As you read these chapters, ask yourself why they are included in scripture. Do they testify of Christ? If so, how? Do they serve some other purpose? History is important in its own right, but it isn’t clear why this particular history is important as scripture. How would you explain its importance? Perhaps the answer is “Ultimately this isn’t an important story,” but that ought to be our last conclusion rather than our first, the conclusion we come to only after the others fail. After all, people have found meaning in these passages for millennia. It would be brash, to say the least, to dismiss the collective judgment of millions of people without good reasons for doing so.
Though David has been anointed to be king, he does not become king immediately. A great deal happens before he is finally made king. (See the list of events at the end of these study questions.) These chapters are devoted to the events of that time. Do you think that this interval of about 10 years was necessary to David’s development? Was it necessary, instead, for some other reason? Was it, perhaps, unnecessary? Perhaps it happened but didn’t have to happen this way.