Looking Back/Looking Forward: 2 Samuel 1:1

1After the death of Saul, when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. 2 Samuel 1:1 (ESV)

1. Saul’s Legacy

1After the death of Saul…Samuel 1:1 (ESV)

The death of a leader marked the end of one era in Israel’s history and raised serious questions about Israel’s future in the light of this event. Joshua 1:1; Judges 1:1

19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 1 Samuel 8:19-20 (ESV)

Saul died because he failed to fulfill the conditions God had placed on his kingship.

Saul’s ugly death was dreadful proof of the people’s foolishness in desiring a king “like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:5).

2. David’s Victory

1 …when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites…2 Samuel 1:1 (ESV)

After Saul had decisively failed to be the fully obedient king he was required to be, David had been chosen by God to be king over Israel.

This time God was not giving the people what they had asked for, but out of God’s own good will (“his own heart” 1 Samuel 13:14).

14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” 1 Samuel 13:14 (ESV)

The concept of David being “a man after God’s own heart” and in this way chosen by God possibly relates to the consequences of the grace that was shown to David but not Saul. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8)

3. The Reader’s Expectancy

1…David remained two days in Ziklag. 2 Samuel 1:1 (ESV)

These two days would have been days of suspense for David.

John Woodhouse: “There were two days in which we (the readers) know that the old king had died, but the one we expect to become the new king did not yet know this. There were two days in which there was in fact “no king in Israel.”

The New Testament writers understood that Jesus’ resurrection “on the third day” had been anticipated in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:4).

21But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Luke 24:21 (ESV) Colossians 2:15

3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (ESV)