Series: Thru the Bible
Message – No recording this week
***Video is HERE***
Thru the Bible: 2Samuel 2-4
Thru the Bible: 2Samuel 1-3
Much at the beginning of David’s reign fails to make sense.
Abner, the commander of Saul’s army takes matters into his own hands and assumes the power of setting Saul’s remaining sons as king over all of Israel except Judah over which David was already king.
He manipulated Saul’s son and gained power and then turned on him for being insulted. He then believes it is in his power to give the kingdom over to David and so seeks a covenant with David so as to take advantage even still. David honors him and accepts his suggestion of a covenant between them as if Abner was the one who was to give Israel into David’s reign rather than God.
Joab, a loyal servant of David, whose brother had died at the hands of this wicked man Abner, pursued him and killed him. David, then turns on Joab and makes him lament killing his brother’s murderer and then pronounces a curse on his family. While giving Abner a royal funeral and honoring this wicked man.
Then two raiding party leaders under Saul’s son’s authority, killed him, brought his head to David and David kills them for it.
It seems all the way through these first few chapters of David’s reign than he honors the dishonorable and kills those trying to honor him.
Granted, these men who turned on Saul’s son, were dishonorable and did wrong…and should have died for their murder of him. Abner had killed MANY in his pursuit of power, and manipulation of God’s people and yet was honored.
It makes sense only if viewed politically. By agreeing to meet and decide over terms would be one thing. It would bring the war to an end, work towards a unified Israel an save lives – win, win, win! A covenant with a notoriously misguided man (who, whether known to be or not by David was also a wicked political opportunist) was quite another.
Another political advantage to this move is that no one in a new position of power, is loved for killing his way to the top. So David reacting as he did exonerated his house from the guilt of the blood of those attached to Saul’s continued reign and the people loved him for having such “integrity”, but it seems to have come at the cost of morality.
Finally, David required Michal back again. This makes sense from a biblical perspective in that Michal had literally been David’s wife for a while and it seems unlikely that they had not been intimate. After Saul drove David from the kingdom, he gave Michal who was already married to David, to another man – this entire time this man was committing adultery by taking her as if she were his wife. David was simply reclaiming his wife. The fact that this man’s heart was broken was his own fault. He should never have taken her as wife in the first place because she really wasn’t. God had joined her to David and man cannot “undo” that – this is why this man’s entire relationship with Michal was one of habitual adultery with David’s wife.
This is something we need to address at another time – but God does NOT honor nor does he recognize marriages we “create” outside of His laws for marriage, divorce and remarriage. All such relationships multiply one’s sins!
David Anointed King of Judah
2 Samuel 2
“(1) Some time later, David inquired of the LORD: “Should I go to one of the towns of Judah?”
The LORD answered him, “Go.”
Then David asked, “Where should I go?”
“To Hebron,” the LORD replied.
(2) So David went there with his two wives, A-hin-oam the Jezreelite and Abigail, the widow of Nabal the Carmelite.
(3) In addition, David brought the men who were with him, each one with his household, and they settled in the towns near Hebron. (4) Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. They told David: “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.” (5) David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, “The LORD bless you, because you have shown this special kindness to Saul your lord when you buried him. (6) Now, may the LORD show special kindness and faithfulness to you, and I will also show the same goodness to you because you have done this deed. (7) Therefore, be strong and courageous, for though Saul your lord is dead, the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”
Ish-bosheth Made King of Israel
“(8) Abner son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, took Saul’s son Ish-bosheth and moved him to Mahan-aim. (9) He made him king over Gilead, Asher, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin–over all Israel. (10) Saul’s son Ish-bosheth was 40 years old when he began his reign over Israel; he ruled for two years.”
“The house of Judah, however, followed David. (11) The length of time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.”
The Battle of Gibeon
“(12) Abner son of Ner and soldiers of Ish-bosheth son of Saul marched out from Maha-naim to Gibeon.
(13) So Joab son of Zeru-iah and David’s soldiers marched out and met them by the pool of Gibeon.”
“The two groups took up positions on opposite sides of the pool. (14) Then Abner said to Joab, “Let’s have the young men get up and compete in front of us.”
“Let them get up,” Joab replied.
(15) So they got up and were counted off–12 for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth son of Saul, and 12 from David’s soldiers.
(16) Then each man grabbed his opponent by the head and thrust his sword into his opponent’s side so that they all died together. So this place, which is in Gibeon, is named Field of Blades.
(17) The battle that day was extremely fierce, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated by David’s soldiers. (18) The three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab, Abishai, and Asa-hel. Asa-hel was a fast runner, like one of the wild gazelles. (19) He chased Abner and did not turn to the right or the left in his pursuit of him. (20) Abner glanced back and said, “Is that you, Asa-hel?”
“Yes it is,” Asahel replied.
(21) Abner said to him, “Turn to your right or left, seize one of the young soldiers, and take whatever you can get from him.” But Asahel would not stop chasing him.
(22) Once again, Abner warned Asahel, “Stop chasing me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How could I ever look your brother Joab in the face?”
(23) But Asahel refused to turn away, so Abner hit him in the stomach with the end of his spear. The spear went through his body, and he fell and died right there. When all who came to the place where Asa-hel had fallen and died, they stopped, (24) but Joab and Abishai pursued Abner. By sunset, they had gone as far as the hill of Ammah, which is opposite Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon.
(25) The Benjaminites rallied to Abner; they formed a single unit and took their stand on top of a hill. (26) Then Abner called out to Joab: “Must the sword devour forever? Don’t you realize this will only end in bitterness? How long before you tell the troops to stop pursuing their brothers?”
(27) “As God lives,” Joab replied, “if you had not spoken up, the troops wouldn’t have stopped pursuing their brothers until morning.” (28) Then Joab blew the ram’s horn, and all the troops stopped; they no longer pursued Israel or continued to fight.
(29) So Abner and his men marched through the Arabah all that night. They crossed the Jordan, marched all morning, and arrived at Mahanaim.
(30) When Joab had turned back from pursuing Abner, he gathered all the troops. In addition to Asahel, 19 of David’s soldiers were missing, (31) but they had killed 360 of the Benjaminites and Abner’s men.
(32) Afterwards, they carried Asahel to his father’s tomb in Bethlehem and buried him. Then Joab and his men marched all night and reached Hebron at dawn.”
2 Samuel 3
Abner Joins David
“(1) The war between the house of Saul and the house of David was long and drawn out, with David growing stronger and the house of Saul becoming weaker. (2) Sons were born to David in Hebron:
his firstborn was Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelite;
(3) his second was Chileab, by Abigail, the widow of Nabal the Carmelite;
the third was Absalom, son of Maa-cah the daughter of King Talmai of Geshur;
(4) the fourth was Adonijah, son of Haggith;
the fifth was Shephatiah, son of Abital;
(5) the sixth was Ithream, by David’s wife Eglah.
These were born to David in Hebron.
(6) During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner kept acquiring more power in the house of Saul. (7) Now Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah daughter of Aiah (Ayah), and Ish-bosheth questioned Abner, “Why did you sleep with my father’s concubine?”
(8) Abner was very angry about Ish-bosheth’s accusation. “Am I a dog’s head who belongs to Judah?” he asked. “All this time I’ve been loyal to the house of your father Saul, to his brothers, and to his friends and haven’t handed you over to David, but now you accuse me of wrongdoing with this woman! (9) May God punish Abner and do so severely if I don’t do for David what the LORD swore to him: (10) to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish the throne of David over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beer-sheba.”
(11) Ish-bosheth could not answer Abner because he was afraid of him. (12) Abner sent messengers as his representatives to say to David, “Whose land is it? Make your covenant with me, and you can be certain I am on your side to hand all Israel over to you.”
(13) David replied, “Good, I will make a covenant with you. However, there’s one thing I require of you: Do not appear before me unless you bring Saul’s daughter Michal here when you come to see me.” (14) Then David sent messengers to say to Ish-bosheth son of Saul, “Give me back my wife, Michal. I was engaged to her for the price of 100 Philistine foreskins.”
(15) So Ish-bosheth sent someone to take her away from her husband, Paltiel son of Laish. (16) Her husband followed her, weeping all the way to Bahurim.
Abner said to him, “Go back.” So he went back.
(17) Abner conferred with the elders of Israel: “In the past you wanted David to be king over you. (18) Now take action, because the LORD has spoken concerning David: ‘Through My servant David I will save My people Israel from the power of the Philistines and the power of all Israel’s enemies.'”
(19) Abner also informed the Benjaminites and went to Hebron to inform David about all that was agreed on by Israel and the whole house of Benjamin.
(20) When Abner and 20 men came to David at Hebron, David held a banquet for him and his men.
(21) Abner said to David, “Let me now go and I will gather all Israel to my lord the king. They will make a covenant with you, and you will rule over all you desire.”
So David dismissed Abner, and he went in peace.
(22) Just then David’s soldiers and Joab returned from a raid and brought a large amount of plundered goods with them. Abner was not with David in Hebron because David had dismissed him, and he had gone in peace. (23) When Joab and all his army arrived, Joab was informed, “Abner son of Ner came to see the king, the king dismissed him, and he went in peace.” (24) Joab went to the king and said, “What have you done? Look here, Abner came to you. Why did you dismiss him? Now he’s getting away. (25) You know that Abner son of Ner came to deceive you and to find out about your activities and everything you’re doing.”
Joab Murders Abner
“(26) Then Joab left David and sent messengers after Abner. They brought him back from the well of Sirah, but David was unaware of it.
(27) When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab pulled him aside to the middle of the gateway, as if to speak to him privately, and there Joab stabbed him in the stomach. So Abner died in revenge for the death of Asahel, Joab’s brother.
(28) David heard about it later and said: “I and my kingdom are forever innocent before the LORD concerning the blood of Abner son of Ner. (29) May it hang over Joab’s head and his father’s whole house, and may the house of Joab never be without someone who has an infection or leprosy or a man who can only work a spindle or someone who falls by the sword or starves.”
(30) Joab and his brother Abishai killed Abner because he had put their brother Asahel to death in the battle at Gibeon.”
David Mourns Abner
“(31) David then ordered Joab and all the people who were with him, “Tear your clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourn over Abner.”
And King David walked behind the funeral procession. (32) When they buried Abner in Hebron, the king wept aloud at Abner’s tomb.
All the people wept, (33) and the king sang a lament for Abner:
Should Abner die as a fool dies? (34) Your hands were not bound, your feet not placed in bronze shackles. You fell like one who falls victim to criminals.
And all the people wept over him even more.
(35) Then they came to urge David to eat bread while it was still day, but David took an oath: “May God punish me and do so severely if I taste bread or anything else before sunset!” (36) All the people took note of this, and it pleased them. In fact, everything the king did pleased them.
(37) On that day all the troops and all Israel were convinced that the king had no part in the killing of Abner son of Ner. (38) Then the king said to his soldiers, “You must know that a great leader has fallen in Israel today. (39) As for me, even though I am the anointed king, I have little power today. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too fierce for me. May the LORD repay the evildoer according to his evil!”
2 Samuel 4
“(1) When Saul’s son Ish-bosheth heard that Abner had died in Hebron, his courage failed, and all Israel was dismayed. (2) Saul’s son had two men who were leaders of raiding parties: one named Baanah and the other Rechab, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite of the Benjaminites. Beeroth is also considered part of Benjamin, (3) and the Beerothites fled to Gittaim and still live there as aliens to this very day.
(4) Saul’s son Jonathan had a son whose feet were crippled. He was five years old when the report about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she was hurrying to flee, he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.
(5) Rechab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out and arrived at Ish-bosheth’s house during the heat of the day while the king was taking his midday nap. (6) They entered the interior of the house as if to get wheat and stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rechab and his brother Baanah escaped. (7) They had entered the house while Ish-bosheth was lying on his bed in his bedroom and stabbed and killed him. Then they beheaded him, took his head, and traveled by way of the Arabah all night.
(8) They brought Ish-bosheth’s head to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here’s the head of Ish-bosheth son of Saul, your enemy who intended to take your life. Today the LORD has granted vengeance to my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.”
(9) But David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the LORD lives, the One who has redeemed my life from every distress, (10) when the person told me, ‘Look, Saul is dead,’ he thought he was a bearer of good news, but I seized him and put him to death at Ziklag. That was my reward to him for his news! (11) How much more when wicked men kill a righteous man in his own house on his own bed! So now, should I not require his blood from your hands and wipe you off the earth?” (12) So David gave orders to the young men, and they killed Rechab and Baanah. They cut off their hands and feet and hung their bodies by the pool in Hebron, but they took Ish-bosheth’s head and buried it in Abner’s tomb in Hebron.”
I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
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