Morning Light – June 16th, 2015
Today: [2 Samuel Chapter Four]: God Doesn’t Need Our Help. In this chapter Saul’s remaining son Ishbosheth assumes the throne of Israel in opposition to David. Two of Ishbosheth’s captains assassinate Ishbosheth in hopes of gaining favor with David. In our lives when God’s blessing becomes apparent there will be unsavory characters who will want to assist and promote us as when the woman with the spirit of divination promoted Paul in Acts 16. You will learn as David demonstrates in this chapter that you don’t need the world’s help to promote a kingdom agenda.
[2Sa 4:1-12 KJV] 1 And when Saul’s son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled. 2 And Saul’s son had two men [that were] captains of bands: the name of the one [was] Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin: 3 And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day.) 4 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son [that was] lame of [his] feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name [was] Mephibosheth.
In the previous chapter David mourns the death of Abner and levels a curse on the house of Joab for the assassination of this righteous man. Saul’s heir to the throne Ishbosheth learns of Abner’s death and fears for his life. In verse two there is mention of two soldiers in Ishbosheth’s came by the name of Rechab and Rimmon who figure in the the remainder of the story. It is said that the descendents of Rechab are sojourners “until this day” which tells us of course that this narrative was written much later.
It is interesting that this mention is made of the descendants of Rechab being “sojourners” because there is a successive story about them in Jeremiah chapter 35. During this time the nation is in a state of upheaval and the Rechabites who were sworn by their father never to drink wine or live in cities – take refuge within city walls to protect their families. Jeremiah is sent by God to set wine before them as well. They had broken one part of their ancient vow by moving within city walls and Jeremiah is testing them regarding the second part of their vow. They refuse to drink wine and God blesses them saying “Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me forever…” The point being that sometimes God sends a prophet to test our resolve to what He has spoken previously. This doesn’t make the prophet false or God unfair but simply establishes that God’s highest source of guidance is not outward witness but inward leading.
The passage also mentions Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth who was crippled when his nurse dropped him in the panic after Jonathan’s death. In later years David seeks Mephibosheth out to show him kindness due to his oath to Jonathan to show kindness to his seed after his death. David is a type of Christ who shows kindness to us though we are crippled by sin and cannot walk uprightly. Mephiboseth will sit at the king’s table his whole life as we sit at the table of God receiving and being beneficiaries of His kindness.
5 And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon. 6 And they came thither into the midst of the house, [as though] they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth [rib]: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. 7 For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night. 8 And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.
Rechab and Baanah assassinate Ishbosheth and bring his head to David hoping for a reward. These are men who served in the house of Saul but now in their own self interest think to place themselves at an advantage because the word of the Lord over David to be king is coming to pass. Again in your life there will be times that people who resisted you and did not support you in times past will seek to become an ally when they see God’s blessing on your life. In the midst of this however in so doing as with Rechab and Baanah their character is unchanged. They may make a course correction in their actions but their tactics show they are still in the house of Saul. They present the head of Ishbosheth to David expecting a reward but something else happens that they didn’t expect.
9 And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, [As] the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity, 10 When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who [thought] that I would have given him a reward for his tidings: 11 How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth? 12 And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged [them] up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried [it] in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.
Why would David hang the bodies up in Hebron? Because Hebron means “friend” or “alliance” suggesting that David is saying that he is the friend of God and doesn’t need a son of Belial to help him bring the promise of God to pass in his life. The apostle Paul had a similar experience in Acts 16 when a woman possessed with a spirit of divination begins to promote his ministry. Paul endured this for several days and finally cast out the demon and silenced the woman. We don’t need the world’s help to pursue or fulfill and kingdom agenda. Jesus likewise many times was likewise “assisted” such as when Peter cut off a man’s ear when they attempted to arrest Jesus. Jesus simply tells him to put his sword away and restores the man’s ear to the side of his head. There were several times in Jesus’ life that men tried to make Him king by force but He evaded the attempt. He didn’t need man’s help to bring God’s will to pass. As Zecheriah 4:6 says “it’s not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit says the Lord …”
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