Somethings Christians Can Learn from David 

Second Samuel 20–21

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 5, In the year of our Lord, 2015

Scripture Reader and Reading: Michael Crisp – Acts 13.16–23


  1. Jesus once said,

    13a “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice’” (Matt 9.13a).

    1. Do you think that Jesus meant,
    2. we can and only should go to Hosea 6.6
      1. to learn its meaning, but
      2. that the rest of the Hebrew Bible we can ignore?
  2. As Paul wrote what we call Romans 4, he declared,

    22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24a but also for us (Rom 4.22–24a).

    1. Do you think that Paul meant,
    2. we can and only should go to Genesis 15.6
      1. to learn its meaning, but
      2. that the rest of the Hebrew Bible we can ignore?
  3. How about what Paul wrote about the wilderness wanderings,

    6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.

    11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come (1Co 10.6, 11).

    1. Do you think that Paul meant,
    2. we can and only should go to Exodus through Deuteronomy
      1. to learn its meaning, but
      2. that the rest of the Hebrew Bible we can ignore?
  4. Truly, after quoting Psalm 69.9, Paul revealed,

    4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope (Rom 15.4).

    1. Paul painted with a broad brush and
    2. taught us that we need to know the entire Old Testament, and
      1. that would include the life of David,
      2. whom the New Testament mentions by name 59 times!
  5. Therefore, open your Bibles with to Second Samuel 20


  1. Second Samuel 20.1–2 – The Thinking of a Rebel 
    1. Sheba, of the tribe of Benjamin, began a rebellion by disavowing David.
      1. Everyone followed Sheba,
      2. except the men of Judah.
    2. The Bible does not tell us what prompted Sheba’s rebellion, because
      1. it did not matter.
      2. Yes, this was part of David’s punishment for adultery and murder, and
        1. yes, the eleven tribes had a strong disagreement with Judah
        2. at the end of chapter 19, but
          1. Sheba, and those joining him, rebelled against
          2. a man who served God and the people.
  2. Second Samuel 20.3 – The Ten Concubines 
    1. When David arrived in Jerusalem,
    2. he took the ten concubines with whom Absalom had lain, and
      1. put them in seclusion, but
      2. he supported them, though he did not go into them.
  3. Second Samuel 20.4–10 – The Danger of Delay 
    1. David commanded Amasa,
      1. the new commander of the army in place of Joab,
      2. to assemble the men of Judah within three days.
    2. However, Amasa took longer to do it.
      1. Therefore, David commanded Abishai to pursue Sheba;
      2. Joab and his men joined in the pursuit.
    3. They met up with Amasa, and
      1. Joab greeted him with a sword in the stomach,
      2. cutting him bad enough that his entrails poured out on the ground.
  4. Second Samuel 20.11–15 – Following Joab Does Not Equal Following David 
    1. Then one of Joab’s soldiers stood by the body of Amasa and said,
      1. that whoever favored Joab, and
      2. that whoever is for David,
        1. to follow Joab.
        2. Yet, David did not favor the bloodthirsty Joab.
    2. Mean while, Amasa wallowed in his blood,
      1. so they moved his body and covered it.
      2. Then the pursuit of Sheba continued.
    3. They chased him, after Israel forsook him, to Abel of Beth Maachah.
      1. Joab and his men attacked the city,
      2. building a siege mound and battering the wall.
  5. Second Samuel 20.16–22 – Listen to Wise Women 
    1. However, a wise woman cried out to Joab,
      1. asking why he was attacking a peaceful and faithful city in Israel.
      2. Truly, it was a city known for settling disputes.
    2. Joab replied that he had no intention of destroying such a city, but
      1. he wanted Sheba, who had taken refuge in the city.
      2. If she delivered Sheba to Joab, he would leave.
    3. She told him to look and
      1. the people of the city would throw Sheba’s head over the wall.
      2. She spoke to the people of her city, and
        1. they beheaded Sheba, threw his head over the wall, and
        2. Joab and his army returned to Jerusalem.
  6. Second Samuel 20.23–26 – The Administration of David 
    1. Some scholars believe that David did not have a sophisticated kingdom.
    2. However, it seemed well-organized to me!
      1. He had a commander of the army.
      2. He had a leader over the mighty men, Cherethites and Pelethites.
      3. He had a man in charge of revenue.
      4. He had a man who recorded everything.
      5. He had a personal scribe.
      6. Two priests served the kingdom.
      7. He had a chief minister, because he had many ministers.
  7. Second Samuel 21.1–14 – Why Is the Land Suffering? 
    1. When Shimei cursed David for spilling the blood of the house of Saul,
      1. I said that Shimei was wrong,
      2. that David had not spilled the blood of Saul or any of his descendants, but
        1. I was misinformed.
        2. I know of this incident, but I had forgotten about it.
    2. A three-year famine occurred during the days of David.
      1. After three years, David thought to inquire of the Lord, and
      2. He told David that it was for the bloodthirsty house of Saul
        1. when he killed the Gibeonites,
        2. whom Joshua and the elders had promised to protect.
    3. David went to the Gibeonites to ask them what they wanted done.
      1. They did not want silver or gold.
      2. They did not want the lives of the rest of Israel taken.
        1. David assured them that he would do whatever they wanted.
        2. They wanted seven male descendants of Saul’s,
          1. whom they would hang.
          2. David gave them seven men of Saul,
            1. including the five sons of Michal his wife,
            2. whom she bore to another man when she left David.
      3. However, David spared Mephibosheth, whom David promised to protect.
  8. Second Samuel 21.15–17 – Time for David to Move On 
    1. On another occasion the Philistines were at war again with Israel.
    2. David and his men went down and fought the Philistines, but
      1. David became faint.
      2. A son of Goliath saw an opportunity to kill the man who killed his dad.
        1. David’s nephew, Abishai, Joab’s brother,
        2. helped David and killed Goliath’s son.
    3. Loving David and knowing of his value to the kingdom,
      1. the men of Israel told him,
      2. that he was not to go out into battle again, for
        1. if he died in battle,
        2. he would quench the lamp of Israel.
  9. Second Samuel 21.18–22 – David’s Family Versus Goliath’s Family 
    1. Then the rest of Goliath’s sons fell to someone in David’s family.
    2. David killed Goliath, and
      1. David’s men killed
      2. the four sons of Goliath.


  1. Do Not Delay 
    1. You may be replaced.
    2. The Bible does not say why Amasa delayed.
      1. We could offer up a number of explanations.
      2. However, he was not there when he should have been.
    3. I have thought the same thing about Thomas.
      1. On one occasion after Jesus had raised Himself from the dead,
      2. Jesus appeared to the apostles, but
        1. Thomas was not present (John 20.24).
        2. Where was Thomas?
          1. It does not matter why he was not there.
          2. He missed seeing the Lord.
    4. Ecclesiastes 10 gives this instruction,

      4 If the spirit of the ruler rises against you,
      Do not leave your post;
      For conciliation pacifies great offenses.
      (Ecc 10.4)

      1. Whatever your job is,
      2. do not fail to fulfillment it,
        1. even if the one over you
        2. becomes angry for some reason.
  2. Learn from the Wise Woman How to Talk to People 
    1. We think that we are here to make demands of people, or
    2. that the way to get things done
      1. is to force people into doing what we want.
      2. Is that the way of the Spirit?

        3.13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. 4.1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures (Jam 3.13–4.3).
  3. Has Anyone Inquired of the Lord Concerning our Drought and Heat? 
    1. It took three years before David did.
    2. Would you please inquire of the Manager of the Earth
      1. why our land is so dry in the West, more so than normal, and
      2. why we are having severe heat lasting for many days?
    3. Then be willing to do whatever it takes
      1. to remedy the situation,
      2. however unpleasant it might be.
    4. Romans 8, along with Second Samuel 21 and many other passages, shows
      1. that the behavior of man
      2. affects the conditions of the Earth,

        19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now (Rom 8.19–22).
  4. Know When to Move On 
    1. David got old enough that he grew faint in battle.
      1. He just could not do
      2. what he once was so able to do.
    2. Therefore, his men did not want him in battle anymore, because
      1. if he died,
      2. the affects on Israel would be catastrophic.
    3. That did not mean David no longer had a use in Israel.
      1. It did not mean he could not do other things, but
      2. he was not in his teens, 20s, 30s, or 40s anymore.
    4. He could now serve Israel better in other ways.
      1. He still had a great service to lend to Israel.
      2. He would continue to serve the nation until the day he died.
  5. Do Not Fear Giants 
    1. We hear much about David and Goliath, but
    2. the Bible shows us the family of David versus the family of Goliath, and
      1. the family of David won all the battles.
      2. Size meant nothing to the family of faith,

        47 “Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s…” (1Sa 17.47).

        6 Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “…nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few” (1Sa 14.6).

        11 And Asa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, “Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!” (2Ch 14.11).

        6 So he answered and said to me:
        “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:
        ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,‘
        Says the Lord of hosts.

        10 For who has despised the day of small things?”
        (Zec 4.6, 10)

  6. Follow the son of David, and 
    1. you shall be even more successful than David and his men.
    2. Follow Jesus and you shall overcome the world.