfilled his promise to his best friend Jonathan by caring for his son Mephibosheth and treating him like one of his own. There was peace in Israel.

Reflection and Application

The 2nd book of Samuel is a focal point in the entire Bible. In today’s chapters we see that God fulfilled a promise made to Abraham in Genesis. God had promised a wide area of land, but he granted it to the Israelites one piece at a time. In addition, in this book we notice a new promise from the LORD – the future arrival of a Messiah through the lineage of David. There was a subtle mention of this prophesy in chapter 7 and another one coming up in chapter 23.

Was David a real person? If we have faith, we believe he was real because he is a central figure in the Bible. If we have doubts, we can pray for greater faith. We can also look at the work of archeologists who search for ruins in Israel and painstakingly sort through the debris. For example, the discovery of ancient olive pits or the absence of pig bones in a Bronze Age garbage pit are signs of early Israelite settlements in the land God promised to Abraham.

Eilat Mazar is an archeologist who believes she has found the ruins of David’s castle that was described in 2 Samuel. An article in the December 2010 issue of National Geographics magazine describes why she believes she has found the actual foundations of this building. The article also points out a discovery in 1993 of an artifact that provided the first archeological evidence that David existed. It was a a stone slab used for commemoration or decoration, known as a stela, which said “House of David." This stela was estimated to have been carved in the 9th century B.C. (1).”

Thus we have evidence that David existed. But, of course, not all archeologists are in agreement. So that leaves us with faith. Or doubt.

"Change this Heart," performed by Sidewalk Prophets

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What is the oldest artifact that you have ever found?
    2. How do we figure out which victories should be attributed to God?
    3. What are your biggest doubts about what you have read so far?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, you are the origination point of all victories, but we confess that we don't always acknowledge your sovereignty. Help us overcome our doubts and accept by faith your everlasting presence and power.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns


    (1) Draper, Robert, “Kings of Controversy,” National Geographic, December 2010, p.73

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: 2 Samuel 11-13 (David’s Big Mistake)

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