Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Are you like David or Abner?

David anointed king over Judah
TODAY'S SPECIAL: 2 Samuel 1-3; Psalm 87

TO CHEW ON: "'Now that Saul is dead, I ask you to be my strong loyal subjects like the people of Judah, who have anointed me as their new king.'
But Abner son of Ner, the commander of Saul's army, had already gone to Mahanaim with Saul's son Ishbosheth. There he proclaimed Ishbosheth king over Gilead ... and all the rest of Israel." 2 Samuel 2:7-8 NLT

After years of running from Saul, David is free of his persecutor at last. Samuel had anointed David king years earlier so we might expect him to now make a play for the throne. But instead of acting on his own initiative, he keeps depending on God as much as ever.

He begins this new stage of life by asking God about two rather small practical matters: "Should I move  back to the towns of Judah?" and "Which town should I go to?" Then he does exactly what God tells him.

After he is crowned king by Judah, he offers his kingly services to the rest of Israel. Abner, Saul's army commander, takes it upon himself to answer by crowning Saul's 40-year-old son Ishbosheth king at Mahanaim.

What does David do about that? Nothing. He doesn't challenge Abner's action and insist that they crown him king, even though he knows he is God's anointed.

David and his dependence on God is quite a contrast to Abner whose claim to power is rooted in family (his father Ner was Saul's uncle, he was Saul's cousin - 1 Samuel 14:50) and his own manipulations. As a result it takes seven and a half more years and much more bloodshed before the remaining tribes approach David and ask him to be their king (2 Samuel 5:1-3).

I love David's dependence on God, especially as it contrasts with Abner's self-reliance. We would do well to copy David's example, praying about the minutest details of life, listening for and taking God's advice, and exercising patience as we wait for events to take their course (even as we cling to God-given dreams and promises made long ago). It's a course of action described so well by James: "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up." James 4:10.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for these examples of David's dependence on You. Help me to translate his attitude to the details of my life. Amen.


The Bible Project VIDEO: 2 Samuel (Read Scripture series)

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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