2 Samuel 12 – God’s Rules of the Road

To get from point A to point B often requires several steps…and at times, a little help. But, if you will receive the help and take the steps, it’s amazing how far you can get.

In 2 Samuel chapter 12, David moves from hypocritical sinner to conquering king. But it was a hard trip, requiring some help and several steps.

David needed someone to clearly point out that he was not only moving in the wrong direction but that it was a dangerous direction.

Then, David was able to humbly admit his sin and accept the correction given to him. At this point, David turned and started moving toward God…first in shame and regret, and then in petition for help. And even when God would not make the trip any easier, David worshiped God and acknowledged God’s sovereignty. And finally, David turned his attention to the here and now; comforting those whom his actions hurt and getting back to the work he had neglected. (2 Samuel 11:1)

God’s response was to bless David’s family with a son and to bless his work with a victory.

If we’re to get from where we are to where God wants us to be, we need to mind God’s rules of the road. God’s rules of the road are accountability, confession, repentance, prayer, submission, obedience, and worship. These help us to progress on the trip God desires for us, and they lead us to those rest areas where God can bless us, our families, and our work.

So mind God’s rules of the road, and you will move from where you are to where God wants you to be.

2 Samuel 11 – What a Difference a Decision Makes!

“What a difference a day makes.” It can be bright one day and dark the next. Your investments can be growing one day and tanking the next. A relationship can be great one day and falling apart the next. What a difference a day makes!

When it comes to 2 Samuel chapter 11, we could say, “What a difference a chapter makes.” In 2 Samuel chapter 10, David is the conquering king. But in chapter 11, David is the cowardly sinner. In chapter 10, David is killing the enemy. But in chapter 11, David is killing his own man.

How did this happen!

Though the change in David seems quick and radical from chapter 10 to chapter 11, it was actually a slow and subtle slide. David started taking it easy. He let up a little. After all, he had worked hard and suffered much in his life. No one would begrudge him for taking a little break…even if it was the time when kings were normally out working hard with the troops.

So, instead of advancing on the enemy, he stayed behind. Instead of aggressively taking ground, he took a nap. Instead of running toward victory on the battleground, he took a stroll on a roof. And things just naturally progressed (or rather digressed) from there. With each wrong decision, David became more insensitive to God and what was right.

It can happen to us, too. One decision leads to another, which leads to another, and so on. We need to remember that there are really no small decisions. Decisions have a cumulative effect. They lead somewhere. And because of that, we should not make decisions casually.

Perhaps the phrase should be, “What a difference a decision makes!”

2 Samuel 6 – Living Full Throttle for God

If you followed me through a typical week, you would find times when I get things right and times when I mess things up. Times when my desire is to lift up God and times when I’m more concerned about myself. Times when I’m acting gracious and times when I’m being sarcastic. I can appear very disjointed and dichotomous at times.

2 Samuel chapter 6 has that same feel. It presents as a case study in contrast…or more appropriately human nature. For example…

  • David shows great desire to have the ark (God’s presence) among them, yet shows great disrespect for following God’s directions for transporting the ark. (Numbers 4:5,6,15) (1 Chronicles 15:13-15)
  • David is angry at God for the death of Uzzah and doesn’t want the ark near Jerusalem. (Uzzah had reached out to steady the ark when it looked like it was going to fall…which was against God’s command that no one was to touch the ark.) But, when David finds out that God is blessing the people in whose home the ark is kept, he then wants to bring the ark to his location.
  • Publicly, David’s life is one of joy, worship, and admiration. But privately (with his wife Michal) his life is one of strife and contention.

If you step back and look at David’s life, it can seem very two-faced. Yet God continued to reach out to him, walk with him, and redirect him with mercy, grace, and patience.


Maybe the thing that made David’s life so full of contrast was also the thing that made him a man after God’s own heart. Perhaps it was David’s willingness to go after God full throttle that so endeared him to God. And though this often meant his mistakes were also full throttle, at least he was willing to turn around and get back on track when he missed it.

Are you living a life that’s full-throttled for God?

2 Samuel 3-4 – Political Correctness or Personal Character?

In an election year, the airwaves and internet are full of adds for those running for office. The candidates say the right things and promise to do the right things, hoping to convince people to vote for them.

It feels like the same thing when you read 2 Samuel chapters 3 and 4. Though not an exact parallel, David must respond to some divisive issues much like a politician. He must respond in a way that will endear him to those who oppose him without turning off those who are already loyal to him.

When one of David’s generals wrongly kills a prominent and much-loved general of the opposition, David responds in a way that wins the trust of the opposition (2 Sam. 3:31-39) yet does not directly discipline his own military leader. (2 Sam. 3:29,39)

When an opposing king is killed by the king’s own military leader, David further endears himself to this king’s people by having the murderer killed rather than rewarded. (See 2 Sam. 4)

Are David’s responses the evidence of Godly character or of a politician working angles to get everyone to like him? Because Scripture seems to vouch for David’s character, we could say it was the former. But since Scripture doesn’t shy away from recording the less-than-stellar moments of God’s people, we can’t say for sure.

What we do know is that David found solutions that looked beyond either/or answers. He took the empathetic high road and always gave God the glory. (2 Sam. 4:9) As a result, people were drawn to David and he won their loyalty.

We should remember and practice this in our difficult situations. Our desire should be kindness, wisdom, and godliness, rather than political correctness.

2 Samuel 2 – Are We There Yet?!

As a kid, going on a long trip was a big deal for me. I always felt anticipation and excitement as we pulled out of the driveway. But it wouldn’t be long before I would get restless and utter the words every parent dreads…“Are we there yet?”

When I read 2 Samuel chapter 2, I imagine David feeling the same way. At the beginning of his journey, he must have been excited, knowing he would eventually become king. But he didn’t know how long and hard the trip would be. I wonder, when he was hiding in caves and running from Saul did he squirm in his seat saying, “When are we going to get there?”

After Saul died, David must have thought, “Finally! This long journey is over. We’re finally there!” But then David is not made king over all of God’s people for another seven and a half years. I can hear him saying, “When are we going to get there?!”

Why does God work so slowly at times?

  • Maybe it’s because God is working out a multitude of other individual trips at the same time He’s working out ours. It takes time to bring all those trips together.
  • Maybe it’s because the real goal is not getting us to the destination, but rather growing our relationship with Him through the journey. This takes longer.

I don’t know, but I do know that God has promised He will finish what He started in our lives (Phil. 1:6) and that He will keep His promise. (Num. 23:19) (2 Cor. 1:20)

So, when your trip seems to be taking longer than you expected and your heart cries out, “When are we going to get there?!”…learn to focus on your relationship with the Driver, and keep believing that no matter how long the trip may be, He will get you there!