January 6, 2016
2 Samuel 2-Part 4
"O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" says the Lord. "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!" Jeremiah 18:6
LET IT GLOW
Clay has no plans of its own, no aspirations for service, nor reluctance to perform its given task. It is just clay. Moldable, pliable , totally submissive to the will of its master. God looks for those who will allow Him to shape them into the instruments He requires to do His divine work. He can mold us into whatever kind of instrument He requires. (Blackaby)
Are we willing to be moldable clay in God's hands? Abner was not; David was.
Two new kings for the nation Israel? How does this work for them? Shall we check it out?
- Abner, who served as King Saul's commander in his army and was loyal to the king and his descendants, made a decision. He made Ishbosheth, Saul's son, king over the northern tribes of Israel. (Abner would have known that David was God's intended next king.) Abner must have had a considerable amount of political power.
- Ishbosheth was 40 years old and only reigned 2 years. This was the name the writer of this book used for him. Actually, Ishbosheth's name meant "Man of the Shameful Thing." His name was originally Esh-Baal. Such name changes probably occurred when Baal worship rose in popularity. (MacArthur)
- At this point, David controlled Judah and Simeon and the Philistines retained control over large sections of the north, so Ishbosheth's kingdom was actually quite small. There is no evidence that he had widespread support among the Israelites. (D. Jeremiah)
LET IT GROW
One day Abner and Joab (leader of David's army) met at the pool of Gibeon (where Saul was from) in an attempt to prevent civil war (verses 12-13) Their efforts did not work.
Rather than an all-out war, Abner proposed a representative contest between champions on behalf of the opposing armies. Because all 24 of the contestants lay fallen and dying in combat (verse 15,16), the contest settled nothing, but exciting passions so that a battle between the two armies ensued (v. 17). (MacArthur)
How gruesome! Each one grabbed his opponent by the hair and thrust his sword into the other's side so that all of them died. A fierce battle followed that day and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated by the forces of David.
To me, it was such a needless battle, but Abner was determined to be in power. He didn't stop to think that God was on David's side so that meant he would have victory.
Israel was divided north and south., so there was tension between them. Since this took place at Gibeon, it is suggested that Joab was gaining more territory and Abner was attempting to stop it.
Why can't people settle their differences? Self gets in the way, raising its ugly head, resulting in sin.
Do we keep settling the small squabbles before they become outright war?
LET IT GO
Submit to God's agenda.
Be like clay.
Allow Him to shape me into the person He wants me to be.