2 Samuel 4: Respect Our Enemies
It seems that there was a lot of meaningless killing in Israel at this time in history. In 2 Samuel 4, two of David’s men decided it would be a good idea to go and kill Saul’s final son.
2Sa 4:8 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.
The strange part is that these two men were extraordinarily proud of what they did. They thought they were actually doing David a favor. I guess they thought that David would be excited to see vengeance taken on Saul’s family.
That is not what David wanted.
2Sa 4:9 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,
2Sa 4:10 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:
2Sa 4:11 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?
2Sa 4:12 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 obviously had respect for other people. The death of innocent life appalled him just like it did when he had the opportunity to kill Saul in a previous chapter.
Having this type of respect for even our enemies is important. We are commanded to love everyone, and I believe that respect comes with that.