Abner’s league with David

2 Sam 3:1-39

This chapter starts by revealing that the house of David continues to wax stronger in the war with the house of Saul. David was increasing while Saul was diminishing. We learnt of David’s first six sons – Ammon, Chileab, Absalom, Adonijah,  Shephatiah and Ithream,  all from six different wives.

While David’s house was growing, argument broke between Ishbosheth and Abner, as the king accused the highly influential captain of sleeping with his father’s concubine. Abner was wroth with the accusation, though it looked as though he was guilty, he would not take rebuke from Ishbosheth, considering all the sacrifice he had made for him, and all the support he had given him and his father. In his anger he decided to break allegiance with Ishbosheth and switched sides to David’s.

So, Abner sent word to David about bringing all Israel under him. So surprising how God could use the mundane events of men’s life, their folly and sins to still bring about the fulfilment of his promises. David had been anointed king a long time ago, but now with the disagreement between Abner and Ishbosheth, the promise was being brought into manifestation. To confirm Abner’s support, David requested for Michal, his first wife, who was Saul’s daughter. At Ishbosheth’s command, Abner took her from her current husband to be returned to David.

Later we learnt that David hosted Abner and twenty of his men to a feast. However this last act led to the demise of Abner. Although David made reconciliation with him, when Joab (Asahel’s brother) learnt of his visit, he was unhappy, and plotted revenge for the death of his brother from Abner’s hand. So he sent back for Abner, and as he went with him to the gate, he smote him. So Joab and Abishai the sons of Zeruiah avenged the death of their brother. David was however not pleased with these brothers, and placed a curse on their family for killing such and important man in Israel. David mourned and lamented for Abner with fasting with the whole of Israel with him.

Even in his dealings with his enemies, David showed true reconciliation and love for those who had hated him. He had learnt to leave vengeance for God, and would not personally smite those appointed by God over his people, not even in his bid to become king. Abner handed the kingdom over to David, but he died from the hands of the sons of Zeruiah for his previous sin against them.

Some verses to remember

vs 1:  Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.

vs 37:  For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner.

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