Nov. 29, 2020. II Samuel 3:6-11

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SHOWDOWN IN SAMARIA. II Samuel 3:6-11. 11/29/2020. #6.

II Samuel 3:6-11 [New King James Version]

6 Now it was so, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner was strengthening his hold on the house of Saul. 7 And Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah. So Ishbosheth said to Abner, “Why have you gone in to my father’s concubine?” 8 Then Abner became very angry at the words of Ishbosheth, and said, “Am I a dog’s head that belongs to Judah? Today I show loyalty to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers, and to his friends, and have not delivered you into the hand of David; and you charge me today with a fault concerning this woman? 9 May God do so to Abner, and more also, if I do not do for David as the Lord has sworn to him— 10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beersheba.” 11 And he could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him.

  • Abner, the king maker
    • Abner kept growing stronger in Israel
      • Ishbosheth was very weak
      • Ishbosheth would not have been on the throne had it not been for Abner, who needed one of Saul’s sons to legitimately to reign
    • Abner had become the power behind the throne
      • He could do whatever he wanted to do
      • Without Abner propping him up, Ishbosheth would fall
  • The accusation
    • After Saul’s death, all of his wives and concubines would have been put in seclusion in the palace or near it
    • One of Saul’s concubines was Rizpah
      • Later, when David gave seven sons for execution to the Gibeonites to atone for Saul’s attack on them, file came from Princess Merab and two from Rizpah
      • Rizpah spent three days keeping birds away from the corpses of her sons until David had them properly buried
    • Ishbosheth accused Abner of being intimate with Rizpah
      • Abner vehemently denied the accusation
      • Abner may have committed the offense
        • It is unlikely that timid Ishbosheth would challenge the general with a false accusation
        • Abner controlled the house of Saul
        • Abner doesn’t directly deny the charge
    • Abner seemed to be more offended that Ishbosheth dared to challenge him (Abner was the power behind the throne & Ishbosheth was to obey and stay quiet)
  • The remedy
    • The accusation against Abner was a turning point in the history of Israel
      • Abner decides to seek revenge for his wounded honor by seeking revenge on Ishbosheth
      • Abner will now support David over Saul’s house
    • Abner recognizes God’s blessing on David
      • Abner states that his loyalty to Saul & his household is repaid with a scurrilous accusation
      • Abner will not support David, to whom the Lord had sworn to give the throne of Israel (the promise to David must have been generally known)
    • Abner had the power to transfer Israel to David
      • Much of the army would follow Abner
      • Without a strong military leader, Ishbosheth was doomed
    • Ishbosheth was cowered into silence, for he feared Abner
  • God superintends history
    • God both manages events & uses events to accomplish his will, even though men do not recognize his providence
      • Abner had planned to continue to prop up Ishbosheth
      • A wound to his pride (perhaps, because he was found out), changes the dynamic of the situation
      • Had Abner been dedicated to the house of Saul, this personal affront would not change his loyalty
      • Abner may have enjoyed his position of power
    • God uses this event to move Israel to unite under David
    • God’s will cannot be thwarted, no matter what man does
      • Abner couldn’t maintain Saul’s legacy against God
      • If we know God’s will, we need to submit to it