2 Samuel 4.1 - 5.5
4 Ish-Bosheth, the son of Saul, heard that Abner had died in Hebron. Then he wasn’t so brave anymore. And all of the people of Israel became alarmed. 2 Two men in Ish-Bosheth’s army led small companies that attacked their enemies. The names of the men were Baanah and Recab. They were sons of Rimmon from the town of Beeroth. Rimmon was from the tribe of Benjamin. Beeroth is considered to be part of Benjamin. 3 That’s because the people who used to live in Beeroth had run away to Gittaim. They have lived there as outsiders to this very day. 4 Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son named Mephibosheth. Both of Mephibosheth’s feet were hurt. He was five years old when the news that Saul and Jonathan had died came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and ran. But as she hurried to get away, he fell down. That’s how his feet were hurt. 5 Recab and Baanah started out for the house of Ish-Bosheth. They were the sons of Rimmon from Beeroth. They arrived there during the hottest time of the day. Ish-Bosheth was taking his early afternoon nap. 6 Recab and his brother Baanah went into the inside part of the house. They acted as if they were going to get some wheat. Instead, they stabbed Ish-Bosheth in the stomach. Then they slipped away. 7 They had gone into the house while Ish-Bosheth was lying on his bed in his bedroom. They stabbed him and killed him. Then they cut off his head and took it with them. They traveled all night through the Arabah Valley. 8 They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to King David at Hebron. They said to him, “Here’s the head of Ish-Bosheth, the son of Saul. Saul was your enemy. He often tried to kill you. Today the Lord has paid Saul and his family back. He has let you get even with them. You are our king and master.” 9 David gave an answer to Recab and his brother Baanah. They were the sons of Rimmon of Beeroth. David said, “The Lord has saved me from all of my troubles. 10 A man once told me, ‘Saul is dead.’ He thought he was bringing me good news. But I grabbed hold of him. I had him put to death in Ziklag. That’s the reward I gave him for his news! And that’s just as sure as the Lord is alive. 11 “Now you evil men have killed a man in his own house. He hadn’t done anything wrong. You killed him while he was lying on his own bed. You spilled his blood. So shouldn’t I spill your blood? Shouldn’t I wipe you off the face of the earth?” 12 Then David gave an order to his men. They killed Recab and Baanah. They cut off their hands and feet. They hung their bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they buried the head of Ish-Bosheth in Abner’s tomb at Hebron. 5 All of the tribes of Israel came to see David at Hebron. They said, “We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past, Saul was our king. But you led the men of Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will be the shepherd over my people Israel. You will become their ruler.’” 3 All of the elders of Israel came to see King David at Hebron. There the king made a covenant with them in the sight of the Lord. They anointed David as king over Israel. 4 David was 30 years old when he became king. He ruled for 40 years. 5 In Hebron he ruled over Judah for seven and a half years. In Jerusalem he ruled over all of Israel and Judah for 33 years.
Nothing good comes from losing “all courage, and being paralysed with fear” (v 1). This is what todays passage says happened to Ishbosheth and all Israel at the news of Abner’s death. And it was this fear that cost Ishbosheth his life.
once heard Ps Phil Pringle say “God says “fear not” in the Bible 365 times – that’s once for every
day of the year”. Other commands from God I take seriously and yet this one – fear not – I seem to let slide. I allow my courage to plummet and get paralysed by fear. The result is the same as Ishbosheth. I am robbed of ‘life’.
The war of fear is fought and won on the battleground of my mind. But God had provided me with every possible piece of armour and every possible weapon for victory (Eph 6.11-17 and 2Cor10.3-5). It’s time to stop “sleeping” (v 5), take the enemy down and never fear again.
Written by Boudy van Noppen