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May 16, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: 2 Chronicles 21-24
Audio: 2 Chronicles 21-24

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

2 Samuel 2 (ESV)

After this David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up.” David said, “To which shall I go up?” And he said, “To Hebron.” So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. And David brought up his men who were with him, everyone with his household, and they lived in the towns of Hebron. And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.

When they told David, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul,” David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, “May you be blessed by the Lord, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord and buried him. Now may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you. And I will do good to you because you have done this thing. Now therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant, for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”

But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim, and he made him king over Gilead and the Ashurites and Jezreel and Ephraim and Benjamin and all Israel. 10 Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.

12 Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. And they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. 14 And Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men arise and compete before us.” And Joab said, “Let them arise.” 15 Then they arose and passed over by number, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.16 And each caught his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side, so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is at Gibeon. 17 And the battle was very fierce that day. And Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David.

18 And the three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Now Asahel was as swift of foot as a wild gazelle. 19 And Asahel pursued Abner, and as he went, he turned neither to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner.20 Then Abner looked behind him and said, “Is it you, Asahel?” And he answered, “It is I.” 21 Abner said to him, “Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and seize one of the young men and take his spoil.” But Asahel would not turn aside from following him. 22 And Abner said again to Asahel, “Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I lift up my face to your brother Joab?” 23 But he refused to turn aside. Therefore Abner struck him in the stomach with the butt of his spear, so that the spear came out at his back. And he fell there and died where he was. And all who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, stood still.

24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner. And as the sun was going down they came to the hill of Ammah, which lies before Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 And the people of Benjamin gathered themselves together behind Abner and became one group and took their stand on the top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab, “Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that the end will be bitter? How long will it be before you tell your people to turn from the pursuit of their brothers?” 27 And Joab said, “As God lives, if you had not spoken, surely the men would not have given up the pursuit of their brothers until the morning.” 28 So Joab blew the trumpet, and all the men stopped and pursued Israel no more, nor did they fight anymore.

29 And Abner and his men went all that night through the Arabah. They crossed the Jordan, and marching the whole morning, they came to Mahanaim. 30 Joab returned from the pursuit of Abner. And when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing from David’s servants nineteen men besides Asahel.31 But the servants of David had struck down of Benjamin 360 of Abner’s men.32 And they took up Asahel and buried him in the tomb of his father, which was at Bethlehem. And Joab and his men marched all night, and the day broke upon them at Hebron.

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Next: 2 Samuel 3

Back: 2 Samuel 1

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. David, King of Judah

    Today's chapter marks the beginning of David's reign as king of Israel (even though Samuel anointed him king privately in 1 Samuel 16:3). Starting in Judah, he will later be anointed king over all of Israel (2 Samuel 5:3). 

    I found the following blog entry from Ligonier Ministries helpful in highlighting the significance of David's rise to the throne of Israel:

    In 1 Samuel 16, David is shown to be God’s chosen one and is anointed king by Samuel (1 Sam. 16:1, 12–13). The anointing of David anticipates the founding of the Davidic dynasty, a crucial event in redemptive history.i The anointing of David is also crucial for understanding the Old Testament concept of the Messiah (Heb. mashiah). As Dillard and Longman explain, “The Hebrew term mashiah means ‘anointed one,’ and the idea of a Messiah for Israel grows out of her ideology about a righteous king, one who would be like David.”ii Throughout the books of Samuel, the “Lord’s anointed” is a major theme (cf. 1 Sam. 16:3, 6, 12–13; 24:6; 26:9, 11, 16, 23; 2 Sam. 1:14, 16; 3:39; 19:21). The king is God’s anointed one, that is, his “messiah.” The rule of David as God’s anointed one, his “messiah,” is later used by the prophets to picture the coming eschatological king (cf. Isa. 7:14–16; 9:1–7; 11:1–16).iii The remaining chapters of 1 Samuel recount David’s rise in popularity and Saul’s repeated attempts to kill him (1 Sam. 17–31). The first book of Samuel ends with the ignominious death of Saul (1 Sam. 31:3–4).

    What a stark contrast from David inquiring of the Lord and the Lord answering him (2 Samuel 2:1) and Saul who inquired of the Lord but He was silent (1 Samuel 28:6). 

    This reminds me of the words of Jesus from Matthew 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'"

    Jesus isn't saying we are saved by good works here but rather, true faith produces the fruit of good works. This separates those who only pay God lip service from those who obey Him. Like many (most) people today, Saul "knew" the Lord but he did not follow Him.

    Does the Lord know you?

  2. Again, David shows the kind of man he is — and the kind of king he wishes to be — by blessing those who were loyal to Saul, who hated him and wanted him dead. 

    Jesus said, “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you….But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:27-28, 35-36 

    Now that is radically counter to the world! Is it any wonder God called David a “man after His own heart”? (See 1 Samuel 13:14) 

  3. I spent so many years ignoring God, living only for myself, and hurting others. You can be sure I spent absolutely zero time loving my enemies. The very concept went against eveverything I felt and thought I understood. 

    Today, I spend my time aware of my relationship with God and practicing the exact opposite of what my human nature tells me to do. I listen to the only One who truly matters, and although not always successful, I try to be more like Jesus. 

    For the first time in my life, I want so badly to understand His will, and no matter how hard it may be, I want to carry it out, because now I stop and take the time to think about and pray for the strength and courage I need to live the way He wants me to.  

    It continues to be mind-blowing to me how God performs miracles in our lives everyday, and the changes He makes in us when we surrender and ask Him to continue to sanctify us. 


    1. Before Christ, we only do what comes naturally. But in Christ, by His Spirit and His Word, we can do what comes supernaturally which first and foremost is to be able to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves (including our enemies). 

      Then we can Go and make disciples – teaching others to not only observe all that Christ commanded but to obey Him!

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