Practical Lessons From 2 Samuel (Part 1)
Since we have observed many practical lessons from the ninth book of the Bible, let us now move on to the tenth book, II Samuel.

II Samuel 1:11,12 - "Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, for the people of the LORD and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword."
It would be expected for David to mourn for the loss of his friend Jonathan and for the loss of other Israelites, but David also mourned, wept, and fasted for Saul--the one who had been trying to murder him for some time! David truly loved this enemy; he genuinely sought what was in Saul's best interest. David had a wonderful heart (cf. Acts 13:22) and his attitude here is worthy of emulation (cf. Matt. 5:43,44).

II Samuel 6:3-7:

"So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart. And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill, accompanying the ark of God; and Ahio went before the ark. Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the LORD on all kinds of instruments of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals. And when they came to Nachon's threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God."
Their intentions were noble, in attempting to move the ark of the covenant in a way they thought was appropriate, but this does not negate the fact that they disobeyed God. Good intentions ended up costing a man his life on this occasion, and good intentions coupled with disobedience will cost many eternal life (cf. Matt. 7:21-23). Uzzah, in stabilizing the ark on the cart, was trying to prevent it from being damaged. But, touching the ark was not authorized; it was to be transported by poles that were to be left in place at all times (cf. Exo. 25:14,15). Here is a case where one bad choice leads to another. Had the people consulted the word of God, they would have known God's mind on the matter (cf. I Chr. 15:13). As it was, they simply did what they thought seemed right, but they turned out to be very wrong in this case (cf. Isa. 55:8,9).

II Samuel 8:5,6,13,14:

"When the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand of the Syrians. Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; and the Syrians became David's servants, and brought tribute. So the LORD preserved David wherever he went...And David made himself a name when he returned from killing eighteen thousand Syrians in the valley of Salt. He also put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David's servants. And the LORD preserved David wherever he went."
David, a man after God's own heart, was a man of much bloodshed. He took many lives and did so with God's blessing in the vast majority of cases. In fact, the text says that "the LORD preserved David wherever he went." God both approved and blessed David's violent efforts against Israelite enemies. This shows that violence is not wrong in all cases. There is a place for the punishment of evildoers, even the death penalty. Today, however, since we do not live in theocracy, God has reserved the role of punishing evildoers for the government (cf. Rom. 13:1-4). We are not to take our own vengeance (cf. Rom. 12:18,19).