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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

2 Samuel 7

Verses 1-29

The Message of the Second Book of Samuel

2 Samuel 7:7

The second book of Samuel does not contain any very definite divisions, but seems most naturally to fall into three parts.

In the first, which includes chapters one to eight, we have the account of David's public doings. In the second section, containing chapters nine to twenty, we have the history of David's court life.

At chapter twenty the third and closing section of the book begins. This section constitutes an appendix of miscellaneous contents. The book closes with the story of the census and the plague which it brought in Israel, with the means taken by David for its removal.

As for the main lesson of this book, it is written across its pages so clearly that none can miss it. Wherever you open the book you find the message, 'Be sure your sin will find you out'.

I. The Awfulness of Sin. Sin, as we know, is a theological term. The idea of sin is inseparably bound up with the idea of God. Without God you may have evil, vice, crime, you cannot have sin. Sin is a relation between a personal Creator and the personal creature. Hence it follows that our knowledge of God regulates our knowledge of sin. The better we know God the better we know what sin really is.

In reading the story of David we see something of the malignancy of sin, and learn something of its power. David was a good man. David was a Godfearing man. David's heart was on the whole right with God, yet see what sin did to him. It threw him from the throne into the gutter, and made him go mourning all his days.

II. The Limits of Forgiveness. David sinned, and for months remained with his sin unconfessed and unforgiven. These months David never forgot. But a day came when Nathan reached David. The day came when David could write the fifty-first Psalm, the Psalm which ever since has been the song of broken-hearted penitents. And in that day David received forgiveness. When David said, 'I have sinned against the Lord,' Nathan could say, 'The Lord hath put away thy sin'. And David knew that was true. David was not only forgiven, but he was kept safe, as we can see, to the end of his days in fellowship with God. But even all that did not undo his sin. He was forgiven, but his household was desolated.

III. The Lesson is an Unspeakably Solemn One. Sin has results which forgiveness cannot cancel. There are consequences of sin which even the grace of God cannot arrest. You may sin and be forgiven, and yet your sin may go down through the ages cursing and destroying men you never knew.

G. H. C. Macgregor, Messages of the Old Testament, p. 129.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/2-samuel-7.html. 1910.