II Samuel 3

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

STRONGER AND STRONGER

INTRODUCTION:

We concluded II Samuel 2 by noting that David was faced with a number of tests which the Lord either directed David's way or allowed to come David's way.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I Corinthians 10:13 - There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

We have seen in II Samuel 2:8-11 that Ishbosheth was made king over all Israel (except Judah). The fact that Abner acknowledges knowing that David was to be the next king indicates that he attempted to thwart God's plan by supporting Ishbosheth instead of supporting David.

We have seen in II Samuel 2:12-17 that there was civil war between Israel and Judah.

We have also seen in II Samuel 2:18-32 the death of Asahel, the fleet-footed brother of Joab and Abishai.

We realize that we are always going to face a variety of tests as God seeks to shape and mold our lives. At the same time, we introduce additional problems into our own lives, sometimes ignorantly and sometimes not so ignorantly.

In II Samuel 3 , I want to show how God works out some of these trials, if you please, bumps in the road, for David. At times we are our own worst enemies. I also want to show how David introduced some bumps into the road for himself, things which he could have avoided had he done what he should have done. I also want to show some additional trials which came his way which were not of David's doing. I would like us to see some practical lessons for our own lives as we consider II Samuel 3 .

I remind you of -

Galatians 6:7-8 - 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

I. THERE WAS LONG WAR BETWEEN THE HOUSE OF SAUL AND THE HOUSE OF DAVID - 3:1

II Samuel 3:1 - Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David [i.e. between those who were loyal to Saul and those who were loyal to David]: but David waxed [i.e. grew] stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed [i.e. grew] weaker and weaker.

This seems to be one of those things God allowed in the life of David, but David does not seem to have done anything to bring it about. God had promised that David would rule over all Israel, but the timing was not right for this to occur. Perhaps, God was training David to be king on a smaller scale because David was not yet ready to be king over the entire nation.

II. CHILDREN WERE BORN TO DAVID IN HEBRON - 3:2-5

II Samuel 3:2-5 - (2) And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; (3) And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; (4) And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; (5) And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron.

David did himself no favors by having more than one wife. Apparently, David was also not a very good father. Sometimes the effects of sin are not immediately evidenced but instead are seen years later. God's plan of one woman for one man for life is clearly best.

David committed adultery with Bathsheba and attempted to cover it by having Uriah, Bathsheba's husband, murdered by Joab. As a result, God judged David's family. David brought a great deal of grief on himself by his adultery with Bathsheba and by his murder of Uriah.

As a result of his committing adultery with Bathsheba and his murdering Uriah, David's family was judged -

II Samuel 12:10-11 - 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. 11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

Amnon would eventually rape Tamar, the daughter of Maacha and sister of Absalom, but David did nothing to punish him.

Absalom would murder Amnon because of what he had done to Tamar, but David would not execute him.

Absalom would lead a rebellion against David his father and would be killed by Joab, the captain of David's army.

Adonijah would declare himself to be king while David was still alive. After David's death, he would seek to get Abishag as his wife. She was one of David's wives; so this would have given him a claim to the throne. As a result, Solomon had him executed.

One of the unique things about Scripture is that it paints accurate pictures of its characters. Had the Bible been written merely by men, the flaws in the characters would most likely have been eliminated. Even in some of Scripture's noblest individuals, we are reminded that they are not perfect. Yet in spite of their failures, God still chooses to use them. So it is with us. In spite of our failures, God still chooses to use us. We serve a gracious God.

III. ABNER DESERTED TO DAVID'S SIDE - 3:6-12, 17-22

David had no control over this. The Lord worked it out without David's help.

II Samuel 3:6-12 - (6) And it came to pass, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made himself strong for the house of Saul. (7) And Saul had a concubine [A concubine was a slave who served the king to raise an heir of the king for the throne. She was there to bear some of the king's children.], whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and Ishbosheth said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father's concubine? [Having intercourse with a king's concubine was a treasonous act, for it was in essence making a claim to the throne. So, if Abner was guilty of what Ishbosheth said, he was also guilty of treason. The Scripture does not indicate that Abner was actually guilty of this accusation. However, whether he was guilty or not, Ishbosheth accused him of it; and it infuriated Abner.] (8) Then was Abner very wroth [i.e. angry] for the words of Ishbosheth, and said, Am I a dog's head, which against Judah do shew kindness this day unto the house of Saul thy father, to his brethren, and to his friends [i.e. Am I a dog's head that belongs to Judah? i.e., Am I a contemptible traitor? I made you king over Israel.], and have not delivered thee into the hand of David, that thou chargest me to day with a fault concerning this woman? (9) So do God to Abner, and more also, except, as the Lord hath sworn to David, even so I do to him; (10) To translate [i.e. to transfer] the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba [i.e. All of the territory of Israel, from its northernmost to its southernmost extremity]. (11) And he could not answer Abner a word again, because he feared him. (12) And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land? saying also, Make thy league with me [i.e. make a covenant with me or make an agreement with me], and, behold, my hand shall be with thee, to bring about all Israel unto thee.

II Samuel 3:17-22 - (17) And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, Ye sought for David in times past to be king over you: (18) Now then do it: for the Lord hath spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies. (19) And Abner also spake in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and that seemed good to the whole house of Benjamin. (20) So Abner came to David to Hebron [Hebron was one of six cities of refuge.], and twenty men with him. And David made Abner and the men that were with him a feast. (21) And Abner said unto David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel unto my lord the king, that they may make a league with thee [i.e. that they may make a covenant with you], and that thou mayest reign over all that thine heart desireth. And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace. (22) And, behold, the servants of David and Joab came from pursuing a troop, and brought in a great spoil with them: but Abner was not with David in Hebron; for he [i.e. David] had sent him [i.e. Abner] away, and he [i.e. Abner] was gone in peace.

IV. DAVID DEMANDED MICHAL'S RETURN - 3:13-16

II Samuel 3:13-16 - (13) And he said, Well; I will make a league [i.e. a covenant] with thee: but one thing I require of thee, that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal Saul's daughter, when thou comest to see my face [David wanted his wife (Michal, Saul's daughter) back in order to strengthen his claim to Saul's throne. Although it may seem heartless and selfish, the demand may also have been made to see if Abner truly meant what he said. If Abner were sincere in his desire, he would do what David demanded. If he were trying to trap David, David would most likely see the trap. When Abner learns of the request, he sends for Michal to be taken from Phaltiel, her husband. Her husband followed her, weeping at losing her. When Abner saw him, he simply instructed him to return home, and he did.]. (14) And David sent messengers to Ishbosheth Saul's son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines. (15) And Ishbosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Phaltiel the son of Laish. (16) And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned.

V. JOAB MURDERS ABNER - 3:23-30

II Samuel 3:23-30 - (23) When Joab and all the host [i.e. all the army] that was with him were come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he hath sent him away, and he is gone in peace. (24) Then Joab came to the king, and said, What hast thou done? behold, Abner came unto thee; why is it that thou hast sent him away, and he is quite gone [i.e. already gone]? (25) Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in [i.e. to know your routine], and to know all that thou doest. (26) And when Joab was come out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, which brought him again from the well of Sirah: but David knew it not. (27) And when Abner was returned to Hebron [one of six cities of refuge], Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth rib [i.e. struck him in the belly or stabbed him in the stomach], that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother. (28) And afterward when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before the Lord for ever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner: [David had nothing to do with Abner's death, but the Lord allowed it; and David had no control over it.] (29) Let it rest on the head of Joab, and on all his father's house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, or that is a leper, or that leaneth on a staff [i.e. one who takes hold of a distaff; i.e. one fit for women's work (one that is effeminate)], or that falleth on the sword, or that lacketh bread.

The strong curse uttered by David indicates that he did not consider Joab's actions in the least justified. Hebron, where Joab slew Abner, was a city of refuge, and in such a city not even a blood avenger could slay a murderer without a trial.

(30) So Joab, and Abishai his brother slew [i.e. killed or murdered] Abner, because he had slain their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle. [Somehow Abishai was also involved in the murder of Abner.]

Joab and Abishai should not have avenged the death of Asahel. They should have left any vengeance up to God. Romans 12:19-21 ,

Romans 12:19-21 - 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

By contrast, David's response was commendable. After all, it was Abner who appointed Ishbosheth king. Yet David was determined to treat properly even those who mistreated him. Although Abner did not have David's best interests in mind initially, David was unwilling to mistreat him.

VI. DAVID MOURNS FOR ABNER - 3:31-39

II Samuel 3:31-39 - (31) And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, Rend [i.e. tear] your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth [i.e. put on sackcloth], and mourn before Abner. And king David himself followed the bier [i.e. the coffin - a bier is a frame or stand on which a corpse or the coffin containing it is laid before burial]. (32) And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept. (33) And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth? [A fool would be an ungodly person. Abner did not deserve to die in the manner that he did. He was not a prisoner or a person deserving of death; rather, he was treacherously murdered.] (34) Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: as a man falleth before wicked men, so fellest thou. And all the people wept again over him. [The thought is - Only because of treachery could such a death, befitting a fool, be the fate of so great a warrior.] (35) And when all the people came to cause David to eat meat while it was yet day, David sware, saying, So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or ought else, till the sun be down. (36) And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them: as whatsoever the king did pleased all the people. (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. (38) And the king said unto his servants, Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel? (39) And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah [Zeruiah was David's sister - the sons of Zeruiah were Joab and Abishai] be too hard for me: the Lord shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.

Everybody noticed David's actions. There is no doubt a lesson that people observe our lives. Those whom God places in authority will be watched more intently and by more people. We must therefore strive to live lives above reproach. They observed his sorrow and recognized its sincerity.

Although Joab and Abishai should have been executed for murdering Abner, David did nothing to Joab or Abishai as a result of their murder of Abner.

CONCLUSION:

I remind you of Psalms 37:23 and Romans 8:28 .

Psalms 37:23 - The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he [i.e. the LORD] delighteth in his [i.e. the (good) man's] way.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

As things occur in life, we need to recognize that God is in complete control of whatever happens. We need to be in the habit of asking the Lord, What is Your purpose in directing or allowing this thing to come into my life? What are You trying to teach me? What can I learn from this that will help me to be a more godly person?

He will use these events to shape your life so that it will be more pleasing to Him.