Saturday, November 05, 2022

2022.11.05 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Samuel 5:17–25

Read 2 Samuel 5:17–25

Questions from the Scripture text: Who heard what in 2 Samuel 5:17 (cf. 2 Samuel 5:3)? What did they do? And who heard of that? And what did he do? Where else did the Philistines go (2 Samuel 5:18)? Of Whom does David inquire (2 Samuel 5:19)? What two specific questions does he ask? What combined answer does Yahweh give? What does 2 Samuel 5:20 now call the Valley of Rephaim? How did it get that name? What did the Philistines abandon as they were fleeing (2 Samuel 5:21)? Who did what with them? What did the Philistines do (again!?!) in 2 Samuel 5:22? What did David do again (2 Samuel 5:23)? What was Yahweh’s answer this time (2 Samuel 5:23-24)? What was the result (2 Samuel 5:25)?

What attributes of God shape the actions of a man after God’s own heart? 2 Samuel 5:17–25 looks forward to the morning sermon on the coming Lord’s Day. In these nine verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that people after God’s own heart live in response to God’s truth, power, and wisdom. 

The spiritual background to the passage. Saul tried to do things his own way (1 Samuel 13, 15), and Israel suffered. So God provided for Himself a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14, 1 Samuel 15:28), by whom He promised to save His people (cf. 2 Samuel 3:18). Now, in 2 Samuel 5:17–25, we get our first taste of that salvation by the hand of the newly anointed (cf. 2 Samuel 5:3) king. 

The military background to the passage. The Philistines have heard about the anointing (2 Samuel 5:17a) and think they’d better make a preemptive strike against this newly united Israel. They go hunting for David (verse 17b), David takes up a fortified position, the Philistines hole up in Rephaim (2 Samuel 5:18), and the ensuing conflict teaches us several remarkable things about our God.

Our God is the speaking, guiding God. First, David is the anti-Saul. Saul trusted his own wisdom, either neglecting to ask God or directly disobeying Him. We have seen David inquire of Yahweh several times (e.g., cf. 1 Samuel 23:2, 2 Samuel 2:1), and as king he continues to do the same. One of the ways that God works in our lives is by giving us the guidance of His Word and giving us the desire to seek that guidance. He reminds us here that He is the speaking, guiding God.

Our God is the powerful, delivering God. It was Yahweh who broke through the Philistines like a breakthrough of water (2 Samuel 5:20). It was Yahweh who went before David to strike the camp of the Philistines (2 Samuel 5:24). David “defeated” them in 2 Samuel 5:20, and “drove back the Philistines” in 2 Samuel 5:25, but these battles are reminiscent of the conquest, in which the Lord gave victory that exceeded human means and even without human means.

Finally, our God is the wisely and creatively planning God. Idols are the creations of man (2 Samuel 5:21), but God Himself is the great Author and Creator. So, when David faces an identical situation (2 Samuel 5:22, cf. 2 Samuel 5:18), Yahweh gives a very different answer (2 Samuel 5:23, cf. 2 Samuel 5:19). Who is dull and wicked enough to find the Lord boring? Even the cue of “the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees” (2 Samuel 5:24) is so interestingly creative! 

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And His truth is always the same. But His work can be marvelously varied. And even having saved us by David’s greater Son, God still guides and delivers His people in His wise and interesting plan! He is worthy of your inquiry, and your trust, and your praise.

Where can you find God’s Word? How should you respond to His power? To His wisdom/creativity?

Sample prayer:  Lord, thank You for teaching us in Your Word. We praise Your providential, redeeming power, and Your marvelous, inexplicable wisdom. Grant that we may ever seek from You instruction about what we should do, and ever give to You praise for whatever You do, in Jesus’s Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH195 “Shine Thou Upon Us Lord”

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