2 Samuel 3:6-21
6 The fighting continued between David’s royal house and Saul’s royal house. Abner gained more and more power in the royal house of Saul. 7 While Saul was still alive, he had a concubine named Rizpah. She was the daughter of Aiah. Ish-Bosheth said to Abner, “Why did you have sex with my father’s concubine?” 8 Abner burned with anger because of what Ish-Bosheth said. He answered, “Do you think I’m only a dog’s head? Am I on Judah’s side? To this very day I’ve been true to the royal house of your father Saul. I’ve been true to his family and friends. I haven’t handed you over to David. But now you claim that I’ve sinned with this woman! 9 “I will do for David what the Lord promised him with an oath. If I don’t, may God punish me greatly. 10 I’ll take the kingdom away from Saul’s royal house. I’ll set up the throne of David’s kingdom over Israel and Judah. He will rule from Dan all the way to Beersheba.” 11 Ish-Bosheth didn’t dare to say another word to Abner. He was much too afraid of him. 12 Then Abner sent messengers to David to speak for him. They said, “Who will rule over this land? Make a covenant with me. Then I’ll help you bring all of the people of Israel over to your side.” 13 “Good,” said David. “I will make a covenant with you. But there’s one thing I want you to do. Bring Saul’s daughter Michal to me. Don’t come to see me unless she’s with you.” 14 Then David sent messengers to Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth. He ordered them to say, “Give me my wife Michal. She was promised to me. I paid for her with the skins I cut off when I circumcised 100 Philistines.” 15 So Ish-Bosheth gave the order. He sent men who took Michal away from her husband Paltiel. Paltiel was the son of Laish. 16 But her husband followed her to Bahurim. He was crying all the way. Then Abner said to him, “Go back home!” So he did. 17 Abner talked with the elders of Israel. He said, “For some time you have wanted to make David your king. 18 Now do it! The Lord made a promise to David. He said, ‘I will save my people Israel from the powerful hand of the Philistines. I will also save them from all of their enemies. I will save them through my servant David.’” 19 Abner also spoke to the people of Benjamin in person. Then he went to Hebron to tell David everything. He told him what Israel and all of the people of Benjamin wanted to do. 20 Abner had 20 men with him. They came to David at Hebron. So David prepared a big dinner for Abner and his men. 21 Then Abner said to David, “Let me go right now. I’ll gather together all of the people of Israel for you. After all, you are now my king and master. The people can make a covenant with you. Then you can rule over everyone you want to.” So David sent Abner away. And he went in peace.
In this passage the ambitious and arrogant Abner changes sides, abandoning Saul’s cause and actively supporting the claim of David. When offended by Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth Abner decides to take revenge by supporting David. His motives are wrong, and yet he is successful in convincing the elders to support David. God uses a supporter of David’s enemy to bring him another step closer to being king.
On the day that Abner defected David may have looked at Saul and Abner and seen great difficulty in overcoming them, yet as a result of a seemingly brief interaction the chief supporter of Saul’s house offers his strength and service to David. No
human obstacle is greater than God’s will, and it is fascinating to watch throughout the Bible how God moves in unique ways to bring about His plans.
God used a man initially set against David to accomplish His will. I’m encouraged that as I seek to fulfill God’s will, God will surely use me. I’m also encouraged that in facing obstacles I have a creative God who has no difficulty in bringing about His will.
Written by Bethany Waugh