2 Samuel 11 Part 2–How Low Will You Go?

David Got complacent. He felt entitled as the king to take whatever he wanted. He wanted Uriah’s wife. He took her. She became pregnant.  So David sent Uriah home to sleep with his wife in order to hide his sin.  That did not work. So then he had Uriah sacrificed in battle–murdered. David the man after God’s heart was immediately enveloped in a set of horrible sins that literally changed the course of his kingdom.  
 
Sin is an all-encompassing thing.  it creeps in but then when it takes root, it begins to overtake everything in one’s life.  When dealing with sin, one has to immediately repent and turn away. Otherwise, the sin will overtake and destroy what God has built.  Make no mistake, God will forgive sin, but we must evade and avoid sin at all cost–otherwise, it will devastate all we have seen God build in our lives.  In 1 John 1:9, God says, if we confess our Sin, God is faithful and just to forgive the sin and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Do not let sin overtake you, repent, confess and move away from sin. Otherwise, it will become your master.
 
God Bless You
 

 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”

16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.

18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle. 19 He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, 20 the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelek son of Jerub-Besheth[b]? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’”

22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.”

25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.”

26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.

2 Samuel 11–Part 1–When Kings Usually Go to Battle…

David finally had the Kingdom established, He had quelled all his enemies and had developed his army to the point that for the first time–He did not have to Go out and lead the battles. God had led him and gave him victory in all that he approached.  It was a great story–but then David became complacent. In his complacency, David got up from his bed one afternoon and looked out and saw a beautiful woman bathing…Bathsheba.  He decided to take her and sleep with her–even though he had several other wives.  He decided he was king and he could have anything he wanted–no matter what the cost.
 
One of the challenges of life, when it is going well, is that people become complacent and self-sufficient. When we are in the midst of trials, we have to rely upon God for our protection, provision, and preparation. When things are going well, we often begin to think we no longer need God’s help and start doing things on our own.  Inevitably, if we continue down that path–it ends in disaster.  Such was the case with David, and such is the case in our lives.  In the times when God does bless us, that is when we need to humble ourselves, seek the Lord more intently and follow Him closely.  
 
God wants for us, His chosen, to have full, meaningful and purposeful lives.  It is our responsibility to keep focused upon God in both the blessed and the difficult times. If we will, it will be an amazing journey. If we do not, it will be an inevitable train wreck! Help me, Lord, to stay focused upon you and allow you to lead!
 
God Bless You!

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

So David sent word to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David.When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab was doing and how the people were doing and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and there followed him a present from the king. But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?”

2 Samuel 9–The Power of Friendship

David never forgot his promise to Jonathan. After he settled the kingdom and established himself, he sought out any living relatives of Saul. Jonathan’s son was left.  David immediately had him brought to Jerusalem, he restored Mephibosheth with all his families Lands and wealth. He brought the young man to his table and assigned him servants for the rest of his life. He did not do any of those things because he had to, he did them simply because he promised his friend Jonathan.
 
It is great when we see such friendship and devotion.  In our lives, we are all blessed with friends and should always be ready to pour our lives into them as well.  We never know the impact our devotion to others will bring. But the investment of our lives into others can and should yield loyalty that lives long past us.  We are here to live with purpose and leave a legacy.  We should be devoted like Jonathan was to David; and, like David was to Jonathan’s son.  Father Help me to be that kind of friend.
 
God Bless You

David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”

“At your service,” he replied.

The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?”

Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.”

“Where is he?” the king asked.

Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”

So, King David, had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.

When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.

David said, “Mephibosheth!”

“At your service,” he replied.

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”

Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandsonmay be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)

2 Samuel 6 Part 1–Reverence

David was bringing the kingdom back in line with God’s plan.  He had already reestablished Israel as a nation under God’s lead. Now the King set out to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem. Sadly, on the journey, one of the men caring for the ark reached out and grabbed it to hold it steady–when he did, he died.  David was furious and scared all at once.  He decided to park the Ark at a place right there.  The Ark was sacred. God was clear, no one was to touch it. So when the Uzzah did, no matter his intention, the response from God was also clear–he died.  
 
It is critical to understand that God is and does command reverence.  We tend to want to claim God’s gifts and favor–but, we refuse to honor His deity.  God is God he is powerful beyond measure. He deserves reverence.  We, as His children need to show that reverence in our lives. It is not that God will strike us down if we do not, but, we lose so much in our relationship with God if we fail to honor the Lord for who He is.  Reverence is critical! 
 
God Bless You

 David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. He and all his men went to Baalah[a] in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name,[b] the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it,[c] and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets,[d] harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.

When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.

Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.[e]

2 Samuel 4–The Lives of Kings

It was becoming a free-for-all. Now that Saul was dead, opportunists were seeking to gain favor with David by killing off Saul’s house.  It broke David’s heart.  As these latest raiders brought the head of Saul’s son to David, they expected a reward. David was furious.  Instead of a reward, David had them executed and publicly humiliated.  That is what was done to men that murdered kings.  David sent the message such behavior would not be tolerated.  
 
The world simply does not value life.  Make no mistake, each person values their own life, mostly above all else.  But apart from God, most do not value others lives.  So given the opportunity, the evil men do to promote themselves becomes worse each passing generation.  As God’s chosen, we must live lives that are selfless and that promote life.  We cannot act only for our interest, but we must live with the truth that others matter as well.  David understood that–that is what made him a great king and the man after God’s heart.  Help me, Lord to have the same heart as did David.
 
God Bless You

When Ish-Bosheth son of Saul heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he lost courage, and all Israel became alarmed. Now Saul’s son had two men who were leaders of raiding bands. One was named Baanah and the other Rekab; they were sons of Rimmon the Beerothite from the tribe of Benjamin—Beeroth is considered part of Benjamin, because the people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim and have resided there as foreigners to this day.

(Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became disabled. His name was Mephibosheth.)

Now Rekab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out for the house of Ish-Bosheth, and they arrived there in the heat of the day while he was taking his noonday rest.They went into the inner part of the house as if to get some wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rekab and his brother Baanah slipped away.

They had gone into the house while he was lying on the bed in his bedroom. After they stabbed and killed him, they cut off his head. Taking it with them, they traveled all night by way of the Arabah. They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to kill you. This day the Lord has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.”

David answered Rekab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, 10 when someone told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news! 11 How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!”

12 So David gave an order to his men, and they killed them. They cut off their hands and feet and hung the bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-Bosheth and buried it in Abner’s tomb at Hebron.

2 Samuel 3 Part 2–Sad End to A Sad War

 David came to terms with Abner, general from the house of Saul. He made peace and looked to end the conflict.   Sadly, as he sent Abner on his way, Joab, David’s general, found out that the guy that killed his brother was just set free.  So Joab chased Abner down and killed him.  It was such a sad day for David and for Israel.  Joab and his family would be cursed. David and his army would not be done and Abner, the one to bring peace, was murdered. David commanded all mourn for Abner’s death.  He mourned and fasted the entire day.  They honored the general, even though Abner was in Saul’s house.
 
In truth, war just stinks.  The costs are high, the unintended damages are often great and senseless.  That is why we do not go to war thoughtlessly or at a whim.  It is critical that while we ready ourselves for battle, that we become men of peace and reason.  David was clearly a great warrior.  But, he knew the value of peace.  His deal with Abner was a deal for the peace of Israel, not simply for himself. We have to live our lives the same.  We must always be ready for the spiritual battles we face, but, we need to be peaceful people.  Joab was cursed because he could not do that. David was great because he could. Let’s choose to be peaceful people ready for battle.
 
God Bless You

Just then David’s men and Joab returned from a raid and brought with them a great deal of plunder. But Abner was no longer with David in Hebron, because David had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23 When Joab and all the soldiers with him arrived, he was told that Abner son of Ner had come to the king and that the king had sent him away and that he had gone in peace.

24 So Joab went to the king and said, “What have you done? Look, Abner came to you. Why did you let him go? Now he is gone! 25 You know Abner son of Ner; he came to deceive you and observe your movements and find out everything you are doing.”

26 Joab then left David and sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern at Sirah. But David did not know it. 27 Now when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into an inner chamber, as if to speak with him privately. And there, to avenge the blood of his brother Asahel, Joab stabbed him in the stomach, and he died.

28 Later, when David heard about this, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever innocent before the Lord concerning the blood of Abner son of Ner. 29 May his blood fall on the head of Joab and on his whole family! May Joab’s family never be without someone who has a running sore or leprosy[a] or who leans on a crutch or who falls by the sword or who lacks food.”

30 (Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.)

31 Then David said to Joab and all the people with him, “Tear your clothes and put on sackcloth and walk in mourning in front of Abner.” King David himself walked behind the bier. 32 They buried Abner in Hebron, and the king wept aloud at Abner’s tomb. All the people wept also

2 Samuel 3 Part 1–Turning Point

As the war continued, It became apparent which side God was blessing.  David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul crumbled.  The story highlights one of the High/ Low points of the war.  Abner was Saul’s main general. After Saul and Jonathan’s death, Abner took charge and preserved the house of Saul’s rule.  Still, Saul’s son the king began to ridicule Abner and made clear he did not respect the general.  This so offended Abner, that he decided to join David and unite the kingdom.  It had to be a difficult move for both Abner and for David.  Still, these warriors were willing to settle their differences to unite the kingdom.
 
In life, there are tough events that seem hopeless. In the midst of them, God can change a heart, a circumstance, or an alliance that will literally change the course of history.   When that happens, God’s people have to humbly seek him and follow his lead.  One can never tell when our obedience could propel us into peace and victory.  It is our job to listen and follow, it is God’s job to change history!
 
God Bless You

During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner had been strengthening his own position in the house of Saul. Now Saul had had a concubine named Rizpah the daughter of Aiah. And Ish-Bosheth said to Abner, “Why did you sleep with my father’s concubine?”

Abner was very angry because of what Ish-Bosheth said. So he answered, “Am I a dog’s head—on Judah’s side? This very day I am loyal to the house of your father Saul and to his family and friends. I haven’t handed you over to David. Yet now you accuse me of an offense involving this woman! May God deal with Abner, be it ever so severely, if I do not do for David what the Lord promised him on oath 10 and transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish David’s throne over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beersheba.” 11 Ish-Bosheth did not dare to say another word to Abner, because he was afraid of him.

12 Then Abner sent messengers on his behalf to say to David, “Whose land is it? Make an agreement with me, and I will help you bring all Israel over to you.”

13 “Good,” said David. “I will make an agreement with you. But I demand one thing of you: Do not come into my presence unless you bring Michal daughter of Saul when you come to see me.” 14 Then David sent messengers to Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, demanding, “Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for the price of a hundred Philistine foreskins.”

15 So Ish-Bosheth gave orders and had her taken away from her husband Paltiel son of Laish.16 Her husband, however, went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go back home!” So he went back.

17 Abner conferred with the elders of Israel and said, “For some time you have wanted to make David your king. 18 Now do it! For the Lord promised David, ‘By my servant David I will rescue my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.