top of page


David: Seeking a Heart Like His, Biblical study by Beth Moore


In 2 Samuel 7 – 2 Samuel 24, David reaches his apogee, which is quickly followed by massive calamity. These chapters cover David’s adultery with Bathsheba, his murder of Bathsheba’s husband, rape and murder within David’s family, David’s temporary loss of the throne, famine and plague in Jerusalem, and David’s death. Despite all of these calamities, the Lord never withdrew from David, and He repeatedly reaffirmed His covenant with David to make David’s kingdom last forever. Before King David died, he confirmed his son, Solomon, as his successor, and made extensive preparations for Solomon to build a Temple to the Lord.

Week 6 (2 Samuel 7 – 2 Samuel 10)

Summary: In these chapters, several of David’s virtues are highlighted: humility, propensity to worship, ambitious desire to bring glory to God, kindness, strength, and ability to delegate. He accomplished many things that glorified God, such as defeating the surrounding nations, honoring Saul’s household, and dedicating riches to God, however, despite David’s ambition to build a Temple for God, God did not allow David to complete this act.

2 Samuel 7: David wished to build a Temple to house the ark of God. However, through the prophet, Nathan, God instructed David that he would not build the Temple because he shed too much blood. Instead, God told David that his son would build a house for the ark. God also reaffirmed his covenant to always be with David’s family and that David’s kingdom would endure forever.

2 Samuel 8: David defeated his enemies, including the Philistines, Moabites, and Edomites. With each victory, David won plunder. He dedicated all of the plundered gold and silver to God.

2 Samuel 9: David wished to show kindness to Saul’s household. Therefore, he summoned Mephibosheth, who was Jonathan’s son and lame in both feet, and declared that Mephibosheth would always be able to eat at David’s table like one of his own sons.

2 Samuel 10: David tried to show kindness to the Ammonites and make peace with them. However, the Ammonite leader, Hanun, humiliated David’s men. This caused conflict between the Ammonites and Israelites. David instructed Joab to lead an army against the Ammonites, and the Ammonites recruited the Arameans to assist them against Israel. David and Joab successfully defeated the Ammonites and Arameans.

Week 7 (2 Samuel 11 – 2 Samuel 12)

Summary: This week covers perhaps the most well-known story about David, that is, his adultery with Bathsheba. According to the Law, David’s punishment for adultery and murder should have been death. Although David was not punished with death, the Lord punished David through the death of his son and with calamity in his household. The Lord forgave David and reaffirmed His covenant to make David’s kingdom endure forever.

2 Samuel 11: David committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah. Bathsheba became David’s wife and bore him a son. However, the Lord was displeased with David.

Psalm 32: Written after David received forgiveness for his sins with Bathsheba and Uriah. He reflected that during the year following his sin, he was unrepentant, he felt like he was wasting away, and he had no strength.

2 Samuel 12: The Lord used the prophet Nathan to share a parable with David, which illuminated David’s sins. Although God forgave David, David was still punished for his sin. According to Nathan, one of David’s peers would sleep with all of David’s wives in broad daylight and calamity would exist in David’s household. Furthermore, Bathsheba’s son would die. In 2 Samuel 15-16, the first part of Nathan’s prophecy if fulfilled when David’s son, Absalom overthrows him and sleeps with all his wives. The second part of Nathan’s prophecy is fulfilled immediately. David fasted and pleaded with God to spare his son’s life. However, these actions did not save the boy’s life. Afterwards, David slept with Bathsheba, and she conceived another son, Solomon.

Psalm 51: Written before David was confronted by Nathan about his sin. He recognizes and repents from his sins, and he pleads with the Lord to be forgiven and cleansed.

Week 8 (2 Samuel 13 – 2 Samuel 18)

Summary: As the Lord promised, David’s house was filled with calamity. The disaster started when David’s son, Amnon, raped David’s daughter, Tamar. After this, David’s other son, Absalom, killed Amnon for his evil action against Tamar. David did not discipline Amnon nor Absalom, which eventually led to Absalom’s rebellion against David, and forced David to flee into the desert. At the end of this section, David’s commander, Joab, killed Absalom.

2 Samuel 13: Amnon lusted for his sister, Tamar. Therefore, he conspired a plan with his advisor, Jonadab, to trick Tamar into entering Amnon’s bedroom. Amnon successfully executed his plan, and he raped his sister. Afterwards, he hated Tamar. Tamar’s brother, Absalom, who was David’s eldest son, advised Tamar to keep silent about the situation. Like a submissive younger sister, Tamar remained silent. However, Absalom’s anger continued to burn for the sin committed against Tamar. Therefore, he developed a plan to murder Amnon. Absalom invited all of David’s sons to a gathering, and at the gathering, Absalom’s men killed Amnon. Because Absalom committed murder, and the appropriate punishment was death for himself, he fled. David mourned for his son, Amnon. However, he did not take any action to punish his sons, Amnon and Absalom, for their sins.

2 Samuel 14: Joab, the commander of David’s army, wished for Absalom to return home. Therefore, he sent a woman to tell a parable to David. Upon hearing the parable, David recognized that it was appropriate to summon Absalom home. However, David did not wish to see his son. For two years, Absalom lived in David’s kingdom, but they did not meet. Finally, Absalom was overwhelmed by his father’s lack of initiative, and he burned Joab’s fields so that Joab would bring Absalom to see his father. When Absalom and David finally met, David simply kissed his son’s forehead.

2 Samuel 15: Absalom won the hearts of the people of Israel, which forced David to flee into the desert. With David in the desert were the priests, Zadok and Abiathar, but he sent these men back to Jerusalem, along with the ark of God and his friend, Hushai. During the time of Absalom’s rebellion, David went up on the Mount of Olives, where he wept and confronted God.

2 Samuel 16: First, Ziba, who was Mephibosheth’s servant, brought food and drink to David in the desert. Because he did these things, David hastily transferred Mephibosheth’s blessing to Ziba. Second, a man named Shimei throws stones and insults at David, but David simply said that he deserved the punishment. Third, David’s advisor, Ahithophel, advised Absalom to pitch a tent and sleep with all of David’s wives. Absalom did this.

2 Samuel 17: Ahithophel also advised Absalom to murder David while David was weak and weary. However, the Lord planned to thwart Absalom’s advice, so David’s friend, Hushai, offered counter-advice to Ahithophel’s plan. Absalom chose to follow Hushai’s advice. Consequently, Hushai sent a letter to David which warned of Absalom’s plan, and Ahithophel killed himself because his advice was not followed.

2 Samuel 18: David wanted to fight with his men against Absalom, however, they advised him not to fight because his life was too valuable. During the battle between David’s men and Absalom’s men, Absalom get caught in a tree while riding his donkey. David’s men find him, but because David instructed them to keep Absalom alive, they did not kill him. Nevertheless, Joab decided to disobey David and personally kill Absalom, while the traitor hung helplessly in the tree. David mourned for his son’s death.

Week 9 (2 Samuel 19 – 2 Samuel 24)

Summary: David returned to Jerusalem. However, his final years as King were not easy. He grew weak, and his people faced famine and a plague.

2 Samuel 19: After receiving some harsh encouragement from Joab, David encouraged his people and returned to Jerusalem. Along the way back to Jerusalem and his kingship, David set many wrongs right. David forgave Shimei for his rebellion, when he learned about Ziba’s rebellion, he reconciled his relationship with Mephibosheth.

2 Samuel 20: Joab, David’s military commander, was intensely loyal to David. In this chapter, Joab killed Amasa, who was sent on an errand by David, and he killed Sheba, who managed to get the people of Israel to follow him. At this time, the house of Judah and the house of Israel were in conflict over which house David belonged to.

2 Samuel 21: There was a famine in David’s kingdom. The Lord told David that the famine was happening because of Saul’s rebellion against the Gibeonites. Therefore, David reconciled his people with Gibeonites, who required 7 men in Saul’s household to be killed. David also transferred the bones of Saul and Jonathan to a proper tomb. Towards the end of David’s reign, he grew old and tired. Therefore, he had his Mighty Men fight on his behalf.

2 Samuel 22: David’s song of praise to God (also recorded in Psalm 18)

2 Samuel 23: David’s final words. David’s Mighty Men are also listed here. He had a total of 37 Mighty Men, but 3 of them were considered especially great. The Three included Josheb-Basshebeth, who was chief of the Three and killed 800 men in one encounter, Eleazar, who held his ground against the Philistines for so long that his hand froze to his sword, and Shammah, who single-handedly defended a field of lentils against the Philistines.

2 Samuel 24: In the final chapter of 2 Samuel, the Lord’s anger once again burned against Israel. It appears that David was tempted into counting the number of men in Israel who were able to fight. This temptation likely came from Satan, because after David counted his men, he recognized that he committed a sin against God. God’s punishment was plague on Israel that killed thousands of people. However, the Lord was grieved because of the destruction that the plague was causing, so he commanded the angel who was administering the plague to cease. The location on which the angel was instructed to cease, was the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David purchased the threshing floor from Araunah and established an altar there. The threshing floor was located on Mount Moriah, which is significant, because this is the location that Abraham went to sacrifice his son, and it is also the location that the Temple was built on.

Week 10 (1 Kings 1, 1 Chronicles 22-29)

Summary: David named his son Solomon as the successor to this throne. Then, David charged Solomon to build the Temple of the Lord, and to follow all the commands of God. Since Solomon was young and inexperienced, David also prepared all of the materials and personnel required for the Temple. Everything was ready for Solomon to get to work. Finally, David died.

1 Kings 1: In his final season of life, a virgin was selected to lie in bed with David so that he could keep warm. Seeing that David was approaching death, David’s eldest son (after Absalom), Adonijah, made a bid for the kingship. He conferred with, and received support from, Joab and Abiathar, and he made the appropriate sacrifices. However, Adonijah did not consult David nor the prophet Nathan. Simultaneously, Nathan and Bathsheba both informed David about Adonijah’s intentions. In response, David selected Solomon as his heir, and instructed Zadok the Priest, Nathan the Prophet, and Benaiah the Warrior to anoint Solomon as the next King. For the proper anointing of a King, representatives from all four major areas of authority needed to be present: prophet, priest, warrior, and King.

1 Chronicles 21: Same story as 2 Samuel 24, where David sins by gathering a census of his fighting men, but the Lord withdraws the angel from administering the plague on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

1 Chronicles 22: David declared that the Temple of the Lord would be built on the threshing floor of Araunah. He told his son, Solomon, everything that the Lord had told him about building a house for the Lord, and he prepared all of the necessary materials for Solomon, which included gold, silver, bronze, and iron. God did not permit David to build the Temple, because David had shed much blood. However, because of David’s military successes, the Israelites experienced peace during Solomon’s reign, which gave them the freedom and ability to build the Temple.

1 Chronicles 23 - 24: David gathered together all of the leaders of Israel, including the priests and Levites. He assigned them to supervise the work of the Temple, be officials and judges, be gatekeepers, and to praise the Lord with musical instruments.

1 Chronicles 25: David appointed and divided singers to provide music in the Temple, with cymbals, lyres, and harps.

1 Chronicles 26: David appointed and divided the gatekeepers for the North Gate, East Gate, South Gate, storehouse, West Gate, and Shalleketh Gate.

1 Chronicles 27: The list of officers, officials, and commanders in David’s army. Notably, Ahithophel was David’s counselor, and Joab was the commander of David’s royal army.

1 Chronicles 28: David summoned all of the leaders and priests that he had just divided and charged them to build the Temple under Solomon’s leadership. He also charged them to follow all the commands of God. When David was done, he gave Solomon all of the plans for the Temple, which David had received from the Holy Spirit. These plans were excruciatingly detailed, including specifications for things such as the weight of each lampstand, the weight of silver for every silver table, and the weight of gold for every gold dish.

1 Chronicles 29: In addition to all of the treasures that David prepared for the construction of the Temple, he also gave his personal treasure to the construction of the Temple. All of the leaders followed David’s example and gave willingly and cheerfully toward the construction of the Temple of God. David praised the Lord and asked for the hearts of the people to remain loyal to God. Solomon was dedicated a second time as King, and all the people celebrated. David died, “having enjoyed long life, wealth, and honor.”

Recent Posts

Strength to Love

Amazing collection of sermons by Martin Luther King Jr. Here is a collection of my favorite quotes.


We went to the Holy Land! Guest post by my wife, Grace.

bottom of page