Archive for March 17th, 2008

Choosing Our Responses

Interesting how much of this chapter is taken up with wives & concubines. The first thing listed in 2 Samuel 3 are the six wives and six kids of David. One-half of them we will learn more about, and that not in pretty colors.

  • Amnon raped his half-sister and was murdered by his half-brother.
  • Absalom murdered his half-brother and led a civil war against his father David, attempting to murder David.
  • Adonijah tried to seize the throne from David and David’s appointed successor – then he tried to take one of David’s concubines and was executed for his arrogance.

Since I know a little something about fickleness, it isn’t hard to detect ole Abner and his many multi-faceted plots! But in the midst of it all, if Abner knew that David was God’s choice for king, why did he fight against him before this? Abner is a good example of those of us who know things to be true but don’t live as if they were true.

Lord Jesus, where You lead, I will follow!

So Abner did the right thing when he joined David’s side but he did it for the wrong reason. Instead of joining David because Ishbosheth offended him personally, he should have joined David because he knew that David was God’s choice to be king.

God of Righteousness, help me to serve You with a pure heart and with pure motives!

The fact that Abner – who was a general, not a Bible scholar – knew the prophecies regarding David, and the fact that he could ask the leaders of Israel to consider them means that these prophecies of David were widely known.

Sadly, they were not widely obeyed – most of Israel was lukewarm and unenthusiastic in their embrace of David as king. In this regard David prefigures his greater Son. Jesus fulfilled all manner of prophecy regarding the Messiah, yet He was rejected by all but a remnant of Israel.

After Abner came and tried to get reconciled with David, David responded very gently, as he seemed to most everyone who tried to usurp his position. As with Saul and Ishbosheth, David was wise and generous towards a former adversary. A lesser man would never forgive Abner for leading an army against God’s king, but David was a great, wise, and generous man.

Now, why wasn’t Joab pleased that Abner had defected and joined David’s side? There are at least three reasons for his hostility.

1. Joab feared Abner was a deceiver, a double agent working on behalf of Ishbosheth, the pretender king.

2. Abner killed Joab’s brother, and Joab was the avenger of blood for Asahel.

3. As the chief general of the former King Saul, Abner had a lot of top-level military experience. Abner might take Joab’s place as David’s chief military assistant.

And I can see Joab’s response better than I can see David’s! Joab may have even justified his actions by thinking, “I’m doing this to defend and honor David my king.”

But our sin and treachery never honors our king. We must avoid the trap Spurgeon spoke of: “We may even deceive ourselves into the belief that we are honoring our Lord and Master when we are, all the while, bringing disgrace upon his name.”

Oh Holy Spirit, grant guidance, discernmnet and power to know Your will and to walk in it!