Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2 Samuel 2 & 3 - David, Joab, and Abner

LINK: 2 Samuel 2 & 3 

2 Samuel 2

After 15 years (1 Samuel 16:13), David was finally crowned king in Hebron, and he reigned over Judah in the southern part of the nation for seven and a half years (a portent of the split that would come between the Northern and Southern Kingdoms after the death of Solomon). He gained the trust of the people of Jabesh Gilead by praising them for proper treatment of Saul's bones (1 Samuel 31:11-13). 

Abner was the commander of Israel's army and put Saul's youngest son, Ish-Bosheth (or Esh Baal, which means "fire of Baal," 1 Chronicles 8:33; 9:39), in power. At forty years of age, he was born after Saul began his reign (Acts 13:21). 

Abner and Joab (David's military commander) went into hand-to-hand combat with David's men victorious. During hot pursuit of Abner, he killed Joab's younger brother (2:23), and the other brother, Abishai, wanted revenge (2:24). David lost 20 men, and Abner lost 360 (3:30-31).

2 Samuel 3

In this chapter, we learned of David's marriages to six wives and the children that followed. We also learned that Abner took one of Saul's concubines. In Near East culture this was an indication of Abner's desire to be the next king. This was why Ish-Bosheth rebuked Abner resulting in Abner going to David's side. Joab was not excited about Abner being in partnership with David and killed him in revenge because Abner had killed Joab's brother (2:23). 

David uttered a curse on Joab (son of Zeruiah, David's half sister, 1 Chronicles 2:16) and his descendants because revenge killings were not permitted in a city of refuge like Hebron (Joshua 21:13; Numbers 35:22-25). He also gave Abner an honorable burial. 

REFLECTION
Then it came about afterwards that David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up to one of the cities of Judah?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up.” So David said, “Where shall I go up?” And He said, “To Hebron.” (2 Samuel 2:1, NASB95)
This verse has been swirling around in my head the whole week. While on a walk yesterday, I asked the Lord where I should go and what I should do as I start another school year of ministry with college students and young career people.  I love that this was the first thing that David did after Saul died. He could have assumed what he was to do because he had been anointed to be king 15 years before, but he did not want to make a step without a word from the Lord. I love that!

So, I want to be a person who inquires and stops long enough to listen before I launch into something. How about you?

APPLICATION

If you are reading according to the Bible Book Club schedule, September is right around the corner, and it is usually the start of new things. Have you inquired as to what the Lord would have you do this New Year?

September is not the American New Year, but it is the Jewish one! Rosh Hashanah usually begins in September or early October.

PRAYER

Lord, what would You have us do and where would you have us go this new year? We want to hear Your voice on what You want for us. Amen.
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