Focal passages: 2 Samuel 3:8-21
The people of God were not united under David at the beginning of his reign.
In fact, there was war between his followers and followers from the house of Saul (2 Samuel 3:1). Yet, God’s purposes would be fulfilled as David eventually becomes king over all Israel (5:1-2).
No one likes for someone to over-promise a service or other commitment. If they say they can make the delivery before the weekend, we will be disappointed if it’s not on our doorstep until Monday. For David, the Word of God promised that he would be king over Israel, but this promise was not immediately fulfilled.
There was civil war, there was treachery and there was division. David was patient and faithful to God despite this apparent delay in receiving what he was promised.
Eventually, God gave David an ally from the opposing army and this led to renewed unity among the embattled tribes of Israel.
This ally, named Abner, received honor for how he led his followers to commit to God’s purposes with King David. It’s never too late to do the right thing, and Abner realized that in his zeal he was actually running counter to the will of God. Now he could have stood his ground and stubbornly refused to change course, but instead he used his influence to encourage others to follow God’s plan (3:17-21).
David was the one who the Lord had chosen to save Israel from its enemies.
Second Samuel 3:18 says, “For the Lord promised David, ‘By my servant David I will rescue my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.”
The earlier attempt by Abner to establish another kingdom was an attempt to fight their battles without divine help, using only human might and reasoning.
The surrender to David represented an admission that Israel can only defeat its enemies when it follows God’s chosen servant.
The gospel of Jesus Christ says the same thing: victory over our greatest enemy, death, is only secured when we surrender to God’s chosen servant.