Lighthouse Leader Study Guide
Date: September 24, 2017
Series: The kings & the King: A Study of 2 Samuel
2 Samuel 5:1-25
This Week’s Printable Resources:
- Lighthouse Discussion Guide (pdf)
- Lighthouse Leader Study Guide (pdf)
- Study Notes for 2 Samuel 5:1-25
- Sunday’s PowerPoint Slides
- September Prayer Calendar (pdf)
Overview of this Lesson
As I finished writing this week’s lesson, I was reminded of a story I head long ago. I always found it both humorous and true-to-life:
A young woman is preparing a pot roast while her friend looks on. She cuts off both ends of the roast, prepares it and puts it in the pan. “Why do you cut off the ends?” her friend asks. “I don’t know”, she replies. “My mother always did it that way and I learned how to cook it from her”.
Her friend’s question made her curious about her pot roast preparation. During her next visit home, she asked her mother, “How do you cook a pot roast?” Her mother proceeded to explain and added, “You cut off both ends, prepare it and put it in the pot and then in the oven”. “Why do you cut off the ends?” the daughter asked. Baffled, the mother offered, “That’s how my mother did it and I learned it from her!”
Her daughter’s inquiry made the mother think more about the pot roast preparation. When she next visited her mother in the nursing home, she asked, “Mom, how do you cook a pot roast?” The mother slowly answered, thinking between sentences. “Well, you prepare it with spices, cut off both ends and put it in the pot”. The mother asked, “But why do you cut off the ends?” The grandmother’s eyes sparkled as she remembered. “Well, the roasts were always bigger than the pot that we had back then. I had to cut off the ends to fit it into the pot that I owned”.
Often times, there are aspects of our life that we perform on a regular basis without really knowing or understanding the reason, except that’s how we were taught.
In this week’s lesson, we see David finally become king of all Israel. His first agenda item is the City of Jerusalem. Like Grandma’s pot roast that had both ends cut off for generations without anyone knowing why the City of Jerusalem stood in the very center of Israel as an alien holdout. Since the time of Joshua (more than 400 years), Israel had been unable to conquer the fortress of Jerusalem. Its geography and high walls made it impregnable. For its part, Israel had given up trying to conquer the city. They simply accepted it as a large eye-sore on their horizon.
David, however, saw things differently. While others saw impregnable walls, David saw tunnels. His ingenious plan accomplished something that Israel had not accomplished in 400 years—the capture of Jerusalem.
We can draw great inspiration from this illustration of David’s conquest of Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 5. Like Israel and Jerusalem, there are issues in our own life that have proven to be unbeatable. Over time, we’ve simply given up hope. Paul refers to these areas of unbelief as strongholds, and just as David defeated the stronghold of Jerusalem through simple tactics, the Lord gives us weapons to tear down spiritual strongholds in our own life. That is the point of this week’s lesson.
Memory Verse for This Week
Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. – 2 Samuel 5:7.
Worship (Psalm 95:1-7): I worship God for who He is and what He has done for me.
This Week’s Take Home Truth
FFCA: “Our ultimate hero in every way is none other than Jesus, the perfect fulfillment of God’s promises and victorious fighter for God’s people.”
FFCB: “King David points to and prefigures King Jesus, the final fulfillment of God’s promises and protector of God’s people.”
- What is the scariest thing you ever had to do? In retrospect, are you glad you did it or do you have regrets?
- If money was no object, where would you build a vacation home?
- Looking back at your notes from this week’s sermon, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
Make sure you ask this question this week. It gives people the opportunity to discuss questions or issues that come up beyond the written questions. People’s responses can often lead into one of the questions in the “Digging Deeper” section. Also, some weeks this question will result in a lot of discussion, other weeks, not so much.
Read the Text (2 Samuel 5:1-25)
Text Read 2 Samuel 5:1-25.
In this section, feel free to develop your own questions to help guide your group’s discussion. Below are some suggestions. Remember, if you are hearing from everyone in your group, chances are you won’t have to time to discuss every question. You may start with one that catches your attention so you don’t run out of time. For example, it’s not odd to start with Question #6, then go to Question #5 and if you have time come back to Question #4.
Describe what is happening in 2 Samuel 5:1-25.
If there is a single word that summarizes 2 Samuel 5 in my mind it is this: “finally.” David has been on a 25-year journey towards becoming Israel’s king. That’s a long time. Think back to 2002. Where were you in 2002? What was your life like in 2002? How have things changed since 2002? Regardless of your perspective, 25 years is a long time to wait, but through it all, David waited with humility and trust in God’s sovereign plan for His life.
As 2 Samuel 5 begins, “All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron.” He didn’t call for a council meeting of the elders, he didn’t forcefully take charge in Israel following the death of Ishbosheth; David waited upon the Lord.
A couple of verses come to mind as we see David at this point in his life:
Proverbs 27:2 – “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips. “
Matthew 23:12 – “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Once anointed king of all Israel, David sets out to make Israel secure. His first objective is the city of Jerusalem. Located in the center of Israel, Jerusalem is the perfect capital for Israel.
After capturing Jerusalem from the Jebusites, David turns his attention to Israel’s constant foe, the Philistines. Recall that the Philistines have driven deep into Israel’s territory and placed their army in the Valley of Rephaim, located to the south and west of Jerusalem. This effectively cut off Jerusalem from David’s troops in Hebron.
After inquiring of the Lord, David attacked the Philistine army twice, soundly defeating them and driving them back as far as Gezer. Thus, David has driven out the Philistines from Israel and made the land secure.
What is the significance of Jerusalem at this point in history?
The City of Jerusalem was under the control of the Jebusites until the time of David. Built on a high place with strong walls and a fresh water supply, Jerusalem was impregnable. The Bible twice refers to it as a stronghold (v. 7 & v. 9), a fortress.
First mentioned in the book of Joshua, we learn that in spite of Israel’s overwhelming military success under Joshua, the armies of Israel were unable to capture the city of Jerusalem, and Joshua 15:63 tells us that the sons of Judah were forced to live with the Jebusites.
2 Samuel 5:6-9 and 1 Chronicles 11:4-9 tell us about David’s conquest of Jerusalem. In fact, the narrator at this point makes it sound like a simple matter, thus underplaying the historic significance of David’s ultimate capture of the city.
Here is the simple truth about David’s perspective concerning Jerusalem: When everyone else saw walls, David saw tunnels.
Rod Mattoon gives us a more vivid picture of the plan of attack:
The Jebusites were very cocky and confident of their defenses claiming their blind and lame could defend them, but their security was in the wrong things. They are about to find out that they are not so secure.
David’s challenge is whoever climbs the gutter (referred to as the water shaft) and conquers the Jebusites will be chief or captain. The details of the battle are given in 1 Chronicles.
1 Chronicles 11:6— And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.
Joab goes first and is successful. What did he do? The gutter was a water tunnel. At the north end of the pool of Siloam is an arched passage, gradually narrowing down from a considerable height to fourteen inches. This passage has ten inches of water leaving four inches of air. A man can struggle through this tunnel after four hours of labor. At the end of the tunnel you reach the light of day and a place called Virgins Fount. You then follow a 67-foot passage that leads to a vertical shaft going straight up through the mountain stones into the city. The passage has to be scaled and climbed in order to get into the city. This is evidently what Joab did to win the battle. 1
The picture that came to mind as I read the description above was the scene from the film The Shawshank Redemption where the hero, Andy, crawls through the prison sewage line 500 yards to freedom. The sewage line was unprotected because no one ever thought a man could crawl through that muck that long of a distance.
Jerusalem is referred to as a stronghold (v. 7, 9). How does Paul relate the concept of strongholds to the Christian in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6?
We know that the Old Testament often serves as an example for New Testament Christians of biblical principles (1 Cor. 10:11). Paul uses the visual picture of a stronghold to describe the kind of battle the devil wages against believers. He states in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6,
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
The depiction of David’s battle against Jerusalem is a perfect picture of a spiritual stronghold. The stronghold of Jerusalem was erected in the very center of the nation, and as an embarrassing reminder of Israel’s inability to defeat the stronghold. The Jebusites were so confident of their stronghold, that they actually taunted their enemies, in this case, David, arguing that even the lame and the blind could defend their city. Moreover, the stronghold of Jerusalem was a historic reality for Israel. Generations had lived and died in the shadow of this city held by the Jebusites. Yet, David defeated the stronghold, not through traditional weapons of war, but through an almost inconceivably simply strategy.
This is the visual image that Paul draws upon to help us understand the tactic of the devil and how he uses spiritual strongholds to remind and intimidate Christians of their own weakness and inability to defeat sin.
How can we recognize spiritual strongholds in your life?
Here are some key facts regarding spiritual strongholds to help us identify these fortresses of unbelief in our own life:
- A stronghold is a fortified area of unbelief in our minds. It is a mindset, a value system, or thought process that hinders our spiritual growth.
- A stronghold is erected by the devil to defend his interests. Satan is the architect and builder of all strongholds.
- A stronghold is the very epicenter of unbelief that we have at the core of our being that exalts itself against the knowledge that is only revealed through Jesus Christ.
- A stronghold often takes root in places where we believe God has disappointed us or failed us at our most needy, vulnerable moment. This becomes the seed of unbelief.
- A stronghold is often a lifelong belief that allows us to call ourselves Christians, but live life as functional unbelievers.
How would you define a spiritual stronghold in the believer’s life?
Ed Silvoso gives this simple definition: “A spiritual stronghold is a mindset impregnated with a hopelessness which causes us to accept as unchangeable situations we know are contrary to the will of God.”
It is important to note that strongholds are not the vices or bad habits that we struggle against in this life. David Wilkerson makes this point well:
Most of us think of strongholds as bondages or sexual trespasses, drug addictions and alcoholism, outward sins we put on the top of our worst sins list. But Paul is referring here to something much worse than our human measuring of sins. A stronghold is holding firmly to an argument. A stronghold is an accusation planted firmly in your mind by Satan to establish lies, falsehoods, and misconceptions, especially about the character of God.”
This is a critical point to keep in mind as you consider the existence of a stronghold in your life. The stronghold is not alcohol, food, pornography, shopping, or any of the other “worst sins ever” list we often hear bantered about in churches and Christian books. These are symptoms of the root issue, which is unbelief. How often do you hear someone who struggles with a lifelong sin habit say with remorse, “I only wish God would take away this from my life.” You see, that very statement is hopeless and is rooted in unbelief. If we were honest with ourselves, this is the reality we live with as believers. This is why it is safe to describe many Christians as functional unbelievers. Yes, we believe in Christ and in the power of the gospel, but… ultimately, we do not believe that Jesus Christ can overcome the lifelong sin habits that plague us. That is unbelief.
The devil uses this stronghold of unbelief to intimidate us and cause us to become hopeless to the point we will give up fighting and ultimately defeat us.
How can a Christian tear down a stronghold in his or her life?
At the risk of oversimplifying the destruction of strongholds, we must also recognize that the stronghold of Jerusalem was defeated through an unbelievably simply plan. Likewise, another clear example of a stronghold we have studied, the giant Goliath, was defeated through a sling and a stone. As Paul reminds is, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:4).
Here are some simple steps to help you get started in this winnable war:
- Recognize you have a stronghold. This is very important. You must be honest with yourself, which can be very difficult because, over the course of our lifetime, we have learned to live with the stronghold and accept the consequences. Also, remember, the sin habits we struggle with are the symptoms, not the root problem.
- Recognize that the problem is in your mind. This does not mean that Goliath is not real, but our perception of Goliath is based in unbelief. Yes, Goliath is a real problem, but God is a powerful God able to destroy Goliath with a single stone. That is reality. If you fight against hopelessness, then you are struggling with unbelief.
- Recognize that Jesus is not as concerned about the mess in your life as He is the wholeness and abundant life that comes through His vicarious death on the cross. Many of us have truly made a mess of our lives. But God is not interested in our mess. He’s seen it all. There is no temptation that is not common to all men and women (1 Cor. 10:13). You are no different, no worse. Your life is no bigger mess than any other child of God who comes to Him broken and repentant. God’s anger about the mess in our life was satisfied on the cross so that our mess yesterday, today, and in the future was paid for by Jesus Himself.
- Recognize that we have a part to play in tearing down our strongholds. God expects us to participate under his sovereignty. Notice that Paul describes the active involvement of the believer when he states, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). This is active involvement. Yes, through God’s provision, Goliath was defeated the minute David determined to fight him (1 Samuel 17:47), but David still had to pick up the stones and sling and walk towards the giant.
What are the weapons we use to destroy strongholds?
Clearly, we are not to tear down strongholds using weapons of the flesh, but spiritual weapons. Remember, David refused Saul’s armor and instead chose to use a sling and a stone. Using weapons of the flesh may make sense, but, in the end, they are worthless. The fact that these weapons of the flesh are worthless should underscore the reality that we cannot tear down strongholds on our own. Thus, we are fighting a spiritual battle and must use spiritual weapons.
The classic passage on spiritual warfare is Ephesians 6:10-18. In this text, Paul gives us a clear picture of how the believer must do battle against the forces of evil that fight against us. Note, also, that of the weapons listed, only one is offensive, the remaining are defensive in nature.
- Put on the whole armor of God;
- Put on the breastplate of righteousness;
- Put on the gospel of peace;
- Take up the shield of faith;
- Put on the helmet of salvation;
- Take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
- Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit
Praying the Prayer of the Functional Unbeliever
In the gospels we are told of a desperate father who brings his son to Jesus for healing. He is demon-possessed, and the son is often convulsed with demonic outbursts.
The father first approaches the disciples asking them to heal his son, but they are unable to do so. Ultimately, the father brings his son to Jesus, and upon seeing Jesus, the son beings to seize and convulse.
Jesus asks the father, “How long has this happened to him?”
The father replies, “from childhood.”
Jesus tells the father, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately, the gospels tell us, the father of the child cries out to Jesus and with tears in his eyes says, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:14-25)
That simple prayer is the prayer of a functional unbeliever. We believe in the power of God to overcome strongholds in our life and the sin habits that crawl out of them, but the stronghold of unbelief keeps us locked inside.
Jesus is telling you today, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Let our prayer be the same as that of the father in the gospel story: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
These questions are given to prompt both reflection and learning on a personal level, and should likely be completed individually and apart from your regular group time.
Looking back at this week’s teaching and study, what’s the most important thing to remember?
Becoming A House of Prayer
“Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices; Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” – Isaiah 56:7.
Prayer Focus for the Week of September 24
Set aside a portion of your Lighthouse for prayer.
- Pray for those preparing to leave Iowa to serve as gospel missionaries on the foreign field.
- Pray for those who feel adrift from the Lord in a sea of sin. He is the anchor that holds.
- Thank the Lord for those who serve as medical professionals to help in times of physical illness.
- Praise the Lord for the abundant provision He has provided to FFC through faithful givers.
- Pray for the Christian teachers and administrators of Central Iowa. May God give them greater influence.
- May the Lord break our hearts over the lostness of our community (Proverbs 11:30).
- May we reflect upon the atonement Christ paid for our sins as the Lamb of God.
Questions to consider as you continue to reflect on what you learned this week:
- Take Action: Can you identify any strongholds in your life? Be honest with yourself. Recognizing a stronghold is the first step to tearing it down.
- Take courage: When we recognize a stronghold we can either be defeated or we can recognize the power of God to demolish it. The choice is ours. The battle is the Lord’s and he has already won the victory. We will triumph over strongholds if we recognize them for what they are, devices of the devil, and if we attack them with spiritual rather than human weapons. Satan’s weapons are lies, deceit etc. Ours are the weapons of prayer, humility, and godliness.
Work to memorize this week’s memory verse: 2 Samuel 5:7
Our Core Practice this week is Worship (Psalm 95:1-7): I worship God for who He is and what He has done for me.
Remember to use the daily Bible reading plan as part of your walk with Christ, taking the time to reflect on each passage and what it means for our lives.
Coming Dates This Fall:
10/01/2017 – Life Change Church Launch Day
10/15/2017 – Begin 40 Days of Prayer
10/25/2017 – Mobilization Conference Begins
10/27/2017 – 2017 GO Trip Reports
10/29/2017 – Guest Speaker: Ray Chang
10/29/2017 – International Dinner & Commissioning
10/30/2017 – Lighthouse Midterm Break; No Groups the week of 10/30/2017
11/05/2017 – Daylight Savings Time Ends
11/05/2017 – Fireside Chats Begin
11/13/2017 – Operation Christmas Child; 11/13 – 11/20
11/19/2017 – Harvest Offering
11/19/2017 – Thanksgiving Night of Worship
11/23/2017 – Thanksgiving Day; Church Facilities Closed
11/24/2017 – 40 Days of Prayer Ends
11/29/2017 – Fall Wednesday Night Ministries End
12/09/2017 – Kids’ Christmas Musical
12/24/2017 – Christmas Eve at First Family
12/25/2017 – Christmas Day
12/31/2017 – New Year’s Eve Day; Ankeny: 10:00 am | Bondurant: 10:00 am
01/01/2018 – New Year’s Day
01/07/2018 – Lighthouse Spring Semester Begins
Fall Teaching Schedule:
09/10/17 – 2 Samuel 1:1-27
David mourns the deaths of Saul and Jonathan.
09/17/17 – 2 Samuel 2:1-4:12
David becomes King of Judah; Civil War in Israel.
9/24/27 – 2 Samuel 5
David becomes King of Israel; War with the Philistines.
10/01/17 – 2 Samuel 6
David seeks to bring the ark to Jerusalem.
10/08/17 – 2 Samuel 7
The Davidic Covenant.
10/15/17 – 2 Samuel 8-10
David consolidates his kingdom.
10/22/17 – 2 Samuel 11:1-12:25
David’s great sin that brings destruction to his family.
10/29/17 – Guest Speaker
International Dinner (No Groups)
11/05/17 – 2 Samuel 12:26-13:39
Nathan rebukes David for his sin; David repents; the rape of David’s daughter, Tamar.
11/12/17 – 2 Samuel 14-15
The Parable of Two Sons; Absalom rebels against David.
11/19/17 – 2 Samuel 16-17
Absalom captures Jerusalem, lies with David’s concubines to show his contempt for his father.
11/26/17 – 2 Samuel 18
Civil War between Absalom and David. Joab kills Absalom. David mourns the death of his son.
12/03/17 – 2 Samuel 19-21
David is restored to the throne, but conflict and turmoil continue to plague David.
12/10/17 – 2 Samuel 22:1-23:7
David nears the end of his life as conflict and turmoil continue.
12/17/17 – 2 Samuel 23:8-24:25
David’s last words; David sins again and the Lord judges Israel; 70,000 die from a plague.
- Rod Mattoon, Treasurers from 2 Samuel, Mattoon’s Treasures (Springfield, IL: Lincoln Land Baptist Church, 2008). ↩