TUESDAY, MARCH 12
SCRIPTURE:2 Samuel 2
BY: Jeremy Witt
I should clarify the accusations that Mr. Josh Boles made against me last week as many of you pointed out on Sunday. Let’s just say had I not made reference to the devotional on Wednesday of last week, you would have been lacking a devotional. I will leave it at that.
Now to the real reason we are here. Saul and Jonathan have died. The nation of Israel is in the midst of turmoil, unrest, and the big question is, “who will be king?” Tradition has the son of Saul as the heir to the throne, yet many know that God has anointed David as the next king. Essentially the question to the nation is will we follow man’s ways or God’s ways?”
As we begin chapter 2, David asks the LORD whether he should go to one of the towns of Judah and if so, what town. The LORD answered David in verse 1, and David and his family moved to Hebron. You might remember that this was the area that Caleb was promised when the Israelites conquered the land under Joshua’s leadership.
In verse 4, we see that the men of Judah anointed David as king in a public ceremony. This was different than the private ceremony with Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:13. The death of Saul shows a division within the nation. Most went with the ways of man and sought Ishbosheth, the son of Saul to be king in verse 8. Notice that the commander of Saul’s army, Abner, initiated this. This was a power play, as Abner is a cousin of Saul.
I realize not every person knew of the private anointing of David, but Abner certainly did! Remember the opportunities that David had to take Saul and did not, and the times that Saul confessed that David would be king. (1 Samuel 22 and 24) You might also remember the covenant that David made with Saul. (1 Samuel 24) Abner was there and heard it. Abner took advantage of the moment to grab power. He was most certainly focused on himself rather than the LORD.
Ishbosheth was king for 2 years while David ruled over Judah for 7 and ½ years in Hebron. There is a 5 ½ year gap here. Many scholars believe that during this gap, Abner was playing a key role in particular against the war with the Philistines. Abner may have used Ishbosheth as a pawn for him to remain in control.
The story of Asahel, brother of David’s military commander, and Abner are in verses 18-32 and it shows us the rivalries within both Israel and Judah. However, you can digest that information for yourself.
As we conclude today’s reading, I want to focus on Abner in our conclusion. When people have control, they do not like to let go of it. Many of us really struggle with this more than others. We like to be in control or in reality, think that we are in control when ultimately God is in control.
As we apply these Scriptures to us, it might apply to us as a church in our search for a pastor. We focus on what we want in a pastor rather than what God knows what we need. Or maybe the application is for us. It could apply to us in our job or relationships. We want to be in control and this control issue may be the problem. Rather than trusting the LORD God to be in control and leading us, we are actually fighting against the LORD’s will as Abner did. Do we really want to be fighting against God? We know that is a losing battle. Or is that the problem? Do we think that we know better than God? Sounds like a Garden of Eden problem like Adam and Eve had. That is something to think about.