Nov 15, 2020. II Samuel 2:8-31

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A DIVIDED LAND. II Samuel 2:8-31. 11/15/2020. #4.

2 Samuel 2:8-31 [New King James Version]

8 But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim; 9 and he made him king over Gilead, over the Ashurites, over Jezreel, over Ephraim, over Benjamin, and over all Israel. 10 Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. Only the house of Judah followed David. 11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months. 12 Now Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out and met them by the pool of Gibeon. So they sat down, one on one side of the pool and the other on the other side of the pool. 14 Then Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men now arise and compete before us.” 15 So they arose and went over by number, twelve from Benjamin, followers of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve from the servants of David. 16 And each one grasped his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called the Field of Sharp Swords, which is in Gibeon. 17 So there was a very fierce battle that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David. 18 Now the three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab and Abishai and Asahel. And Asahel was as fleet of foot as a wild gazelle. 19 So Asahel pursued Abner, and in going he did not turn to the right hand or to the left from following Abner. 20 Then Abner looked behind him and said, “Are you Asahel?” He answered, “I am.” 21 And Abner said to him, “Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay hold on one of the young men and take his armor for yourself.” But Asahel would not turn aside from following him. 22 So Abner said again to Asahel, “Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I face your brother Joab?” 23 However, he refused to turn aside. Therefore Abner struck him in the stomach with the blunt end of the spear, so that the spear came out of his back; and he fell down there and died on the spot. So it was that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, stood still. 24 Joab and Abishai also pursued Abner. And the sun was going down when they came to the hill of Ammah, which is before Giah by the road to the Wilderness of Gibeon. 25 Now the children of Benjamin gathered together behind Abner and became a unit, and took their stand on top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab and said, “Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that it will be bitter in the latter end? How long will it be then until you tell the people to return from pursuing their brethren?” 27 And Joab said, “As God lives, unless you had spoken, surely then by morning all the people would have given up pursuing their brethren.” 28 So Joab blew a trumpet; and all the people stood still and did not pursue Israel anymore, nor did they fight anymore. 29 Then Abner and his men went on all that night through the plain, crossed over the Jordan, and went through all Bithron; and they came to Mahanaim. 30 So Joab returned from pursuing Abner. And when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing of David’s servants nineteen men and Asahel. 31 But the servants of David had struck down, of Benjamin and Abner’s men, three hundred and sixty men who died.

  • A divided house
    • After David is crowned King of Judah, General Abner crowns Saul’s son, Ishbosheth, King over Israel in north
      • Judah did not recognize Ishbosheth’s rule
      • Saul’s son will rule for 2 years (a weak king)
    • David had sent to Jabesh Gilead a note of gratitude and implied that he would reward them as their king
    • Abner quickly moves to establish Ishbosheth’s kingdom over Jabesh Gilead by moving his capital to Manhaim across the Jordan River
    • Ishbosheth controls the northern kingdom minus the conquered area held by the Philistines + Jabesh Gilead Gilead
    • Conflict between the 2 kingdoms was inevitable
      • Abner tried to keep Saul’s line going by putting one of Saul’s sons on the throne
      • God had anointed David to take Saul’s place (not many probably knew of this event)
      • Judah had chosen David, but the northern tribes and Jabesh Gilead Gil. remained loyal to Saul’s line
      • Only war would decide who would rule Israel
  • First blood
    • Abner’s forces met Joab’s forces in battle
      • They first watched young soldiers battle each other (killed each other)
      • The battle ensues all day long
    • The battle events favored David and Judah
      • Judah chases Abner’s forces to a hilltop
      • Abner kills Asahel, brother of Joab (Joab will eventually avenge the death of his brother)
      • Abner stops with his troops at the hill
        • He calls out to Joab and asks how long the bloodshed would continue
        • Joab calls back, that had Abner not spoken, they would have pursued Israel throughout the night
      • 20 Judean soldiers died, while 360 Israelites died
  • What now?
    • Several lessons our learned from this conflict
      • The two sides are not likely to settle this peacefully
      • There is no indication that the Lord was consulted
      • Abner is the force behind the throne in the north
        • Abner was obviously loyal to Saul
        • Abner sees Saul’s line as the legitimate ruler of all of Israel
      • The Lord’s favor rests upon David’s forces
    • The status quo is maintained for two years
      • God held the Philistines back from taking advantage of the division in Israel
      • David strengthens his hold in south and bides time
        • God did not give kingdom to David all at once (must be patient in God’s plan)
        • There is a purpose in how God does things
    • Many Bible characters waited for God to fulfill promises: Abraham and Sarah waited for a son, Joseph waited for his visions to come true, Israel waited for deliverance, Hab. waited for God to judge Judah, David waited for vengeance
    • God doesn’t reveal why he acts, but expects faith (Job)