The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. – Genesis 49:10
Saul’s son Ish-bosheth was presented in chapter 3 as being personally paranoid and politically foolish. If you’re going to accuse the commander of your army of treachery, you’d better know what you’re doing. Yet Ish-bosheth could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him.
Although Abner met an untimely and greatly-mourned demise, his stated purpose to “…accomplish for David what the LORD has sworn to him, to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah…” would be realized. Two of Ish-bosheth’s captains take matters into their own hands and murder Saul’s son in his sleep. The lack of an armor bearer, a bodyguard, or any follow-through from Ish-bosheth’s militia might point to a larger conspiracy for an army that knew it was over. Nonetheless, David deals with his murderers the same way he dealt with the Amalakite who bore news of Saul’s death: if David was not going to kill Israel’s king, he wasn’t going to let anyone else do it either.
So the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel. Samuel’s oil had long since dried from his forehead, but the LORD’s spirit was still upon him. And now all Israel would recognize it. For a coronation party, David captures Jerusalem, and we are introduced for the first time to Zion, that is, the city of David.
As you read today, pay attention to David’s recognition of the LORD’s hand. Both in war and in peace David displays a gratitude and reverence that Saul never had. The trajectory leads us to believe that Israel could, finally, have a prince after God’s own heart.
Our verse for this week is Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Samuel 4 and 5. Now let’s read it!
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.