Sunday, June 4, 2023

David made King of the entire Nation

Israel is in a vicious civil conflict, between Judah in the south, and the rest of Israel in the north. David commands from the city of Hebron in the south, and Ish-Bosheth is in charge in the north.

Abner was Ish-Bosheth’s main military leader, but he was insulted by his leader, and shifted sides to join David. But, Abner was killed by Joab. The death of Abner leads Israel to begin to fall apart. Ish-Bosheth is a weak leader, and can’t hold things together.

It says in 2nd Samuel 4:1-2: "When Ish-Bosheth son of Saul heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he lost courage, and all Israel became alarmed. 2 Now Saul’s son had two men who were leaders of raiding bands. One was named Baanah and the other Rekab…”

First key take away today, is that when a nation has poor leadership the people lose courage, and things begin to fall apart.

In our own lives we need to be courageous. Show courage in difficult situations. Don’t give up when times get hard. Keep fighting the good fight. Bring it to God in prayer. Take a deep breath. Sorrows may endure, but joy comes in the morning. We must keep hope. We must keep faith. We must continue to be courageous in the face of obstacles.

Baanah and Rekab are going to hatch a way to try to get favor from David, because it looks like David is winning the war and Ish-Bosheth is on the way out. So here’s what they do…

In verses 5-6: “Now Rekab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out for the house of Ish-Bosheth, and they arrived there in the heat of the day while he was taking his noonday rest. They went into the inner part of the house as if to get some wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rekab and his brother Baanah slipped away.”

Rekab and Baanah murder Ish-Bosheth, and think they’re going to be rewarded for it.

In verses 7-8: "They had gone into the house while he was lying on the bed in his bedroom. After they stabbed and killed him, they cut off his head. Taking it with them, they traveled all night by way of the Arabah. They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to kill you. This day the Lord has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.”

Second point today, good can’t come from an evil act. You can’t do something bad and expect something good to happen later because of it. The ends never justify the means.

Can you have an affair with a married man or woman, and think well, this is God’s will, he or she said, "It’s already over." That is never God’s will. You can’t do evil and expect something good will come from it.

Should I lie to get a raise? Never. Nothing good can come from an evil deed. Sometimes we think, well, just this once, I’ll do something bad, but I need the money, and God will forgive me, so it’ll be fine. No, don’t ever think that way. Evil deeds will have consequences. Just like in this situation.

Think about it, Ish-Bosheth is working against God’s will. He is fighting against David the rightful king. But it’s still wrong for these two guys to sneak in and murder him. The outcome is right you could say, the enemy king is dead, but, the way it was done was so wrong, it’s pure evil. And they’ll be held accountable.

Let’s look at how King David answers them.

Next, verses 9-12: "David answered Rekab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, when someone told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news! How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!”

So David gave an order to his men, and they killed them. They cut off their hands and feet and hung the bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-Bosheth and buried it in Abner’s tomb at Hebron.”

So David deals with these two murders through swift justice. But I want to point your attention to something David says here, he says, "God has delivered me out of every trouble." He also makes it clear, we serve a living God.

That’s our third point today, if you’re following God’s plan for your life, God will deliver you from the troubles you face. Don’t lose hope. Don’t give up. Keep following Jesus. God will deliver you from trouble. God will bring you out of the pit and onto safe ground. God will bring you through this trial. You'll find yourself safe on the other side, for His glory and kingdom. Don’t give up now. Keep going.

Let’s flip over into 2nd Samuel chapter 5. Just the first five verses here. Now, with Abner gone, with Ish-Bosheth defeated, finally this civil conflict can end.

It says in 2nd Samuel 5:1-5: "All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’”

When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.

David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.”

The leaders of all Israel meet with David at the city of Hebron, and they make an agreement, that David will be King over the entire nation. All this happened before the Lord, in the presence of God, they anointed David king over the whole nation.

Point number four today, all your life is happening before God’s watchful eyes. That's already true for all people everywhere. But it’s different when we have the attitude that we're doing things, "in the presence of God." That means we’re acknowledging God’s presence in our lives, we’re inviting God in to each moment in our lives. 

We’re living each day in the presence of God. Is that how you live today? Do you live as one living in the presence of God? That is the attitude you should have. I’m doing my work for God. I'm relaxing in God's presence. I'm mowing the lawn with God with me. I'm driving with God here. I'm bike riding with God with me. I’m living today with God. I’m always with God. And I love to be with God!

So in conclusion, David was king in Hebron over Judah for 7 and ½ years. Then, over the entire nation for another 33 years. He was about 30 when he became king in Hebron, and about 37 years old when he became king over the whole nation. Young leader. But he does great things for God, more and more over time. Praise the Lord, may it be so for us as well, that we grow to do great things for God throughout our lives! 

So to review, our main points today:

1. Be courageous in the face of difficulties

2. Good can’t come from an evil action

3. Have hope, God will deliver you from the troubles you face

4. Have a mindset of living in the Presence of God