II Samuel 2

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Text: II Samuel 2



At the beginning of II Samuel 2 , we find David in Ziklag, which was at this time a Philistine town. What was David doing there anyhow? Certainly he did not belong there. In this message we want to show how David returned from Ziklag, where he should not have gone, to Israel, where he should have stayed, and was anointed king over Judah.

David knew that he had been ordained by God to be the next king of Israel. In support of this, he had watched God protect him on many occasions when Saul attempted to kill him. However, in a moment of discouragement, David drew a wrong conclusion in I Samuel 27 and left Israel and went to the Philistines.

I Samuel 27:1-2 - (1) And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast [i.e. territory] of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand. (2) And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.

In I Samuel 28:1-2 , David was made Achish's personal bodyguard.

I Samuel 28:1-2 - (1) And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. And Achish said unto David, Know thou assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battle, thou and thy men. (2) And David said to Achish, Surely thou shalt know what thy servant can do. And Achish said to David, Therefore will I make thee keeper of mine head [i.e. my bodyguard] for ever.

As a consequence of David's being in a place where he did not belong, he found himself in the position of opposing God's people. It was an unintended consequence. In I Samuel 29 , David was part of the Philistine army which moved into Israel in order to fight with the Israelites. God, however, rescued David by causing some of the Philistines to mistrust him and forced Achish to send him back to Ziklag.

I Samuel 29:1-7 - 1 Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel. 2 And the lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands: but David and his men passed on in the rereward with Achish. 3 Then said the princes of the Philistines, What do these Hebrews here? And Achish said unto the princes of the Philistines, Is not this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, which hath been with me these days, or these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell unto me unto this day? 4 And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men? 5 Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands? 6 Then Achish called David, and said unto him, Surely, as the LORD liveth, thou hast been upright, and thy going out and thy coming in with me in the host is good in my sight: for I have not found evil in thee since the day of thy coming unto me unto this day: nevertheless the lords favour thee not. 7 Wherefore now return, and go in peace, that thou displease not the lords of the Philistines.

When David returned to Ziklag, he found the city burned and all the inhabitants and possessions gone. God had sent the Amalekites against Ziklag. Would this have been in order to chastise David? Possibly so. In any event, God got David's attention.

I Samuel 30:6 - And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God (emphasis added).

We too may someday find ourselves where we don't belong, and we can get there by failing to study the Bible, by failing to pray, by failing to do whatever we are supposed to be doing as believers, and by doing things we should not be doing, etc. If we end up where we should not be, don't be surprised when God steps in to get us back to where we should be. Unfortunately, you may not like the result of what you have brought on yourself; but you will hopefully realize that God loves you and is doing what is best for you.


In spite of David's being where he did not belong, God never lost sight of what He was doing in David's life. He brought David back where he belonged.

II Samuel 2:1 And it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the Lord said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither [i.e. where] shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron.

I John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Proverbs 28:13 - He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

The Bible is filled with verses about God's guidance of believers.

Joshua 1:8 - This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Psalms 1:1-3 - 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Psalms 32:8 - I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

Proverbs 3:5-6 - 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Romans 12:1-2 - 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

II Timothy 3:13-17 - 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.


II Samuel 2:2-3 - (2) So David went up thither [i.e. there], and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal's wife the Carmelite. (3) and his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.


II Samuel 2:4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were they that buried Saul.

Before Judah anointed, ordained, or appointed David king, David had already been anointed, ordained, or appointed by God to be the next king.

I Samuel 16:1-13 - (1) And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. (1) And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord. (3) And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee. (4) And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably? (5) And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. (6) And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord's anointed is before him. (7) But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (8) Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this. (9) Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this. (10) Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these. (11) And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. (12) And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. (13) Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

There is a reminder here of ordination to the ministry. God ordains, appoints, or anoints a man for his service long before the man is ready. Over a period of time God prepares a man for the ministry to which He has called him. When the time comes, we recognize God's appointment or ordination of the individual and lay hands on him. It is not we who have ordained or appointed him to the ministry. We are merely recognizing what God has already done.


II Samuel 2:5-7 - (5) And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the Lord, that ye have shewed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him. (6) And now the Lord shew kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite [i.e. repay] you this kindness, because ye have done this thing. (7) Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.

The door David tried was not open. As it turned out, the men of Jabesh-Gilead did not anoint David king over them at this time.

David did not force it open. We must be careful that we do not attempt to force open doors which God has not opened. God's timing is always right, but we sometimes get impatient.

David was content to wait on the Lord. We likewise must wait on the Lord.


1. Ishbosheth was made king over all Israel (except Judah) - 2:8-11

God had anointed David king over all Israel, not just a part of Israel; but Judah was only part of Israel. It was not yet time for David to be king over all Israel; so, he would have to wait on the Lord's timing. Not only does the Lord lead us regarding what we should do, but He also leads us regarding the timing. We not only want to do what the Lord wants us to do; but we also want to do it when the Lord wants us to do it, not running ahead of Him, and not lagging behind.

David probably wondered why God only made him king over Judah at this time, but we have no Scriptural statement indicating why. David did not need to know why, just like we don't need to know why God does some things different from the way we expect Him to do; but we have the assurance that He always does what is best. And for this we are thankful.

II Samuel 2:8-11 - (8) But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host [i.e. Saul's army], took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; (9) And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. (10) Ishbosheth Saul's son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. (11) And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.

2. There was civil war - 2:12-17

II Samuel 2:12-17 - (12) And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. (13) And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. (14) And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, And play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise. (15) Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. (16) And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow's side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkathhazzurim [i.e. field of sharp swords, field of daggers, or field of hostilities], which is in Gibeon. (17) And there was a very sore [i.e. fierce] battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.

3. There was the death of Asahel - 2:18-32

II Samuel 2:18-32 - (18) And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe [i.e. as a gazelle]. (19) And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner. (20) Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asahel? And he answered, I am. (21) And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armour. But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him. (22) And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn thee aside from following me: wherefore should I smite thee [i.e. strike you] to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother? (23) Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib [i.e. Abner struck him in the stomach with the blunt end of the spear], that the spear came out behind him [i.e. came out of his back]; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still. (24) Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon. (25) And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of an hill. (26) Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return [i.e. how long will it be then until you tell the people to return] from following their brethren? (27) And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother [i.e. the men would have continued the pursuit of their brothers until the morning, i.e. they would have continued to pursue them all night long.]. (28) So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more. (29) And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim. (30) And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David's servants nineteen men and Asahel. (31) But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, so that three hundred and threescore [i.e. 360] men died. (32) And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day.


We need to stay where God wants us and be living our lives for him.

From time to time we may find ourselves out of the place where God wants us to be.

We may stop reading our Bibles.

We may stop obeying our Bibles.

We may stop being faithful in church.

We may stop witnessing to the lost.

Husbands may not provide loving spiritual leadership in the home.

Wives may stop being submissive to their husbands.

Children may not honor and obey their parents.

We may attempt to force a time table different from God's. We want to be in step with Him, not running ahead and not lagging behind.

When we find ourselves where we should not be in our lives, we need to confess whatever sin we have committed, whether it is a sin of commission or a sin of omission, and get back to where we ought to be. There is satisfaction in doing the things we know we ought to be doing, like reading our Bibles, obeying our Bibles, praying, and being faithful to live for the Lord.

We can expect trials. Let's be submissive to these so as to enable God to shape and mold our lives and make them more and more Christlike. We don't have to understand everything, but we have to trust that the Lord is working things in accordance with His plan, that He loves us, and that He sometimes needs to correct us.