Monday 7 November, 2016
2 Samuel 3:1-21
3 The war between Saul’s royal house and David’s royal house lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger. But the royal house of Saul grew weaker and weaker. 2 Sons were born to David in Hebron. His first son was Amnon. Amnon’s mother was Ahinoam from Jezreel. 3 His second son was Kileab. Kileab’s mother was Abigail. She was Nabal’s widow from Carmel. The third son was Absalom. His mother was Maakah. She was the daughter of Talmai, the king of Geshur. 4 The fourth son was Adonijah. His mother was Haggith. The fifth son was Shephatiah. His mother was Abital. 5 The sixth son was Ithream. His mother was David’s wife Eglah. Those sons were born to David in Hebron. 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 sleep with my father’s concubine?” 8 Abner was very angry because of what Ish-Bosheth said. So Abner answered, “Do you think I’m only a dog’s head? Am I on Judah’s side? To this day I’ve been faithful to the royal house of your father Saul. I’ve been faithful 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. 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 the Israelites 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 the price that was demanded. I paid for her with the skins of 100 circumcised 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 rescue my people Israel from the power of the Philistines. I will also rescue them from all their enemies. I will rescue 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 the people of Benjamin wanted to do. 20 Abner had 20 men with him. They came to David at Hebron. So David prepared a feast for Abner and his men. 21 Then Abner said to David, “Let me go right now. I’ll gather together all the Israelites 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.
What are my motives for the actions I take? The end result may be the right one but if my motives for doing that action are not right and pure should I really be doing it? Or do the “ends justify the means”?
Abner changed camps in this passage – from Saul to David. He says in verse 18 that God has chosen David and yet that’s not the reason he is switching alliance. He is switching camps out of revenge because Saul’s son accuses him of adultery. (A claim that Abner doesn’t deny, by the way!) He should have come clean (if he needed to) about the adultery thing and switched camps because God said that David would be king. The end result for Abner isn’t good (tomorrow’s passage).
It’s high time I start getting serious about why I do things. To pull the handbrake on & ask myself “why am I doing this thing? What’s the real reason?” God sees. He knows the real reason already (Jer 17:10). He is waiting to see if I have the character and courage to do the right thing for the right reasons. And he will reward me accordingly.
Lord, thanks for the handbrake – help me remember to use it. I want your blessings and presence in my life more than anything. Help me have pure motives in all I do. Amen
Written by Boudy VanNoppen
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