SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- When Ish-Bosheth hears of Abner's death he collapses in fear.
- Two leaders of raiding bands, Baanah and Recab, kill Ish-Bosheth and cut off his head. They bring the head to David and claim the Lord has avenged David against Saul and his offspring.
- David responds by having Baanah and Recab killed.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Ish-Bosheth was a weak leader. He took his courage from another man (Abner) rather than from God. When Abner died, Ish-Bosheth was left with nothing but fear.
- Although David knew Ish-Bosheth was not the strong leader needed to unite Israel, he had no intention of killing him. God had promised the kingdom to David, and he knew that God would fulfill his promise.
- When David learned of Ish-Bosheth's death, he was angry. He had never harmed Saul, and he thought the assassin's method was cowardly. David wanted to unite Israel, not drive a permanent wedge between him and Ish-Bosheth's supporters. To demonstrate he had nothing to do with Ish-Bosheth's death, he ordered Baanah and Recab be killed and gave Ish-Bosheth a proper burial. As we'll see in the next chapter, all the tribes of Israel will pledge their loyalty to David.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- What do you fear? Fear can paralyze you, but faith and trust in God can overcome fear. If you'll put your trust in God, you will be free to respond boldly to whatever happens around you.
- David trusted God to fulfill His promises to him. Therefore, David never took things into his own hands (such as killing Saul to take his rightful place on the throne). Where are you tempted to take a short-cut to try and attain the promises God has made in your life? In what way do you need to let go of trying to control a situation yourself and instead trust God to do the right thing at the right time?