We continue on in this record of David coming to the throne over God's people.
David inquired of the Lord... This is the first time David checked about where he should live since 1 Sam. 22:5 where he fled from Saul. The Lord told him to go into the land of Judah where Saul could not get to him.
Here in 2 Sam. 2, David is in Ziklag. It had been burned and completely destroyed, but David was willing to sit and wait on the Lord to move him. This gives us two points.
1. Gal.6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Ps. 37:3-8 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
Let us consider David a moment. He had gone into a battle that he was not permitted to fight in. He came home and the city was burned to the ground, and all of their goods and families were gone. They pursued, fought, and recovered all they had lost, 1 Sam.29:3. Now they were here amidst the burned out ruins of the city with no where to go.
On top of this, he gets word that his king and his very best friend in the world have been killed. What would we do in a case like this? I sure know what I would be very tempted to do. I would say, WHAT IS THE USE? I AM TRYING TO DO RIGHT AND EVERYTHING GOES WRONG. I MIGHT AS WELL JUST CALL IT ALL QUITS!
But, no, we see that David was just going to sit still and obey God's word where he was until God told him differently. He was going to wait on the Lord and do good and let the Lord bring it to pass.
And here and here alone lies our hope. Sit still, do what we know to do from God's word and leave it all up to Him. He will bring to pass what is pleasing to Him.
And as I put this together, I sit here with a very large bill for the car repair, and an arm that is giving me problems. The answer when things look overwhelming, sit still, do right, and wait on the Lord to work it all out.
2. David knew that God was going to give him the kingdom, so what did he do? What would we do? We would probably pack up and go to Judah and say, HERE I AM YOU LUCKY PEOPLE. I JUST HAPPEN TO BE WITHOUT A JOB, AND I HEAR THAT YOU ARE WITHOUT A KING.
I had a person from our mailing list in Atlanta Georga, call me about a year or so ago and tell me a strange story about a pastor in another state who had heard that they were without a pastor at their church. He told them that the Lord had told him that He wanted him to pastor that church. The problem was that the Lord had not talked to the people of the church, and they did not know what to do with this insistent fellow.
David knew that the Lord wanted him to be king, and he also knew that the Lord would work on the other end also. Therefore, he was willing to wait for the people to offer to make him king. He knew he would be the king but he did not force himself upon them or force the issue. God in His time will move the hearts of the people toward David.
David seems to have learned his lesson with his close call when he went to battle against Israel on the side of the Philistines, so now he is not moving without checking with the Lord.
With these two points let us say:
1. The hardest thing in the world is to just keep on doing what we know we should and wait on the Lord to move in our lives and in the lives of those we love. As I have mentioned, we forget that the oak tree grows slowly from a small acorn.
2. How many times have we gone charging off into the sunset in all directions because we feel like we know what the Lord wants us to do, instead of waiting on Him to work out all of the circumstances? Then we wonder why everything did not work out. David stayed still until God brought all of the lose ends together. Ps. 37 needs to be a regular diet for our reading.
The Lord told David to go unto Hebron. David goes and takes his wives and men with him.
Back in 1 Sam. 22, David had fled for his life from Saul. As he was in hiding from those who sought his life, there were many who came to him, about four hundred men.
Now we see the Lord telling him to go to Hebron where the men of Judah are going to anoint him king over them. Those who had followed him in the wilderness when his life was in danger, now follow him to Hebron where he will become king over the kingdom God had promised him.
Of course, the application here is obvious. Those who suffer with the Son of David, will also reign with Him, 2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
Mat. 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
The King may appear to be in hiding for now, but one day He will be exalted above every name that is named. Today, the Son of David is sought after and plotted against in hopes of overthrowing, but the day will come when He will be sought for salvation, Psalms 2.
Let me chase a rabbit for a moment or two.
I think that it is of not a little significance that the summits between Bush and Gorbachev are being held on Sundays, the Christian Sabbath. The Sabbath was set aside by God for man's rest, Exodus 20:7-11. It was a day set aside when all planning and work was to be avoided and included the civil government. This Sabbath rest from labor and planning revealed man's dependance on the providence of God to bless his labors. In honoring this day of rest, man took his hand off of his life and said that his prosperity depended on the hand of God.
Now, notice that Bush is repeatedly talking about a new world order. In this order the Soviets and the USA join together to make things happen according to their predetermined plan. And take note of the day that their planning is taking place on, THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH.
In this they are saying, either intentionally or unintentionally, that the Lord God no longer fits in the plans of the nations in any way, shape or form. They are saying that man is in charge of his own destiny and that man's will, not God's, shall be done on earth.
Back to David.
Those who have been faithful to Him when the kings of this world sought to kill Him will reign with Him in His good time. The many times the message has been rejected, will be more than amply rewarded when we shall see the King in His beauty.
The road may seem difficult today for those who try to remain faithful; the cause of Christ may seem to be defeated, but one day all will be set straight.
As the song says, It will be worth it all when we see Christ.
Those who identified with David when their lives were in danger for that identification are now glad that they stuck it out.
Judah makes David king.
His first act as king is to compliment the men of Jabeshgilead for the kindness they displayed in honoring Saul even in his death.
Over and over we see that David is not on a personal ego trip as he is moved by God into the kingdom. One of the ways that he does this is to remember those who have done what was right to do, especially when they did that under very trying circumstances.
First, he quickly rewards the Amalekite for the evil that he claimed to do.
Second, he is just as quick to reward the good that these men did.
Are we as quick to praise good as we are to condemn evil? We find it far easer to condemn the wicked to death and hell, than we do to praise the good someone does.
The Son of David will reward the work done according to His word, and the more difficult the work, the more praise there is in store. If that reward is not here on this earth, it will be when we see Him in His kingdom.
David continues to wait on the Lord and he waits here for 7 1/2 more years.
Now we come to a man who plays a very important part in all of this, Abner. He was the son of Saul's uncle Ner (light), and had been captain of Saul's army. He had exercised great influence on Saul.
Abner takes Saul's son, Ishbosheth (MAN OF SHAME), and sets him up as king over the other 11 tribes. Saul and Abner were cousins which would make Abner and Ishbosheth second cousins. It would only be natural for the flesh to want to set up the "man of shame" in place of the man after God's own heart, God's anointed. The natural relationship will always seek to replace God's anointed with what is best for the natural man.
Abner (son of light) should have known better because he was present when Saul told David that he knew for sure that David would be established as king, 1 Sam. 24:20; 26:14-.
But even though he knew David was the rightful king as the Lord's anointed, and that "the man of shame" had never been anointed, he still wanted to try it his way.
He knew from the word of God that it would not work and that it was not right to do, but he was going to try to beat the odds. The flesh is very convincing that it knows best, in spite of what God says.
As we mentioned with the man who came to David with the news of Saul, the flesh will play the odds. As long as there is a chance of not getting caught, the flesh will convince us that we will not get caught.
I know that we keep referring back to this passage in Genesis 2:4 and 5. The reason that we do is because this is where it all started. Notice what the tempter said, Ye shall not surely die: What are the two key words here? NOT SURELY. Now, what did the tempter say here?
He told Eve that she might die, and then again, she might not die. The Lord had said that if they disobeyed, they would surely die. The tempter said that the Creator might be a bully and make them die, He had the power to do this, but this WAS NOT A CERTAINTY!
The temptation was for Eve take a chance on it. She might die, but then again, SHE MIGHT NOT! How many have fallen into the pit on this prospect that they might not get caught or might not get in trouble. It is not a sure thing, so the sinful nature takes a chance on it.
This is what makes the lottery so popular, there is a chance of winning, although very slim. But as long as there is any chance at all, man will take that chance.
The word of God says that the wages of sin is death, and there is no avoiding this. As long as a person believes the offer from the tempter that they might be the exception, they will partake in the sin.
To here, 9/9/90
He was 40. This means that he was born just at the time Saul took the throne. His original name was Ishbaal (1 Chron. 8:33), the forth son of Saul. His name meant FIRE OF BAAL, or more than likely, DESTROYER OF BAAL. Saul started with a zeal for God and a hatred for Baal, but as he grew older even his children's name reflect his change in attitude toward God.
And how like human nature. We first get saved and we can not do enough for the Lord. As time goes on, our priorities change. As with Saul, this change in our love for the Lord is obvious.
David was 30 when he took the throne over Judah, and 37 1/2 when he was installed over all of Israel (5:4,5.).
[Question, how can the difference in age and time in this verse be explained? 2 years Ishbosheth reigned in Israel while David reigned 7 1/2 years in Judah after Saul's death. It can not other than it might have taken Abner 5 years to regain the land from the Philistines and establish Eshbaal on the throne.]
Abner was probably desirous to establish his position as captain over the army. Therefore, he set up Ishbosheth, because to set up David according to God's plan might mean giving up his post to Joab, David's captain.
Joab (Jah is father) was the son of David's sister, making him David's nephew and he took advantage of this post (1 Chron. 2:16).
Notice the use of family in these important positions. The reason? A family member could be trusted more than an outsider. This is still a very prevelant pratice in this area of the world, the Middle East. The man who is causing all of the rackett over there now, has his family in all of the places of authority.
Abner's goal was to bring all of Israel under subjection to "the man of shame." Again, Abner should have known better but pride blinds men to the facts. Not only did he chose the man of Shame over God's anointed, but now he goes to war to force others to make the same choice.
They met at Gibeon and Abner, Saul's cousin, agreed together with Joab, David's nephew, to try to settle who would rule without a civil war. Notice that David is not the one forcing the issue. The sinful man will always force the issue when the Lord says, "Sit and wait, be patient, it will all work out."
The flesh says HURRY UP!
Abner said to Joab.. 12 men from each side got up to have a contest. Whichever side won would rule.
Neither side won. As soon as they met, each grabbed the others head, and stuck his sword or knife into the others side. All 24 died. The match settled nothing, so they all mix it up, v. 17. Joab, David's nephew, bested Abner and his men.
To me the thing that stands out about this battle is Abner's killing of Asahel (God is the doer). Asahel was also a son of David's sister making him Joab's brother and David's nephew. Abishai is mentioned here also as being a third brother. This gives us Joab, Asahel and Abishai all brothers and all David's nephews.
Asahel was fast, so he ran after Abner to kill him. Was he looking for glory? Abner warned him that if he wanted honor he had better turn aside and fight with a common soldier, v.21.
This was good advice, too bad he did not heed it. This is good advice for us also. Fight the small battles. Be faithful in the small things before we attempt the bigger. Let God force us into the big battles, do not go looking for them.
I could not count the ones that I have met that want to do some great big things for God, yet have not done the little things. Then we hear of the ones who do go out and take on a major task and the next thing we know, we hear of them dead along the road. The thinking of the natural man is that you start on the top.
Abner was no babe in the woods. He was not the one to cut your teath in warfare on. There was a lot of common soldiers to kill before Asahel tried this one.
Abner (Saul's house) did not want to kill the young man and tries to convince him to leave off the chase. Abner had been friends with Joab and didn't want this to come between them, but Asahel, Joab's brother, David's nephew, would not stop, so Abner stuck the sharp point of the rear end of his spear all the way through him. Asahel fell dead on the spot, v. 23.
And so will we if we try to force our way into battles which God has not opened up. How many have been left dead along the road because they have tried to start at the top?
V. 24. Joab (David's house) and his brother, Abishai, and the army pursued after Abner. Abner gathered his army around him on a hilltop for defense and Joab could not break through it.
Abner (Saul's house) calls out to Joab, "How long are we going to fight? forever. How long are we going to continue killing our brethren, fellow Israelites?"
Abner (Saul's house) seems to try to put the blame on Joab, when Abner is the one in rebellion against God's plan. The natural man is very good at this, blaming another for our own problens and rebellion.
Very few of us can face up to the fact that the major problem is within our own heart.
V. 27. Joab reminds Abner that he was the one who suggested the contest that morning. If it had not been for that there would be no killing now. Notice how the flesh will force us into a battle, then blames others for the battle that he got us into.
We do not like to take the blame for our own weaknesses and foolishness. The man of shame, the flesh is an expert at getting us to blame someone else. A bad example of this is the angary person. They lose it and they blame something else for making them lose it. No, they lost control of their spirit because they did not have it under control. The lose it because they did not have it.
The Scriptures are clear. Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing will offend them.
The heart will deceive us into thinking that we have it all together, then something comes along to cause it to fall all apart. Why? Clearly, we did not have it all together or it would not have fallen apart.
V. 28. Joab called off his men, seeing as how they could not break through to Abner on the hill.
V. 29. Abner took his men and traveled all night back home.
V. 30. Joab took his men and went back to David, traveling all night back to Hebron where David was, burying Asahel, Joab's brother on the way. Joab lost 19 men plus Asahel. Abner lost 360 men.
Some things for us:
1. The 12 men of "THE MAN OF SHAME' were just as courageous, strong and determined as was the men of "THE LORD'S ANOINTED." Determination and conviction doesn't make a man right.
These men fought and died for the wrong side, but they were still on the wrong side. The world's crowd is just as convinced as is the Lord's crowd (more! They work much harder). Conviction, might and size does not make right. David's rule was much smaller, but he was right.
2. Asahel had his eyes on one goal, Abner. Think of the hero he would be if he could capture or kill Abner. The war would stop and the way to the throne opened for his uncle David. He got his mind so much on the glory that he forgot reality.
How much like Christians today! Their mind is so much on the glory that they are being killed by the wrong side, EASILY!
3. Abner was no 'babe in the woods.' Abner was a seasoned soldier. He knew how to defend himself, which is just what he did. How often do we get blinded by the prospect of the end results (maybe even pure motives of establishing the King) that we forget to be realistic. Our adversary is real and he has run his dart, spear through much better people than we are.
4. Asahel, so excited and confident in his speed (his abilities in warfare) in pursuing (not fleeing), that he did not consider all avenues. Here was one trick of warfare that he had never encountered before and never will again. So overconfident was he in his own strength he let down his guard and fell victim to the dart, Pro. 15:25, 32; 16:18.
I think there is a problem when a person starts to tell how much progress they feel that they have made. The more progress we make for the Lord in our personal lives, the more progress we see that we still need to make.
What did Paul say? He saw himself as the least of the Apostles. When our attention is on how far we think we have come, we are headed for a fall.
The rear of the spear! Amazing! Who would have thought of that except someone who had spent many years in battle? Remember:
1. Abner, the captain of the MAN OF SHAME'S army.
2. Attempting to bring all of God's people under subjection to the MAN OF SHAME.
3. He used means completely unexpected to protect himself.
We had better watch out, the followers of the MAN OF SHAME have many tricks that we have never heard about. He knows where our weak points are and it doesn't take much prodding on his part, or encouragement to get us to rush head-long with GLORY in our eyes and heart, and we end up on the wrong end of the stick, dead along the roadside.
Remember Joshua in his battles? He set up ambushes, fell back before the attacking armies then drew them out by using their overconfidence against them. Then he completely destroyed them. Our adversary is very good at that. He has been on the battlefield for thousands of years. He knows how to use every weapon of his warfare in every conceivable way to its fullest advantage. He will fall back and maybe even run before us and we, God's people, get GLORY in our eyes, leave our armor off and die as a fool dies --- A useless death that there was no need for at all.
God was going to establish David. David was being patient and waiting for God to fulfill His promise, but Asahel saw a way to help God accomplish His end, and Asahel would be a hero out of it. God accomplished it in His way without Asahel's help. He could have remained alive and seen it accomplished.
Now, Abner is killed by Joab latter because Abner killed Joab's brother, but Joab did it as a murderer. Abner pays the price for serving the wrong man, the MAN OF SHAME instead of the LORD'S ANOINTED.
Things go good, we get overconfident, leave off the armor
because we feel confident in our natural ability (running fast)
and pursue the adversary. He knows our weak spot and runs us
through. Why? Overconfidence in natural ability.
Seeing how we can help God and get glory out of it also.
Unable to wait on the Lord.
We leave off our strength, Bible study, prayer, obedience, faith, patience.
Result? Dead along the highway of life.
God help us to be patient, wait on Him to move and not move out from behind the protection we have in Christ.
The righteous are bold as a lion but Asahel did not pursue out of righteousness but out of pride. He felt that he had it all together and it all fell apart. Both looked the same, but the righteous will clear it with the Lord first, and get His word to confirm our actions. The proud will jump on an opportunity like a DUCK ON A JUNE BUG, but here the bug turned on him.
Christ has given us His armor to protect us and we can be victorious in any battle that might come along, but pride will cause us to lay aside that armor, move with rashness and expose our weak point. The enemy will move unexpectedly to the exposed point and we will end up a statistic on someone's chart.
1. Determination and conviction doesn't make right.
2. Pride can cause us to try to get in over our head.
3. Pride will strip us of our strength as it did Asahel. He was a good fighter, but his pride caused him to forget good since.
4. Pride will make us rash and expose ourselves as we would not do otherwise. Wait on the Lord.