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2 Samuel 3: Self-Control Is a Virtue


2 Samuel 3 shows us the tragic death of Abner. He had been rising through the house of Saul, and it seems that as the war was finally winding down between the house of David and the house of Saul, he had quite a bit of power.

2Sa 3:6  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.

Because the war was pretty much over, Abner decided that he was going to help get Israel under David’s control.

2Sa 3:12  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.

However, not everyone was too thrilled about this process. In particular, Joab thought that this offering of peace was nothing more than a trap.

2Sa 3:24  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?

2Sa 3:25  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.

David was still not worried, but Joab decided to take everything into his own hands and murder Abner.

Obviously, something went wrong here.

It seems that the main problem was that Joab did not like the fact that Abner was going to be joining an alliance with David. We don’t necessarily know why he was upset outside the fact that he didn’t trust Abner, but I think that it is important to note that the problem with this situation was his reaction.

He did not have to trust Abner. Nobody told him that he had to automatically run out and support the idea of the treaty. However, the physical reaction to these emotions was the major problem here.

We have been given human emotions, and sometimes we will be upset. That does not mean that we can act on those emotions all of the time. Even though it might seem “natural,” God tells us that we need control ourselves.

Pro 25:28  He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

2 Samuel 2: Keep Following God’s Plan

I think that if I was David I would be a little bit impatient. In 2 Samuel 2, we know that Saul and Jonathan have both died. We also know that David had been anointed by Samuel a long time ago to become the next king of Israel. All signs seem to indicate that when God told David to return to Israel, everything would go as he probably imagined it would.

2Sa 2:1  And it came to pass after this, that David enquired 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 shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron.

This is significant because in the previous few chapters, I had pointed out how David had acted, and we were not necessarily sure if he had consulted with God first. This time, he definitely knew that he was doing what God wanted him to do. Before we make any plans, that consultation is always a good first step.

However, the plans kind of fell apart. David became the king of Judah, but he did not have all of Israel right away.

2Sa 2:7  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.

2Sa 2:8  But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;

2Sa 2:9  And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.

Now, let us review the relevant facts. David was doing exactly what God told him to. That is important. Based on circumstances outside of David’s control, the rest of the nation of Israel split off to follow Saul’s other son. What is a conclusion that we can draw from this?

Perhaps it was the will of God that David would not be the king of all of Israel right away. God had a plan for what He wanted David to do. It might not make a lot of sense. We might wonder why David just did not get to be king right away. After all, he had procedurally been anointed, and it was his position.

God tells us that things will not always happen exactly how we want them, but that should not lessen our trust in Him.

Isa 55:8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Isa 55:9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

As finite beings, it impossible to comprehend an infinite God and to comprehend a mind that can coordinate such a complex universe with such precision that He understands every thought and word that we might have.

David continued to trust God as we will read about more in the future, and as people reading this historical text, we have the luxury of seeing God’s plan roll out.