And for fear of Abner, Ish-bosheth did not dare to say another word to him.
Abner knew well that David was appointed by God to be king over all Israel. Yet he set up Ishbosheth as king over the eleven tribes in opposition to David, and thus caused much unnecessary and useless delay and bloodshed. When, however, Ishbosheth (whether rightly or wrongly) remonstrated with him for his conduct towards Rizpah, he calls to mind the purpose and promise of God, and resolves to cooperate with him (!) in placing David over all the nation (ver. 9); and he opens communications with David with this view. The known will of God thus becomes a convenient pretext for the gratification at once of his revenge and his ambition. His own lips convicted him of insincerity and hypocrisy. His tardy obedience to the truth he knew was unreal and unacceptable to God, however useful to David. It was self, and not God, that ruled him throughout. Abner has many imitators - men who, instead of simply and sincerely obeying the truth they know, make it wait on their ambition or covetousness, now neglecting it, now acting according to it, and professing great regard for it, as their selfish aims may prompt. They choose their side in religion or polities, not according to conviction, but according to their supposed interests; and if they change sides it is not because of changed convictions, but because their ambition or avarice has been disappointed - they have not been made enough of, or they have quarrelled with some one, or their pride has been mortified, or they see that they have been on the side of a decaying cause which cannot be of much more service to them. Such men may be welcomed
to the side they join, and may be of some service; but they wilt not be trusted
, and their service will be of doubtful value. In religion especially the adherence of such persons is to be deprecated as wanting in the right spirit, and likely to be injurious rather than beneficial. They tend to corrupt the society in which they are active and influential, and deprive it of its true strength - that of sincere, spiritual, consistent character. Observe:
1. The importance of simple and uniform obedience to the known will of God. To obey as it suits our worldly aims is not to obey at all, and the pretence of obedience is hypocritical and hateful to God. Such obedience may have its uses to others; God may overrule it for good; but it will bring no blessing to the doer.
2. The language of Abner may be adopted by us in relation to the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. "As Jehovah has sworn to his beloved Son, even so I do to him." Our knowledge of the purpose and promise of God to establish Christ's rule over all men should stimulate us to devoted service in his cause. It assures us that to be on his side is to be on God's side, on the side that must succeed. In being thus workers with God we cannot labour in vain; and labouring not in pretence, but in truth, we shall ultimately share in the glory and power of the great King whose cause we espouse (Revelation 3:21). - G.W.
To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul.
The kingdom was to pass from the house of Saul to the house of David, and David was to be king "over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba." The thought is that kingdoms of an earthly kind change hands, and therefore they are to be regarded as belonging to things temporary and mutable, and not to things eternal and unchangeable. What hast thou that thou hast not received? By long use men come to entertain the idea of sole proprietorship, and thus the sense of monopoly increases. Our children are not ours, they are God's; our lives are not our own, they belong to the Creator; we have no, thing, except in the sense of stewardship and in the sense of involving responsibility for the use we make of it. It is well that men can only reign for a certain time; it, would be well if royalty could change its point of origin, so that human vanity might be checked and human ambition might be baffled in many a course. We are not to think of earthly kingdoms alone as meaning political sovereignities; we are to think of personal influence, institutional functions, and all arrangements made to meet the necessity of the present day; all these things must be changed in order to be purified; the direction may be altered in order that attention may be wakened; those who imagine themselves secure for ever must be shaken out of their security, that they may learn that there is no permanence but in God. The Lord reigneth. All men reign under Him, and are subject to His will. They only are happy who use the world as not abusing it, and who hold it with so light a hand that at any moment they can lay it down again.
Someone has pithily said: "There are three kinds of histories. There is that which makes the king the centre of the story. The tale is mainly one of wars and their causes. It speaks glowingly of the king's victories, and explains away his defeats. It has been dubbed, 'The Drum and Trumpet History.' Then there is that which traces the growth of the people — their morals, customs, politics, and religion. This is the 'Bread and Success' history. But, last of all, there is the history like that of the chosen nation, where the guide and ruler is God. This is true history, for it reckons in the mightiest fact and force of all. It is the 'Sane and Sublime History,' and no other is worth the name."
PeopleAbigail, Abishai, Abital, Abner, Absalom, Adonijah, Ahinoam, Aiah, Amnon, Asahel, Benjamin, Benjamites, Chileab, Dan, David, Eglah, Gibeon, Haggith, Ishbosheth, Ithream, Jezreel, Jezreelitess, Jizreelitess, Joab, Laish, Maacah, Maachah, Michal, Nabal, Ner, Paltiel, Phaltiel, Rizpah, Saul, Shephatiah, Talmai, Zeruiah
PlacesBahurim, Beersheba, Bethlehem, Carmel, Dan, Geshur, Gibeon, Hebron
TopicsAble, Abner, Afraid, Dare, Fear, Feared, Fearing, Ish-bo'sheth, Ish-bosheth's, Longer, Turn
Outline1. During the war David becomes stronger
2. Six sons are born to him in Hebron
6. Abner, displeased with Ishbosheth
7. revolts to David
13. David requires as a condition to bring him his wife Michal
17. Abner confers with the Israelites, feasted by David, and dismissed
22. Joab returning from battle, is displeased with the king, and kills Abner
28. David curses Joab
31. and mourns for Abner
Dictionary of Bible Themes2 Samuel 3:11
2 Samuel 3:7-11
LibraryThe King --Continued.
The years thus well begun are, in the historical books, characterized mainly by three events, namely, the bringing up of the ark to the newly won city of David, Nathan's prophecy of the perpetual dominion of his house, and his victories over the surrounding nations. These three hinges of the narrative are all abundantly illustrated in the psalms. As to the first, we have relics of the joyful ceremonial connected with it in two psalms, the fifteenth and twenty-fourth, which are singularly alike not …
Alexander Maclaren—The Life of David
We have now to turn and see the sudden change of fortune which lifted the exile to a throne. The heavy cloud which had brooded so long over the doomed king broke in lightning crash on the disastrous field of Gilboa. Where is there a sadder and more solemn story of the fate of a soul which makes shipwreck "of faith and of a good conscience," than that awful page which tells how, godless, wretched, mad with despair and measureless pride, he flung himself on his bloody sword, and died a suicide's death, …
Alexander Maclaren—The Life of David
Of a Private Fast.
That we may rightly perform a private fast, four things are to be observed:--First, The author; Secondly, The time and occasion; Thirdly, The manner; Fourthly, The ends of private fasting. 1. Of the Author. The first that ordained fasting was God himself in paradise; and it was the first law that God made, in commanding Adam to abstain from eating the forbidden fruit. God would not pronounce nor write his law without fasting (Lev. xxiii), and in his law commands all his people to fast. So does our …
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety
A Believer's Privilege at Death
'For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.' Phil 1:1I. Hope is a Christian's anchor, which he casts within the veil. Rejoicing in hope.' Rom 12:12. A Christian's hope is not in this life, but he hash hope in his death.' Prov 14:42. The best of a saint's comfort begins when his life ends; but the wicked have all their heaven here. Woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.' Luke 6:64. You may make your acquittance, and write Received in full payment.' Son, remember that …
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity
The Morning of Good Friday.
The pale grey light had passed into that of early morning, when the Sanhedrists once more assembled in the Palace of Caiaphas.  A comparison with the terms in which they who had formed the gathering of the previous night are described will convey the impression, that the number of those present was now increased, and that they who now came belonged to the wisest and most influential of the Council. It is not unreasonable to suppose, that some who would not take part in deliberations which were …
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah
Growth in Grace
'But grow in grace.' 2 Pet 3:38. True grace is progressive, of a spreading and growing nature. It is with grace as with light; first, there is the crepusculum, or daybreak; then it shines brighter to the full meridian. A good Christian is like the crocodile. Quamdiu vivet crescit; he has never done growing. The saints are not only compared to stars for their light, but to trees for their growth. Isa 61:1, and Hos 14:4. A good Christian is not like Hezekiah's sun that went backwards, nor Joshua's …
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity
Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate, …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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