II Samuel 4:1 - 5:25

Sunday, May 24th, 2015



We concluded II Samuel 2 and 3 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.

We remind you of -

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.

We also remind you of -

Psalms 37:23 - The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

We have seen that although God had promised that David would succeed Saul as king of Israel, Ishbosheth was made king over all Israel (except Judah) while David was made king only over Judah.

II Samuel 2:8-11 - 8 But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, 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.

We have also seen that there was civil war between Israel and Judah.

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

We have seen that there was the death of Asahel in battle - II Samuel 2:18-23 .

II Samuel 2:18-23 - 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 [i.e. by defeating him in battle]. 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; 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.

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 , we saw how God worked out some of these trials for David, bumps in the road, if you please. At times we are our own worst enemies. We saw how David introduced some bumps into the road for himself, things which he could have avoided had he done what he should have done. We also saw some additional trials which came David's way which were not of David's doing.

The civil war between Israel and Judah is 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. Perhaps God was also teaching David to wait on the Lord and on His timing.

Psalms 27:14 - Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Psalms 37:34 - Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

Proverbs 20:22 - Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.

We saw in II Samuel 3:2-5 that children were born to David in Hebron from six different wives.

We saw that David did himself no favors by having more than one wife. We also noted that David was 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. Of course, if one's spouse dies, the surviving spouse is free to marry as long as it is within the will of God.

David brought problems on himself by having multiple wives and by not being a very good father. These two things would result in his having problems in his life which were of his own making.

We also saw in II Samuel 3:6-22 that Abner the captain of Ishbosheth's army deserted to David's side. God used an accusation by king Ishbosheth to bring about this desertion. This desertion of Abner to David's side also resulted in Joab's murdering Abner. It was a trial David experienced which he did not bring on himself. At the same time, God removed Abner from the scene even though this does not justify his being murdered in cold blood.

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, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and Ishbosheth said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father's concubine? 8 Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ishbosheth. . . . 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. 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. 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, and, behold, my hand shall be with thee, to bring about all Israel unto thee.

II Samuel 3:17-21 - 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 [i.e. make David your king]: 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, 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 [i.e. a treaty] with thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that thine heart desireth. And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace.

II Samuel 3:22-27 - 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 had sent him away, and he was gone in peace. 23 When Joab and all the host 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? 25 Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in, 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, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth rib, that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother.

Abner's death had some ramifications. One is that David lost the one individual who was going to unify the nation under David's rule. From a human perspective, it would seem that the unification of the kingdom would inevitably be delayed. Again, it must be remembered that God was still in control. God removed Abner from the scene.

As we move into chapters 4 and 5, I would like to continue the same line of thinking we pursued in chapter 3. I would like for us to see some practical lessons for our own lives as we consider II Samuel chapters 4 and 5. We see how God worked out the hurdles confronting David's becoming king over Israel.

We see that -


What do you do with a rival king and his loyal followers? David could have had problems for years because of this situation. David treated Ishbosheth well, but God removed him from the scene in an unexpected way. It also solved a potential problem from Ishbosheth's loyal followers. God took care of the problem without David's involvement. God worked this all out in His way and in His timing.

II Samuel 4:1-3 - (1) And when Saul's son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled. (2) And Saul's son had two men that were captains of bands [i.e. captains of troops]: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin. (3) And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day.)

The story then shifts to an introduction of one of Jonathan's sons. More will be stated about him later, but the passage before us simply introduces him at this point. He was a son of Jonathan who was paralyzed at the age of five.

II Samuel 4:4 - And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.

As soon as word came that Saul and Jonathan had been killed in battle, his nurse picked him up and ran, hoping to save his life. The custom would have been that whoever was assuming the throne would be to kill all family to avoid any possible uprising. Knowing that this would occur, his nurse took him and tried to run and save him. Somehow while fleeing, the Bible says he fell. It is probable that he was dropped. Whatever happened, the result was that he was paralyzed. God allowed this to take place. To us, it seems as though it is such an unfortunate accident. Yet God has a plan that far exceeds our thoughts and ideas. We must also realize that a person who may be limited physically is not limited in God's eyes. We must not limit someone based on his physical limitations but instead see him as God sees him. Just as He has a plan for us all, God has a plan for Mephibosheth.

Having introduced Mephibosheth, Scripture returns to the drama unfolding between Ishbosheth and Reechab and Baanah.

II Samuel 4:5-8 - (5) And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon. (6) And they came thither [i.e. there] into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat [i.e. as if to get some wheat]; and they smote him under the fifth rib [i.e. stabbed him in the stomach]: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. (7) For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night. (8) And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the Lord hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.

They were apparently expecting David to reward them for what they had done; and David did reward them, but not in the way they had expected.


II Samuel 4:9-12 - (9) And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, As the Lord liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity, (10) When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings: (11) How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth? (12) And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.


David waited for the Lord to make him king over all Israel, just as the Lord had promised. It was done in such as way that it was a blessing to the entire nation.

II Samuel 5:1-5 - (1) Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. (2) Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the Lord said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. (3) So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord: and they anointed David king over Israel. (4) David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. (5) In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.


II Samuel 5:6-10 - (6) And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither [i.e. in here]: thinking, David cannot come in hither [i.e. in here]. (7) Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David. (8) And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter [i.e. gets up the water shaft or gets up the water tunnel], and smiteth [i.e. attacks or defeats] the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said [i.e. this is why they said], The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. (9) So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward [i.e. Millo was a fortification, consisting of walls filled in with earth and stones, which protected Jerusalem on the north as its outermost defense. . . . It was already existing when David conquered Jerusalem. He extended it to the right and left, thus completing the defense of the city. It was rebuilt by Solomon and repaired by Hezekiah (Easton's Bible Dictionary).]. (10) And David went on, and grew great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him.


II Samuel 5:11 - And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house.


II Samuel 5:12 - And David perceived that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.


II Samuel 5:13-16 - (13) And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David. (14) And these be the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shammua, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, (15) Ibhar also, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia, (16) And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet.


II Samuel 5:17-21 - (17) But when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines came up to seek David; and David heard of it, and went down to the hold [i.e. the stronghold]. (18) The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim [located only 3-4 miles southwest of Jerusalem]. (19) And David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand. (20) And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote [i.e. defeated] them there, and said, The Lord hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters [i.e. as a breakthrough of water = as a wall is broken by rushing waters]. Therefore he called the name of that place Baalperazim [i.e. the Lord Who breaks through or the Lord Who breaks out]. (21) And there they left their images, and David and his men burned them.


II Samuel 5:22-25 - (22) And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. (23) And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass [i.e. circle around] behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. (24) And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going [i.e. of marching] in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself [i.e. you shall act promptly or you shall advance quickly]: for then shall the Lord go out before thee, to smite the host [i.e. to strike the army or to strike the camp] of the Philistines. (25) And David did so, as the Lord had commanded him; and smote [i.e. struck down or drove back] the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer.

We note that God's will is not necessarily always the same in similar circumstances. In the first battle, David engaged the Philistines in a frontal assault. In the second battle, David used a different attack, he circled around them and attacked them from behind.


We see that David did very well at waiting on the Lord, except in the area of his wives and concubines where he followed the practice of the surrounding nations. As a consequence of his waiting on the Lord, the Lord blessed him. However, the Lord did not bless him in the multiplying of his wives and concubines.