2 Samuel 1-3 briefing

Inspite of all the evil that king Saul did to David, his humble heart’s attitude towards God and man enabled him to forgive king Saul in such a manner that when he heard the news about the death of Saul and his sons, David and his men were heartbroken, 2 Samuel 1:2-12!

He even got the person who came with this news killed, because he falsely claimed that he had killed king Saul, vs 13-16. In his lament that he chanted on their behalf, he expressed grief that the mighty had been slain, and more than anything else, he sorrowed that this defeat would give an opportunity to the uncircumcised to rejoice at the defeat of God’s people, vs 20-27.

Being directed by the Lord, he makes his way to Hebron, where the men of Judah came and there anointed David as king over the people of Judah, 2 Samuel 2:1-4. He commended the people of Jabesh Gilead for the kindness they showed in burying king Saul, and rewarded them for the same, vs 5-7! This showed his pure heart’s attitude towards those who had been the cause of so much pain in his life!

Joab’s brother Asahel died on account of his own foolishness, yet Joab held revenge in his heart towards Abner who speared Asahel to death because Ashael refused to stop pursuing him, vs 19-23. Subsequently, Joab murdered Abner in a most unethical manner, 2 Samuel 3:22-27,30! On hearing this David openly denounced this evil deed and pronounced curses over Joab and his descendants, vs 28,29,39. He also wholeheartedly lamented over and arranged for the burial of Abner, vs 31-38. On the other hand, we see how Abner’s wrong reaction to king Ish bosheth’s rebuke concerning Abner’s relationship with king Saul’s concubine ultimately led to his death, vs 7,8. In response to Ish bosheth’s words Abner chose to react in anger and revenge, and although it worked in David’s advantage, yet, Abner paid for this with his own life!

In all these cases, we see the outcome of reacting in anger and revenge, (as Abner and Joab chose to do) for the wrongs that people did to them. On the other hand, we see the way in which David responded in forgiveness, goodness and mercy towards his persecutors and the outcome of David’s behaviour too! Often, at the crossroads in life that we encounter, we will be faced with a similar choice. Let us be alert to identify the path that leads to life and the one that leads to death, and make sure to choose life, even at the cost of giving up our ego and pride! For God always opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

Let us, therefore, humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, while casting all our cares on him, because He cares for us. And as we do so faithfully, He has promised to exalt us in due time, 1 Peter 5:5-7. Amen.

Rowena Thomas