Life-Study of 1 & 2 Samuel, by Witness Lee

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In addition to man’s failure, the books of Samuel reveal God’s punishment. God exercised a severe punishment upon David because his sin was very evil.

The Change in the Behavior
of David’s Children Teaching Us to Fear God

After David’s failure many evils, including incest, murder, and rebellion, took place among his family. It seemed that, after David’s failure, the behavior of his children changed. This change is seen particularly in the case of David’s son Absalom. Absalom killed his brother Ammon because he had defiled Absalom’s sister, and then he rebelled against his father David, even seeking to kill him. The source of this unprecedented evil was David’s indulgence in the lust of the flesh.

The change that took place with David’s children should teach us to fear God. We must learn the lesson to have a holy fear toward God and to tremble before Him. Whether our children will be good or bad is altogether up to God. What we are in the sight of God will affect our children. Furthermore, God’s chastisement and His governmental dealing with those who love Him always affect their children.

There Being No Peace
in David’s Family or in the Kingdom of Israel

In God’s punishment, the first child born of the wife of Uriah died (2 Sam. 12:18). In God’s sovereign mercy, another child was born of her. The name given to him by God was Jedidiah, which means "beloved of Jehovah" (v. 25). David gave him the name Solomon, which means "peaceful" (v. 24). This indicates that David expected to have a peaceful time. But from that time there was no peace in David’s family or in the entire kingdom of Israel. Solomon’s kingship had a wonderful beginning, but the same thing happened with him as with his father, and his end was pitiful. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines (1 Kings 11:3). His pagan wives brought their idols with them and turned Solomon’s heart away from God (vv. 4, 8).

God Being Just as Well as Merciful

Our God is merciful, but He is also just. God loved David, but because of his sin David lost his standing and position and eleven of the twelve tribes. Only the tribe of Judah remained with David (2 Sam. 20:1-2). After Solomon’s reign the kingdom was divided, and eventually Judah and Israel were taken into captivity. The children of Israel lost their nation and the land of their fathers; they were scattered around the globe; and they were persecuted and killed. Today, although they have a narrow strip of land near the Mediterranean Sea, they have no peace with their neighbors.

(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Samuel, Chapter 34, by Witness Lee)