V.1. Not really war, but hard feelings with neither recognizing the others right and authority to rule.

The house of David, vs. the house of Saul, Ishbosheth, the MAN OF SHAME.

David was not going to war to try to claim the throne, but was going to wait on the Lord. If David was God's man, this made his enemy an enemy of God. This would make anyone who stood against him the same as standing against God.

The enemy would 'hang himself' if given enough time and rope. Again, we need to 'wait upon the Lord!' How much heartache and trouble could be avoided by waiting on the Lord, instead of rash actions of pride like Asahel rashly pursuing Abner. Wait upon the Lord, do good and he shall bring it to pass.

David had waited all of these years, no reason to change now even though Ishbosheth had not been anointed king. Of course, he had been installed by Abner who was looking out for himself.

V. 2-5 gives us an idea of this godly man's weakness, women. We see here a hint of a problem that lies ahead for him. And we cannot blame this on the women. The problem was in David's heart.

We might make a mention of polygamy and the concubines here.

The OT did not condemn this practice, but it did present this form of family life as inferior to monogamy. This was an acceptable form, although a lesser form, of family life. The death penalty was required for adultery, but more than one wife and concubines was permitted, though not encouraged.

Why? Because, even though this was a lessor form of family life, it was still a family. It protected the family unit. Adultery is a direct attack against the family, which destroys the family. In other words, the society which permits polygamy, and even concubines, is far better off than the society which permits Adultery.

We live in a strange age. We have the death penalty against Polygamy while condoning Adultery. We hear of Mormon husbands being killed for defending what they see as their right to have more than one wife. At the same time, Adultery is an accepted way of life, an alternate life-style. And fornication is encouraged in our young people.

V. 7.
Abner seems to have supported Ishbosheth out of selfish motives, trying to provide for himself. Abner seems to see himself ruling Israel through Ishbosheth because he took Rizpah, the previous king's (Saul's) concubine. 1 Kings 2:17-23 This was a sign of inheriting the throne.

Who was Rizpah? 2 Samuel 21:8

Rizpah had some children by Saul, who David hung to satisfy the oath to the Gibeonites. (We'll look closer at this if and when we get there.) These 7 sons paid the price of Saul's violation of the oath which had been made 400 years previously to them.

(The margin in 21:8 points out that Michal the daughter of Saul would be Michal's sister.)

It would make me wonder if we are not, as a nation, paying the price for some violated oaths which were made to God and maybe even to men!

Abner saw his chance to rule Israel through Ishbosheth even though he knew David was to rule Israel, v.9. He sought to claim this rule by taking one of the former king's wives.

He knew that if Ishbosheth let him get away with this, he would be considered the king in Saul's place.

16:21-23 This was the message behind the rebellious son, Absolom, going in to David's concubines on the roof top in the sight of all Israel. This was to show all that he was now the king.

Ishbosheth was not so slow that he did not catch what Abner was tryint to do, so he stood aganist Abner. Abner saw Ishbosheth was not going to let him rule and Ishbosheth be just a 'figure head.' Therefore, he decided to go over to David because he knew that Ishbosheth was not strong enough to rule on his own. If Abner had gotten away with taking Rizpah, all of Israel would have known that Abner was the one actually in control of Saul's house.

V. 11.
He feared him (Abner), so he kept quiet when Abner told him what he was going to do.

Abner was a very arrogant man, to say the least. Either things were going to be his way, or no way at all. His pride had set up a MAN OF SHAME over Israel. When the very one who should have been grateful (in his eyes) for setting him up rebukes him for doing his own thing, Abner changes his allegiance.

"Look," he says, "How good I have been to you and now you rebuke me. I'll show you that you can't do that to me and get away with it!" In his arrogance he changes sides and uses God as an excuse to do it.

V. 9, as the Lord hath sworn to David.. If this had been his true concern why didn't he think of this back in 2:8. A man who is furthering his own cause and ends, will change with the winds, and use the Lord's name when it is convenient. We just do not have to look far to find many who do this very thing, use the name of the Lord to peruse their own thing and cause.

Evidently Abner saw more of a personal advancement under David, in the Lord's camp. Sometimes I wonder just how much of professed Christianity is not much more than this. I knew an insurance agent in Indianapolis who would come into a church and be actively involved until he sold everyone insurance. Then he would leave. Of course, the bigger a chruch is, the more prevalent this is.

Isn't it amazing how religious people can get when they see something in it for them? Abner could care less about what the Lord wanted, untill he saw something in it for himself.

People can be very religious when it is to their advantage. This is especialy true with boys who are trying to impress girls. They suddenly are Christians if they see a chance to get close to a girl.

I can just hear Abner now! "If you don't appreciate what I am doing for you, and show it, then I'll go over to David and he will appreciate me."

In this we see that God even used the arrogance and selfish motives of ungodly men to accomplish His goals. Men think they are furthering their own ends and all the time they are accomplishing God's purpose. Even the wrath of men praises our God.

Abner was very angry here because he was prevented from doing what he wanted. God used that anger for His glory, Psalms 76:10.

V. 12.
Abner moves quickly on his threat and offers to make a deal with David.

Another point here: Not only do people get a good dose of religion when it is convient, but they will move quickly for God when they see the opertonity for their advancement.

To here, 10/7/90

V. 13.
David says "OK, I'll make a deal with you, but on 1 condition. That you bring back to me my wife, Michal, Saul's daughter." This is interesting here. Michal had become a pawn in this struggle for the throne of Israel between the house of Saul and the house of David.

A little background.

1 Samuel 18:12-30

Saul was all for David until he found that David had the Lord with him. He found this out when he tried to kill David, and David avoided his efforts.

Every thing David did showed that the Lord was with him. Do we?

Three times we are told that Saul was afraid of David (Pr. 28:1), vs. 12, 15, 29.

1. Does our every action reflect the Lord and show that the Lord is with us?

2. Proverbs 28:1 PRO 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. And here we see this in action. David was no threat to Saul, but Saul feared him greatly.

I find it strange that instead of sending David back home to tend the sheep when he saw that the Lord was with him he sent him to lead the army.

V. 16, David was a hard worker and the people loved him. Saul could have had the same loyal response from the people, HOW? By doing what David is doing, leading the people and working hard.

V. 17, Saul is lazy, so rather than take the lead, he schemes another plot to get rid of David.

Saul is not only lazy, but exceedingly wicked. Look at what he does.

> His goal is what? To do David in.

> What is his plan to do this? Get David killed in a battle with the Philistines, v. 25.

> What is Saul's goal in V. 21? To have the hand of the Philistines against David. Get them so mad at David that they will not give up until they kill him.

> V. 17, whose name is Saul doing this evil deed in? the Lord's battles.

It is amazing how much wickedness and sin takes place in the Lord's name. Many people do this as second nature, as it seems to be with Saul.

But the hope for us here in all of this planing to overthrow the righteous is the same hope that David had. He served God the best he could, was consistent, worked hard at what he was given to do, took what safety precautions that he could, and GOD PROTECTED HIM.

The children of light can never out think and out plan the children of darkness. All we can do is our very best for God and find our safety in Him. Is it any wonder that David could write passages like Psalms 144:2.

Saul had two plans. The first was to get the Philistines against David. What was his second, V. 20, 21? Give to him his daughter Michal as his wife.

Why did he want to give Michal to David?

Proverbs 14:1. How does this apply?

There is a parable of our Lord in Matthew 7 (24-27 Wise-Foolish) which clearly explains this proverb. What is it? (The house on the rock... ) The wise woman will apply the word of God to her household, and her house will be built strongly.

If she does not, what will happen? It will fall.

Now, how does all of this tie in with Saul, Michal and David?

Saul knew what his daughter was like and he felt that if she acted toward David the way she did toward him, David would be destroyed.

Saul failed in his home, and Michal showed it. And Saul knew it.

When Saul saw David as a threat to his throne, he gave him Michal, his daughter in hope that she would be a snare to him by acting toward David as she did toward him.

What happened instead? She loves David, and instead of delivering him to destruction, she saves him alive, 19:12-17.

And we will say this, how many men have had their chances of serving God ruined by having the wrong woman? I have met several men who wanted to serve God, even called to preach, but their wives held them back or disqualified them.

On the other end, how many men have been brought above where they would have been otherwise, by a good wife who encouraged them to do all they could for the Lord. I would have to be the first to lay claim to this, and all the rest of the men here could probably also.

But the Lord turned Saul's bast laid plans against him. The very one he had hoped would cost David the throne, now is David's assurance of the throne.

God is Sovereign and is in complete control of history even though the natural man rebels against such a thought. God's plan will be worked. Our best bet is to find that plan for our lives and work with it.

1 Sam. 25:44 Later when Saul saw David starting to be established on the throne, he took Michal away from David and gave her to someone else.

Now as David is moving to claim the throne, he demands her back, 2 Sam. 3:14.


Why was she so important (1 Kgs.3:1)?

The use of a king's daughter married to another powerful man was a sign of "Peaceful co-existence" between the two states.

Solomon made peace with Egypt this way and many of the kings following him did the same. The people would view this marriage of David and Saul's daughter as the House of Saul supporting the transfer of the kingdom to David.

As long as Saul could see his own ends furthered (to prevent transfer of the throne in the peoples eyes), he supported the marriage. When he saw the 'tables turn' and David become an honest threat to him and Jonathan, he tried to undo the marriage.

Ps.15:4, Saul could not even be trusted to keep his word in the matter of his daughter's marriage. I am sure that he sought to undo David's claim to the throne through his daughter. How many people only keep their word as long as it is to their own advantage?

David here insists that the marriage be reinstated, not only because he loved Michal, but because it would show the people that he had no evil designs against the house of Saul. He is a son in law to to the house of Saul which would hold great weight in the eyes of the people, and this woman would give him legal claim to the throne.

David was not trying to force his way in, but was letting God move and God is using Abner's very selfish and evil motives to accomplish what David is waiting on God to do.

David has every legal right to claim her because she was his first wife, and he her first husband. Michal had protected David from her dad's evil design against David (1 Sam. 19:11- ), but latter her true self is revealed, 2 Sam. 6:20. We will see that when we get there.

David makes his claim on Michal here to Abner. Abner refers him to Ishbosheth, who would be Michal's 1/2 brother.

V. 15.
Ishbosheth gets Michal (sends Abner after her), and sends her to David. Notice Ishbosheth's weakness here. He makes no effort to protest even though he knows what this will do. In the eyes of the people this will transfer the kingdom from the line of Saul, Michal's dad, to David, Michal's husband. No wonder Abner deserts him. He saw the weakness in the row over Rizpah where Ishbosheth would not protest out of fear, v.11.

V. 16.
Michal's husband complains but there is nothing he can do. Abner warns him and he goes back home. Now, he knew when he took her for his wife that she belonged to David, but he took her anyway.

> How many things do we do, knowing very good and well that we should not, then when it doesn't turn out right, we complain all the way?

This had been several years. Maybe he thought David had forgotten; he hadn't. We can rest assured that the SON OF DAVID won't forget either. We can usurp what doesn't belong to us, but we will lose it in the end.

In all of this, isn't it sad how Saul used even his own daughter to further his own ends. A man who sets his heart on something will sacrifice anything to accomplish that thing.

I am fearful that we are seeing the results of a generation of fathers who sacrificed their children for a good job, or for pleasure of some kind. Instead of finding work that would strengthen their relationship with their families, they found occupations that paid good money so they could enjoy life more, but which worked against their families. The pay was good, but they very seldom saw their children.

I will have to confess that I grew up in this kind of home as a young boy. My dad, even though a pastor, worked in construction. He was away from home all week, came home on Saturdays and left either sunday nights or early Sunday mornings.

The difference was that by him being a contractor, he had jobs that he could take me on in the summers. So many times I could go with him for days at a time if necessary.

The fathers sacrificed their children for the good life, and now those children are in trouble.

But, from all that I hear, we seem to be in the midst of a turnaround in this very basic area. I was listening to a tape the other day of an interview with Samuel Bloomfiled. He said that the home school movement is an excellent sign along this line. It will require a generation or two to change the effects.

I know of some fathers who have turned down good jobs because it would remove them from their families more than what they already are. This is a good sign.

Saul sacrificed his daughter to obtain what he wanted, and lost her and what he set out for. This is the way that it works out.

What Saul saw as a way to stop David now becomes David's legal claim to the throne which Saul fought so hard to protect.

Saul lost all, not even Michal had any children as she took with her her father's attitude. Saul counted on her evil attitude to cause a snare to David, instead, it hurt no one but her. Ishbosheth knew she belonged to David and made no effort to stop him from reclaiming her.

V. 17
Suddenly Abner is extremely pro-David. We had better be careful of those who change sides this quickly. They will turn against us just as quick.

This could be Abner referring back when David had returned from battle victorious over the Philistines and they sang about him in the streets.

V. 18.

Again we see that Abner knew very well the prophecy concerning David.

Abner goes to the Elders and encourages them to make David king. This is probably the prophecy that had been spoken by the Lord to Samuel (1 Sam. 9:16). Now David falls heir to it as he replaces Saul.

Notice Abner's phrase here, NOW THEN DO IT... Isn't this something! The man who tried to keep David from ruling now tells the Elders to do what he worked so hard to prevent.

Abner is a very ambitious man. He will go what ever way the wind is blowing the most beneficial for him. Makes a good politician. Even though Abner had been David's enemy, when a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies be at peace with him. And David was waiting for God to move and God is. Again, using the ambition of the wicked for His glory. The Lord moves in the strangest of ways.

V. 19.
Abner spoke to the tribe of Benjamin also. Why is this significant?

This was Saul's tribe. The ruling family is moving now from Benjamin to Judah which could (and did) cause problems. Here is the importance of Michal, being the daughter of Saul, therefore a Benjaminite. This would help to prevent this tribe from seeing the kingship as leaving their tribe completely. This would help sooth their pride, I'm sure. The kingship stopped completely from Benjamin because of Michal's attitude. She died childless.

Vs. 20, 21.
Again, Abner is a smart man in the world's eyes. This would illustrate our Lord's parable of the unjust steward, Lk. 16:1-9.

1> Abner saw that it was just a matter of time until the house of Saul fell to David, 3:1.

2> Abner saw the weakness of Ishbosheth who he had sided with. That he could not stand.

3> Abner knew God had promised the kingdom to David, 3:9, 18, and he had heard Saul say it several times as Saul perused David.

4> Abner had tried to strengthen the house of Saul against David, so he could be in the place of great authority, but saw that as a hopeless cause. Look at what he does here as he sees the handwriting on the wall that he is on the losing side:

He makes it sound to David as though he, Abner, is delivering the kingdom to David. The unjust steward here is making friends with the upcoming power, so he will have a place to go when his master casts him out. The person who is unwilling to abide by the word of God had better make the best deal that he can with whoever he can in order to protect himself.

God is delivering the kingdom of Israel to David as He promised to do and using the pride of man to do this. He makes no mistakes and nothing catches Him by surprise, including Abner's change of allegiance.

Abner saw his power and authority go out the window with Ishbosheth, the man of shame, and he sees a chance of have it again in David. Israel was already David's, but David lets Abner go ahead with his plan.

David could have said, "God has already promised me ant He doesn't need your help." He would have been right in saying this, but again, David just waits on the Lord to work it all out. He is not going to stir up the waters any. He lets Abner do this and his throne is clean.

Notice that even Benjamin could not point a finger at David and say, "He is usurping the throne and power," because David is just taking it easy and letting the Lord work it out.

Vs. 22-27.
Joab returns and hears of David's league with Abner. This upsets Joab, so he deceitfully calls back Abner and kills him in the gate of Hebron.

Joab was the general of Davis's army. He saw several things in Abner, not the least was the fact that Abner had killed his brother. But that was in the time of war and this was not. Joab had waited for Abner to present the right opportunity to avenge the death. But blood vengeance did not apply to war. I have met people who are extremely zealous for certian portions of the Law of God, but in that zeal, they are persuing personal goals and violating the total of the word of God.

Joab also saw the league between David and Abner as a threat to his influence with David, and his control of the army. These two added together would be a terrible burden. Just think, the very idea of the one who killed your brother (even in the time of war) about to take your place in the kings eyes (or so it would seem).

Joab was hot. He went in and made the false accusations against Abner. Of course, these false accusations were motivated by hatred for Abner and the threat Joab saw of being replaced.

How many accusations are made against us because someone is jealous or envious.

2 Samuel 3:22-27.

David hears Joab out and doesn't say a word. I don't think I could have kept quiet. Why did David keep quiet? I think that once again he is leaving the situation in the Lord's hands. Joab did his best to turn David against Abner but David held his peace, so Joab takes matters into his own hands as we do so many times when we see things not going right.

"Lord, don't you realize who that is that seems to be getting away with murder?" Then we set about to help God take care of them. Joab felt that it was his duty to be sure that Joab got what was coming to him.

Joab calls Abner back and kills him right in the open, right in the gate of Hebron. He ASSASSINATED him right there. What is significant about where this murder takes place? 2 Chron. 6:57.

Hebron was a city of Refuge for the man-slayer. Joab saw himself above man's and God's law in this public murder. He made an open mockery of God's law and shows his contempt for God's law and man word (king David and promised peace) here.

Now for a point that is extremely difficult for the natural man to grasp. I do not remember making this point some time ago, but evidently I did, and it caused some questions and problems with some folks that heard it.

> (I told someone the other day, when people pick a point to pick apart out of a message, more often than not, that IS NOT THEIR PROBLEM.
I am not a babe in the woods. I have been in the ministry to one degree or another working with people for close to 25 years now. I have heard, seen and experienced what I am about to tell you.

With very few exceptions, the point that sticks people is not their problem. The point that sticks is then used to justify what they want to do or believe. Their mind is made up about a certain fact, and they are determined not to apply the word of God and be changed in that area. When the preacher or the word of God gets too close to that area, they will find something to justify not having to face up to the word of God in that area.

Some times what they use to justify their rebellion in close to that area they refuse to face up to, sometimes it is not even connected. The fact remains, that area [idol] is not going to be touched by the word of God and they will guard it with their life. The means of guarding that idol will range to a quiet inner seething to justify not hearing what is being said, or maybe arguing over the point which stuck [still not touching the idol, but throwing off the trail-This is different than sincere questioning. The argumentative spirit is evident to the hearers. A sincere questioning is done from an attitude of submission, an argument is done from a spirit of justifying an action], or even leaving the church.

The whole thing is that they are not going to allow that idol to be touched, and they will do anything to guard it. And at times, I think the person doesn't even know they are doing it. )

Anyway, the point that I made which was a point that stuck someone was that even the wickedness of men is used for the glory of God. Evil men can make their best plans against God and His kingdom, and all the time, they are carrying out His Devine plan and purpose.

This can be, and many times is, misunderstood. Romans 3:5-8 Remember what Paul had to deal with? This point that God is glorified even in the evil designs of men, was clearly made by him, and the hearers followed it through to a wicked conclusion that said, "OK, if God gets glory from evil deeds, let's do evil so He can get a lot of glory." Paul came down hard against even thinking such foolishness.

Back to point concerning Joab's evil deed against Abner. God was honored in this murder, Abner was a trader and would have been nothing but trouble for David. How many times has we seen this very thing happen? The most lawless and wicked of situations are turned into the glory of God.

1. Abner had turned against the Lord's anointed, David, for personal gain.

a. He knew which side he should have been on.

2. He changed sides when his scheme wasn't working out.

a. He did it for Self-Glory, preservation.

3. He made it sound as though David couldn't rule without his help.

a. "What would God do without me to help Him accomplish His ends?"

God could not allow a man like Abner to side up with David so He used the WRATH OF JOAB to take care of it (Joab was exceeding wrathful at Abner), Ps. 76:10. (Joab was an exceeding wrathful man.) Now, more than likely, Joab was under the same delusion as was Abner. He probably thought that David could not do without him. This gave him boldness to do what he felt was best, not only this time, but several times yet in the future.

And, evidently David had this same impression, because David did not deal with him as he should have.

Abner's wickedness in no way justifies Joab's actions and Joab must pay the results, and he does 33 years latter, 1 Kg. 2:5, 6. But it kept David from having to cause a 'riff' here between Benjamin and himself.

And let me say this about that. There are some preachers today who have the same feeling toward the Lord. They appear to think that God cannot get along with out them. They appear to be getting away with it too. The attitude has been prevalent for years among some of them, and God seems to have put His stamp of approval on them because they are still 'high and mighty.' But we see here with Joab, the Lord remembers. 33 years latter, Joab is held accountable for his wicked actions.

As I was thinking about this, here is the way that I was impressed. Anytime we lose sight of the fact that it is the grace of God working through us, we are open to this notion that God cannot get along without us. When we keep our eyes on the fact that it is only the sovereign grace of God that allows us to be what we are and do what we can, this will keep us in 'fear' that He may remove that grace from us over the least little thing.

Ex. 33:19, Rom. 9:15-18

If David had refused Abner's offer with "I do not need you, God will do it," there would have been war.

3:28 Pride led Joab to do a foolish thing here, and David disclaims any knowledge or responsibility for it.

Why did not David deal with Joab for this sin? Every time I read this passage, I wonder about that.

V. 29.
David puts it in the Lord's hands although notice what he did. He placed a curse on Joab's house.

A. Terrible disease The innocent children pay the price.

B. Violent deaths.

C. Poverty.

This means that any three of these can be a result of our parent's sin or any of these can be passed down to our children.

The old line that of, "I am not hurting anyone but myself," won't hold water. Here an action which Joab did in a fit of passion was felt for how long, v. 30? [and let there not fail from the house of Joab...]

Joab refused to make this right, and his following generations paid the price. I might mention here, that there are times in the Scriptures that 10 generations are referred to as 'forever.' I would be inclined to think of this term in that light.

I would imagine that Joab thought that because the king did not do anything to him right then, he figured that he got away with this murder.

Probably a very sad situation that we have in our society along this line of thinking that they have gotten away with murder is what??

ABORTION! Those who have done this probably think like Joab, that they have gotten away with the murder of the unborn. We see here with this curse of David that even though the King has not executed the sentence against those involved in these murders speedily, He has not forgotten.

V. 30.
The author here makes it clear that Joab's brother joined him in this murder and gives again the reason for the murder, Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner.. The primary curse is placed on Joab as the instigator of the murder, but those involved are also held accountable.

V. 27 also. They violated the Word, law of God. A wilful violation right in the open made a mockery of God and David. We cannot get away with openly mocking God's law any more than Joab was able to.

Vs. 31-38.
David now does all he can to show that he had nothing to do with this murder. Joab probably called Abner back in David's name, now David must dissociate from it. So far, David has avoided the open confrontation with the House of Saul and he doesn't want the people to think he is in conflict with Saul now.

Saul died, David mourned.
David wanted Michal back but rather than him or his men going to get her, he had Ishbosheth send for her.
Now the captain of Saul's army, murdered, so David mourns.

David commands all of these men with him, to mourn, Joab included.

Remember, Abner was the son of Saul's uncle Ner, and had held a tremendous influence over Saul. He was an expert in war, probably the best. Joab was the son of David's sister and I am sure he saw Abner a threat to his being captain of David's army.

David (about 33) shows an extremely large amount of wisdom here as he follows the casket weeping with a loud voice.

V. 33, 34.

He points out that Abner didn't die for a crime, but fell because of the wicked deed of 'wicked men."

David refuses to eat, again, a sign of grief and morning.

And I might mention here that David went to great lengths to see that the people understood that he did not have anything to do with this murder.

We say that we will just go on about our business and let people think what they will. This is a good policy at times, but here it was not the best policy. David was very concerned about what the people thought, and covered every base to make sure that they realized the truth of the matter.

Most of the time I would say that we just go about our business of pleasing the Lord and 'let the chips fall where they may, but there are times when we need to work at being sure that those watching get the right impression.

There are times that we need to work hard at making sure that people perceive the right thing about us.

Remember Paul's words, 1 Thessalonians 5:22.
At times this requires avoiding things that are all right in themselves, but they might give off an appearance of evil. David did not have to go to this length to satisfy the Lord that he had no part in this murder, but he did for the peoples sake.

V. 37.
This is what David wanted the people to understand, that he isn't the one who called for Abner's death.

V. 38.
David refers to Abner as a mighty man and a prince, not as a righteous man. David knew the motives behind Abner making the offer to him. The motive was to get on the winning horse, the one who could provide him with the most. Well, Abner's unholy goals caught up with him, as they should have, but that does not excuse Joab.

V. 39.
Notice David's response to the whole mess.

He is fearful to deal with Joab and his brother, Abishai over this murder. These men were powerful men and David felt they were too strong for him to deal with. To give David the benefit of the situation, he was probably afraid it would cause his newly formed kingdom to fall. Therefore, David turns it over to the Lord to reward Joab.

(Added, 12/18/90.-- While studying in Isaiah 11, when I came to v. 4, I found this remark by Hengstenberg (Christology, pg.470): "The King shall be adorned with perfect justice, and, in the exercise of it, be supported by His omnipotence,--differently from what was the case with David, who, for want of power, was obliged to allow heinous crimes to pass unpunished (2 Sam. iii, 39)." With this we see that it was David's lack of power that prevented him from being able to deal with Joab for the slaying of Abner. King Jesus will not be hampered by any such problem.

Evidently Joab was not weakened enough to be dealt with until the end of David's reign. It was not until then that Solomon could execute the justice without causing a civil-war.)

David probably should have dealt with this with Joab. He was in the position to do it. Abner was the head of Judah's army, not Israel's. David left Joab alive and Joab caused untold grief during David's reign. He got away with killing a 'great man, a prince' right in public, in the gate of a city of refuge. He got away with much more latter. This open rebellion would have undermined David's authority.

No doubt, Joab had one goal in mind, SELF. He murdered all who stood in his way and had it not been for David, Joab would have been king, by hook or by crook. He was not going to let even Abner stand in his way of power.

I. Joab was a skilled general. He gained many victories in battle. II Sam.2:12-32; 10; 11:1; 12:26-29; 20:4-22; I Chron. 11:6-9.

II. Joab was loyal to David, devoted his whole life to serving David. II Sam. 12:26; 14:1; 18:20; 19:5-7.

A. Might question here what was his reason for being loyal. Did he see in David the chance to keep his power as head of David's army? He had killed Abner to secure his place as commander.

III. Which brings us to a couple of things.

1. Joab sided up with Absalom (II Sam. 14:1) after Absalom fled for killing Amnon in order to get David to take Absalom back.

a. When Absalom came back, Absalom led a rebellion against David.

b. Joab ended up killing Absalom while Absalom was in the tree, against the king's direct command to spare Absalom.

2. Joab sided with Adonijah (I Kg. 1:5-7) when Adonijah exalted himself as king when David was dying.

a. The throne was Solomon's.

b. Joab had to know that because David had already told Bathsheba that Solomon would be the next king, I Kg. 1:11-13.

3. Was Joab searching for a new king to allow him to live regardless of the curse placed on him by David here over Abner?

a. I Kg. 2:28, Joab followed Adonijah, but not Absalom.

IV. Joab killed men who stood in his way.

1. I Sam. 3:22, Abner.

2. 18:4, Absalom.

a. Did Joab see in Absalom a man who, if he lived as David required he be spared, would be able to lead a successful rebellion, leaving him out in the cold?

3. 29:9,10, Amasa.

a. Amasa had been the captain of Absalom's army of rebellion, 17:25.

b. David promised to make Amasa captain in Joab's place after the defeat of Absalom, because of Joab's rebellious attitude , 19:13 (haughty spirit).

c. David sent Amasa to gather his (David's) army together to finnish putting down the rebellion, 20:4.

1) Amasa took longer than he should have.

2) David then sent Abishai, Joab's brother to do Amasa's job in putting down Sheba, the present leader of the rebellion, 20:1. David was afraid that if he waited on Amasa to do the job, Sheba would become too strong.

3) Abishai took Joab's men and went after Sheba.

4) On their way they met Amasa who had been made captain by David.

d. Joab greeted Amasa with a kiss of peace (20:9) and stuck a sword in him at the same time. He cut Amasa's stomach open.

Thus, Joab slew two men in the time of peace, after David had made peace with them. Abner and Amasa.

4. I Kg. 11:16, all the males of Edom.
Did not use the above in message.

IV. Which brings us to something else about Joab-- Only reference to the Lord that Joab ever makes seems to be the Lord of PROVIDENCE, II Sam. 10:12.

Joab was full of self-confidence, ambition and selfishness. He never strayed far from his own interests, and killed many men to peruse those interests.

David was afraid of Joab, but should not have been. He should have dealt with Joab here. Look at all of the trouble it would have saved. David passed off his responsibility onto the Lord with The Lord shall reward.. 3:39, but the Lord didn't. When David died 37 years latter, Joab tried once again to keep his power and on his death bead, David had to instruct his son Solomon to do what he failed to do here, 1 Kg. 2:5.

If judgment against Joab's murder of Abner was the thing for Solomon to do when David sets his house in order at his death, then it was the thing for David to do here.

David tried to pass the responsibility off on to the Lord, but it was David's responsibility to deal with as king. After 3:39 Joab was entrenched so much that David put up with a tremendous amount of evil from this man.

Was it that David needed his leadership of his army that he didn't do away with him, life for a life? Solomon (peaceable) would not need him, so David told him to put him away.

A man motivated by pride, greed and self-interests would be highly motivated and hard to replace, but the Lord can if we can bring ourselves to let Him.

David put it off here, "Blamed the Lord," and Solomon his son, had to deal with the thing that David was afraid of. If Solomon hadn't, it (Joab) would have overthrown the Solomon.

There are a few points here in closing:

I. >> I think there are times that some good old fashion wisdom should be used in dealing with very sticky situations; the more they are stirred, the muddier they become. This could have been one of those times.

II. >> At times it is best to leave a terrible wrong in the Lord's hands because it is just too much for us to handle. Psalms 37:7

III. >> Many times an extended period of time will work things out.

IV. >> But in all of these positive points about this, let us be careful that we do not put off our responsibility onto the Lord. This can be used as an excuse not to deal with things that we should. "IT IS IN THE LORD'S HANDS, HE WILL TAKE CARE OF IT." This would be like saying, "I'll pray about it." We do this to keep from having to have a confrontation with something or someone that we do not want to face up to.

I hate confrontations. It is far easer to say that the Lord will take care of it when in actuality, I am unwilling to deal with the situation myself. If it requires attention at that point in time when we are confronted with it, we had better do it or it will get worse. This is what happened with Joab. David did not deal with this, and many people paid the price.

Where the line is, I do not know. This is between the Lord and the individual, and needs to be laid out before Him in prayer. His word must also be searched in the matter for direction.

V. >> We had better deal with that thing we are afraid of or our kids will have to.

Joab paid the price for his murders, but it should have been 37 years sooner here at 3:39, and a lot of good people would have still been alive.