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My Soul Waits in Silence (II Samuel 2)

August 22, 2012 by Pito


You would think that after Saul’s death David would immediately be enthroned over all the nation of Israel. He was not. He still had to wait on the Lord for the fulfillment of His promise. Another son of Saul, Ishbosheth, who was not anointed by God, stood in David’s way to the throne. Even though the elders of Judah anointed him as king, David refused to seize the throne over all Israel. He waited.

Our chapter is more about Generals than about the king. Abner, the same General who had not guarded Saul when David stealthily took Saul’s water jug during the night, decided to support Ishbosheth, not David. It seems that Abner wanted to be the power behind the scenes of a weak king.

As the army of Judah, led by David’s three nephews, Joab, Abishai and  Asahel, came to Gibeon, the army of Ishbosheth also came and they agreed to let a group of young men compete. After the young men killed each other, the two armies fought, with Judah taking the day, 360 to 19.

As Abner and his men fled, Asahel, an Olympic Marathon Champion, caught up to Abner to try to take him out. Abner, a hardened Army Ranger, tried to convince Asahel to stop pursuing him, but Asahel refused. At that point Abner thrust him through with the blunt end of his spear, killing him on the spot. We don’t know Asahel’s motives. He may have been zealous for the victory for Yahweh and David, or he may have just wanted the glory for killing the enemy General. We do know that he failed to kill Abner and got killed himself. Applying wisdom in our lives is sometimes a complex thing. God wants us to wrestle, to struggle with how to apply his Word to the challenges of our complex culture. Our hope and comfort is that the Spirit is working in the Church to help us in these things. Let us not forget that “In a multitude of counselors, there is wisdom.” Asahel discovered that unilateral decisions can be very dangerous.

Our passage closes out with David’s kingdom, like Jesus’ Kingdom, getting “stronger and stronger.” Despite human weaknesses, God’s grace accomplishes His purposes in a fallen world. Let us therefore be encouraged and strengthened for subsequent sufferings. May we patiently wait on the Lord in all things. Read Psalm 62

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