Assassins are not Rewarded

Now the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, and about the heat of the day they came to the house of Ish-bosheth as he was taking his noonday rest. And they came into the midst of the house as if to get wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. When they came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedroom, they struck him and put him to death and beheaded him. They took his head and went by the way of the Arabah all night, and brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron. And they said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life. The Lord has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring.” 1 Samuel 4:5-8.

These two men did not know David well. They presumed to be rewarded for their treachery, but got the axe instead.

Battle of the Underlings

And Abner conferred with the elders of Israel, saying, “For some time past you have been seeking David as king over you. Now then bring it about, for the Lord has promised David, saying, ‘By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines, and from the hand of all their enemies.’” Abner also spoke to Benjamin. And then Abner went to tell David at Hebron all that Israel and the whole house of Benjamin thought good to do.

When Abner came with twenty men to David at Hebron, David made a feast for Abner and the men who were with him. And Abner said to David, “I will arise and go and will gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your heart desires.” So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.

Just then the servants of David arrived with Joab from a raid, bringing much spoil with them. But Abner was not with David at Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. When Joab and all the army that was with him came, it was told Joab, “Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he has let him go, and he has gone in peace.” Then Joab went to the king and said, “What have you done? Behold, Abner came to you. Why is it that you have sent him away, so that he is gone? You know that Abner the son of Ner came to deceive you and to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you are doing.” 2 Samuel 3:17-25.

Abner had gone to some trouble to install Ish-bosheth as king, but now he seems to have regrets. He sees that the Lord is with David, and he decides to get the whole kingdom together under David.

Joab, David’s lieutenant, does not buy it. He accuses Abner of being a spy, and decides to kill him. David does not know that Joab is going to murder Abner.

Joab is another one of these people who acts on his own, doing what is right in his own eyes. He thinks he knows better than David, and he presumes to know what’s going on here.

Few if us will be tempted to act on actual assassination plots, but we all tend to run our mouths without adequate knowledge or good judgement. Character assassination is as common as pollen.

The End Times: Now Sooner Than Ever

Most of what I teach deals with the here and now. How do we apply the Bible to our lives today? A subject have I avoided is the end times. I got saved through people telling about the end times. And that was during the Cold war. Everyone was afraid of the end of the world. We seem to have forgotten about that. But now there are new things to fear, like global warming. So this is probably a good time to talk about end times again. I will be starting a new series beginning in the book of Revelation. Please stay tuned. I look forward to your feedback.

Not Everyone Wants You to be King

But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim, and he made him king over Gilead and the Ashurites and Jezreel and Ephraim and Benjamin and all Israel. Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months. 2 Samuel 2:8-11.

David did not just assume the throne upon Saul’s death. First, he inquired of the Lord, who told him to go to Hebron and be anointed king of Judah. All those who were loyal to Saul, and were David’s enemies, quickly installed Ish-bosheth, one of Saul’s sons.

God has a plan, and He is the kingmaker. Man presumes to have power and does not take God’s counsel.

The Bearer of Bad News

After the death of Saul, when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. And on the third day, behold, a man came from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. And when he came to David, he fell to the ground and paid homage. David said to him, “Where do you come from?” And he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” And David said to him, “How did it go? Tell me.” And he answered, “The people fled from the battle, and also many of the people have fallen and are dead, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.” Then David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” And the young man who told him said, “By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear, and behold, the chariots and the horsemen were close upon him. And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ And he said to me, ‘Stand beside me and kill me, for anguish has seized me, and yet my life still lingers.’ So I stood beside him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.” 2 Samuel 2:1-10.

This man may have presumed that he would be rewarded. After all, he brings the crown to the new king! Lucky day! And he may be rewarded again for hastening the king’s death and saving the crown from the oncoming Philistines. That was a good move, right?

Not so fast. Thousands of years later, Jesus would say, evil must come, but woe to him through whom it comes. This man presumed upon the street justice of the barbarians. This new king will mourn the passing of the old and require the blood of whoever took his life.

It is important to know God and His ways. They are not like our ways. This man would not go away rejoicing at his good fortune when the rest of Israel wept.