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Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 23: David’s Reign

This entry is part 23 of 52 in the series

"Bible Narratives Devotional"

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Week 23: David’s Reign

Weekly memory verse:

Psalm 27:1–2 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.“

Weekly hymn:

“Sun of My Soul” (free download)

Weekly catechism:

How did Christ, being the Son of God, become human?
Christ, the Son of God became human by taking to himself true human nature, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary.

Day 111: Sheba’s Rebellion

Reading: 2 Samuel 20:1–26; Psalm 25


2 Samuel 20, Verse 1. Sheba. Sheba was from Saul’s tribe. He expresses here the sentiment of the northern tribes of animosity toward Judah, using words that are very similar to what would be said when the kingdom later divides.

Verse 4. Amasa. Amasa was Absalom’s general with whom David had replaced Joab as his general.

Verse 6. Abishai. Since Amasa was unable to gather an army of Judah to end Sheba’s rebellion, David appointed Joab’s brother, Abishai, to do so. Joab and his men also accompanied Abishai, Joab intending to take vengeance on Amasa.

Verse 22. David was unable to depose Joab as general.


David is able to return to Jerusalem and reestablish his reign, but seeds of dissent have been planted in the northern tribes, which will eventually lead to a division of the kingdom. David’s inability to control even his own general is evidence of strife within his administration.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why would the northern tribes have had animosity toward Judah?
  2. What are some evidences that Joab intended all along to regain control as general of David’s army?
  3. What are some reasons David is experiencing so much difficulty in his reign?

Day 112: David’s Final Battles

Reading: 2 Samuel 21:1–22; Psalm 26


2 Samuel 21, Verse 1. Gibeonites. The famine was due to the fact that Saul broke the covenant that had been made years earlier between Joshual and the Gibeonites (Josh 9:3–27).

Verse 8. Mephibosheth. This is a son of Saul, different from Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, whom David spared.

Verse 9. Before the Lord. It is unclear why God allowed this superstitious ritual sacrifice to take place except that is stresses the importance of keeping covenants.


Turmoil continued in the kingdom through the end of David’s reign. However, God protected David as he had promised and used David to secure peace that his son, Solomon, would enjoy.

Discussion Questions

  1. What does God think about covenants and promises?
  2. How does Saul’s actions toward the Gibeonites, breaking the covenant with them, contrast with David’s protection of Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth?
  3. Why do you think God allowed the Gibeonites to kill these descendents of Saul?

Day 113: David’s Census

Reading: 1 Chronicles 21:1–30; Psalm 27


1 Chronicles 21, Verse 1. Satan. Second Samuel 24:1 indicates that God moved David to number Israel, in contrast to this statement. This simply reveals that this was part of God’s judgment upon Israel for some unspecified sin, and he used Satan to be a tool of that judgment. The census must have been evidence of pride in David’s heart.

Verse 28. Threshing floor. This would later become the site of Solomon’s temple.


This event reveals both David’s fallibility and his heart for God. Out of pride he numbered the people, resulting in God’s judgment, but out of humility he took responsibility for his actions and did what was necessary to atone for his sin. God accepted David’s confession and used this opportunity to have David purchase the land upon which Solomon would later build the temple.

Discussion Questions

  1. Was David responsible for numbering the people even though both God and Satan were involved?
  2. What do you think motivated David to number the people?
  3. Describe David’s repentance for what he had done.

Day 114: Solomon Anointed King

Reading: 1 Kings 1:1–53; Proverbs 12


1 Kings 1, Verse 1. Old. David was 70 years old.

Verse 2. Warm. In his old age, David’s circulation prevented him from keeping warm, and thus he needed the body heat of others.

Verse 5. Adonijah. Adonijah was the fourth son of David and likely the oldest living son.

Verse 50. Horns of the altar. These were the four corners of the alter where priests would smear the blood of sacrifices. Adonijah was seeking the protection of God through this gesture.


As David neared the end of his life, God chose, through the prophet Nathan, Solomon to be the next king of Israel. In many ways this was an unlikely choice, similar to his father before him. Yet God chose him and protected the Davidic line through Solomon. Increasing tensions between Israel and Judah would later result in division, but for now the unity remained intact.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think God chose Solomon to be king?
  2. In what ways did God protect Solomon and the Davidic line through him?
  3. How does Solomon reflect David’s own heart of mercy in how he treats Adonijah?

Day 115: David’s Death

Reading: 1 Kings 2:1–46; Proverbs 13


1 Kings 2, Verse 7. Eat at your table. This was a position of honor that include a royal stipend.

Verse 10. City of David. i.e., Jerusalem.

Verse 11. Forty Years. David reigned from approximately 1011–971 B.C.

Verse 17. Give me Abishag. This was likely an attempt by Adonijah to support his claim to the throne and start a revolt.


David’s final exhortation to Solomon was counsel that would firmly establish Solomon as king by removing those who had been disloyal to David. Solomon follows the advice of his father, laying the foundation for what would be a very prosperous reign of peace. What was a political strategy was also part of God’s plan to establish David’s line in fulfillment of his covenant.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did David advise Solomon to kill those who had been disloyal?
  2. What was Adonijah’s motivation in asking for Abishag to be his wife?
  3. Was Solomon wise in following David’s counsel?
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About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.