“For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?” (2 Samuel 19:22).
I have preached on 2 Samuel 14-16 over the past couple of months. In a series on a long narrative like 2 Samuel, I would usually cover at least a whole chapter in a sermon. I did preach on this section of Scripture some 15 years ago and so this time I have focussed on smaller sections especially around chapters 15-16. There have been a few reasons for doing this.
First, it provides more time to focus on the details of the text and to reflect upon how carefully the narrative has been constructed. This provides time to consider exactly what is being communicated and to examine the text so as not to miss what is being said. I have been struck by how many details cast one back and forth to other passages in the books of Samuel (or further afield.) I’ll give examples in another post.
The second main reason for taking my time through this section is that 2 Samuel 15-16 have the theme of ‘the passion of the Christ’. That is, David is the anointed one and this experience of leaving Jerusalem is a great testing of his faith and what it is to be the anointed one, the king of Israel. This is explicitly stated upon David’s return to the land in 2 Samuel 19:21-23. In this respect, these chapters then draw us directly to the passion accounts of Jesus, the Christ of Israel, going to the cross. And, from a preaching perspective, as we look at the faith, experience and judgements of David we are given insight into what it is to live as a believer who is ‘in Christ’.
Put another way, 2 Samuel 15-16 provide another perspective and insight as to what it means for a believer to ‘take up the cross and follow Jesus’.