David’s reign is marked by incredible success, terrible failure, and God’s promise.
The book of 2 Samuel continues to show us the virtue of humility, the destructiveness of pride, and the faithfulness of God’s promise. We see David succeed and fail, and we see God’s promise for a future king at the beginning and end of the story.
2 Samuel Overview
The Rise and Fall of David
After the death of Saul, David unifies the twelve tribes as their king. In his new capital of Jerusalem, David desires to build God a house. Instead, God promises to build David an eternal house through a king from his lineage. This is a key moment in the book of 2 Samuel and in the Hebrew Scriptures that point us toward a messianic king who will come to fulfill the promise given to David and Abraham to bless all nations.
However, we soon discover that David is not that king. After failing spectacularly, the kingdom is slowly unraveled from David’s grip. The final chapters of Samuel highlight moments of David’s weakness, showing us his own failure as similar to Saul’s, yet promising another king who will come to fulfill God’s good purposes.
A New King
David’s humility is seen as he mourns over the death of Saul. Over time, he becomes king of Judah, then over all of Israel. He captures Jerusalem and declares it his capital.
David wants to build God a house, but God instead promises to build from David’s family an eternal house.
David and Bathsheba
David takes Bathsheba in sin and kills her husband Uriah in his selfish pride. When confronted, David repents—but not without reaping the consequences.
David’s sin sparks a spiral of rebellion from his children. They commit rape, murder, and rebellion, and David is forced to flee the kingdom because of the same sins he himself committed.
Although David dies a weak and broken man on the throne, he reflects on his weakness and looks ahead with hope for a coming messianic king who will fulfill God’s promise to him.