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Paul J. Bucknell
Purpose: 2 Samuel 23-24, Handling Success and Failure, shows the importance of seeking success and avoiding failure. At the end of David's life, these two chapters highlight the nature of true success and give us great incentive to keep from temptation which leads to failure. Deep insight into how the disastrous census fit into God's overal redemption plan are also included.
These last two chapters give us a final summary of David’s life but in a special and unique way. Through them we are personally reminded of how we are to live our lives before the Lord (before man matters little).
Like the description of these two chapters of David’s life, everyone will end up with two lists at the end of his life: one for their failures and one for their successes.
At a funeral one might hear, “Too bad he drunk so much. He wasted his life.” Or “He really got ahead in life.” David’s success is seen in chapter 23 while his colossal failure in chapter 24. In a similar way an evaluation awaits each of us.
These final two chapters along with the whole two books of 1 and 2 Samuel remind us to understand God’s purposes for our lives and accomplish them.
These final two chapters, however, also carry a poignant theological insight. David, though loved by God, was not the Israel’s King that would save Israel. These books and especially the last chapter acts as a sharp arrowhead pointing to the need of Jesus the King.
Check out our Digital Old Testament Library for a huge collection of resources on 1 Samuel and all of the Old Testament!