Assuming a reading of 1 Samuel before we crack the pages of 2 Samuel, the editors of the New Oxford Annotated Study Bible give one of their shorter introductions. The first two lines of this ten-line offering tell us that: The second book of Samuel relates the rule of David, first as he gradually assumed control in Judah when Saul’s claimants fell away (chs 1-4), and then (chs 5-24) as king over both Judah and the northern tribes (Israel).
David’s story is a study in the human response to God’s leading.
2 Samuel 12:1-7
121 and the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had very many flocks and herds, 3 but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare and drink from his cup and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. 4 Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared that for the guest who had come to him.” 5 Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; 6 he shall restore the lamb fourfold because he did this thing and because he had no pity.”
7 Nathan said to David, “You are the man!
As we ponder the life of the great king, David, whom you chose to rule over your people, remind us that we all have feet of clay. And help us to read on, to be reminded of your redeeming love. Amen.