2 Samuel 3:21
Then Abner said to David, "Let me go at once, and I will gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may rule over all that your heart desires." So David dismissed Abner, and he went in peace.
A Long WarC. M. Fleury, A. M.2 Samuel 3:1-39
Perpetual WarJ. Irons.2 Samuel 3:1-39
Progress and Termination of the Civil WarW. G. Blaikie, M. A.2 Samuel 3:1-39

Now then do it (ver. 18). Having resolved to transfer his allegiance, Abner here persuades the elders of Israel to make David king over the whole land; as they afterwards did (2 Samuel 5:1-3). A similar appeal may be addressed to others, urging them to submit to the royal authority of Christ, of whom David was a type (1 Samuel 2:10). Translated into New Testament language, it is, "We beseech you, on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20). Consider -

I. WHAT YOU SHOULD DO. Jesus Christ is King, anointed and exalted to the right hand of God; he reigns in grace and righteousness in many hearts; but his kingdom is not yet fully revealed and universally extended on earth, and it cannot be set up "within you" except by your own consent. You must:

1. Receive him heartily as your King and Lord, your absolute Owner and supreme Ruler, as well as your Redeemer and Saviour; by a personal, inward, voluntary act; in the renunciation of whatever is opposed to his will, and the submission and surrender of your whole being to his direction and control. "Now be ye not stiff necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord" (2 Chronicles 30:8; Romans 6:13).

"Our wills are ours, we know not how;
Our wills are ours to make them thine."

2. Confess him openly, by uniting with his people, testifying your faith in him, and proclaiming his Name before men. "With the heart man believeth," etc. (Romans 10:10; 2 Corinthians 8:5). "Whosoever therefore shall confess me," etc. (Matthew 10:32).

3. Serve him loyally, by obeying his commandments, assisting his friends, resisting his foes, seeking his honour and the spread of his kingdom. "It is not enough that I should love the Lord myself alone; every heart must love him, and every tongue speak forth his praise."

II. WHY YOU SHOULD DO IT. "NOW then do it: for Jehovah hath spoken," etc.

1. It is the purpose of God that he should reign over you. "He must reign," either in mercy or in judgment.

2. It is the promise of God that through him you may be saved from your enemies - sin, Satan, death, and hell. "There is none other Name."

3. It has been your own desire in times past that he might be your King. "Ye sought for David both yesterday and the day before to be king over you: now then do it." Under the bitter oppression of the ruler chosen by yourselves, in view of the superior worth of "the man of God's choice," in weakness, fear, and misery, you have often said. "Oh for one glorious hour of him who, in the Name of the Lord of hosts, smote Israel's most formidable foe!" But your wishes led to no practical result. "Your goodness was as the morning cloud." And now your reason, conscience, and all that is best within you urge you to accept Christ as your King. Let your feelings be translated into definite and decisive action, without which they are worse than useless. "Now then do it." "Crown him Lord of all."

III. WHEN YOU SHOULD DO IT. Whatever reason exists for doing it at all should induce you to do it now. There are not a few who are persuaded of their duty, yet break the force of every appeal by delay and the intention of doing it at a future time. But:

1. The present is a most favourable opportunity. The King "waits to be gracious," and sends you the message of reconciliation. "Men and brethren, to you is the word of this salvation sent." "Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 2:1, 2).

2. If you do it today, tomorrow and all your future days will be days of peace and happiness.

3. If you wait till tomorrow, it is probable that you will never do it. Your susceptibility to Divine influences will be lessened, your indisposition, which is the real cause of delay, will be increased; life is uncertain, probation is brief, the end is nigh. "Our gracious Ahasuerus (Esther 4:11) reacheth out the golden sceptre to all that have a hand of faith to lay hold of it; but then he shall take his iron mace or rod in his hand to bruise his enemies and break them in pieces like a potter's vessel." Say not, with the procrastinator, "To morrow" (Exodus 8:10); "Go thy way for this time" (Acts 24:25); for "the Holy Ghost saith, Today" (Hebrews 3:7). "'Cras! cras!' (Tomorrow! tomorrow!) is the cry of the raven. This is the thing that destroys many; while they are saying, 'Cras! cras!' suddenly the door is shut" (Augustine). "The man that procrastinates struggles ever with ruin" (Epictetus). "There is a circumscribed space of time appointed thee, which if thou dost not employ in making all calm and serene within, it will pass away and thou wilt pass away, and it never will return" (Marcus Antoninus, 2:4).

"Defer not till tomorrow to be wise;
Tomorrow's sun to thee may never rise." = - D.

Now then do it.

1. The character and frequency of those impulses have varied greatly in different individuals.

2. These impulses have been usual in you at certain times, and these find a parallel in the case of Israel. These Israelites, perhaps, in their hearts sought for David to be king when they saw the joy upon the face of David's men. His troopers often had spoil to share, and they always spake well of their captain, and whenever a David's man was seen anywhere about Judah or Israel, the people said, "Those warriors have a goodly heritage in being under such a noble leader," and they wished they had such a king themselves. I do not doubt but sometimes when you hear Christ preached in all His sweetness, your mouths begin to water after him. "Is he so good, is he so pleasant? Oh, that we knew Him!" And when you see Christians so happy, and especially when you see them in times of trouble so cheerful and joyous under all their trials, I know you have had an inward wish that you knew their secret and could share their peace.

3. These seekings after David were sometimes with the Israelites vivid and strong; and so, too, impulses with undecided people are occasionally very powerful.

4. Nothing has come of all the seekings of your youth and your after days.

II. RECOMMEND DECIDED ACTION. "Ye sought for David in times past to be king over you, now then do it."

1. Note the business on hand — it is that Jesus should be king over you.

2. Next notice that if Christ is to be your king, it must be by your own act and deed. So saith the text concerning king David "Now then do it."

3. And here is the point, if Jesus is to reign the old king must go down. It is of no use trying to have Ishbosheth and David on the throne at the same time. It is impossible to serve sin and to serve Christ. Dream not of believing to-morrow or next year, nor even in half-an-hour's time; but cast your guilty soul on Christ at once. Now then do it.


( C. H. Spurgeon.)

John Ruskin took for his great life-motto the simple word "To-day." He had it engraved on his watch, and before him in his library, so that he could always see it as he sat at his desk, the text, "Work, while it is yet called to-day." To-day let us repent, believe, love. pray, toil, so that to-day we may bring the kingdom to pass, by doing His will as it is done in heaven.

(H. O. Mackey.)

Perhaps there is now a "shy, solitary serious thought," in your heart about becoming a Christian. If you let it alone, it may fly away like a bird through a cage-door left open, and may never come back. Or else a crowd of business cares and plans, or perhaps a host of social invitations will flock in, and the good thought be smothered to death. You have smothered just such blessed thoughts before. The thought in your heart is to become a Christian now, and the great bells ring out, "Now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation." No soul was ever yet saved, and no good deed was ever done to-morrow. Be careful lest tomorrow shall find you beyond the world of probation!

(Theodore L. Cuyler, D. D.)

Soon after the death of Carlyle two friends met. "And so Carlyle is dead," said one. "Yes," said the other, "he is gone; but he did me a very good turn once." "How was that?" asked the first speaker. "Did you ever see him or hear him?" "No," came the answer, "I never saw him nor heard him. But when I was beginning life, almost through my apprenticeship, I lost all interest in everything and everyone. I felt as if I had no duty of importance to discharge; that it did not matter whether I lived or not; that the world would do as well without me as with me. This condition continued more than a year. I should have been glad to die. One gloomy night, feeling that I could stand my darkness no longer, I went into a library, and lifting a book I found lying upon a table, I opened it. It was 'Sartor Resartus,' by Thomas Carlyle. My eye fell upon one sentence, marked in italics, 'Do the duty which lies nearest to thee, which thou knowest to be a duty! The second duty will already have become clearer.' That sentence," continued the speaker, "was a flash of lightning striking into my dark soul. It gave me a new glimpse of human existence. It made a changed man of me. Carlyle, under God, saved me. He put content and purpose and power-into my life."

Abigail, 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
Bahurim, Beersheba, Bethlehem, Carmel, Dan, Geshur, Gibeon, Hebron
Abner, Agreement, Arise, Assemble, Compact, Covenant, David, Desire, Desires, Desireth, Gather, Hast, Heart, Heart's, Kingdom, League, Mayest, Peace, Reign, Reigned, Rule, Soul, Wide
1. 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 Themes
2 Samuel 3:21

     1346   covenants, nature of

2 Samuel 3:12-21

     5087   David, reign of

The 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

The King.
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. [5969] 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[1] 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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