The path to the throne was never smooth for David… even though he was anointed to be king and Saul had died already.
Today we read of yet another event that might have stumbled a lesser man than David.
But David shows us once again why he was indeed a man after God’s heart.
Joab – David’s trusted general in his fugitive years – almost undid all the good work David was doing in uniting the tribes all together. Here we read how he avenged his brother’s death by inflicting a mortal wound on Abner.
Abner had been a loyal servant of Saul but now has chosen to defect over to David’s side. But instead of welcoming him like David did, Joab took this opportunity and murdered Abner for revenge.
You would think that David would have been pleased with this as Abner had long been a troublesome enemy. David was repulsed by the action of Joab and reacted quite differently:
“Thus they buried Abner in Hebron; and the king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave
of Abner, and all the people wept… now all the people took note of it, and it pleased
him.” 2 Samuel 3: 31-36
Now think about it?
How would you react when you have an enemy always taunting you and making your life miserable?
Generally we tend to react in 2 ways… we either react against that person (with our actions or in our minds only) or we can choose to follow the example of Jesus and bear the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
What kind of fruit issues out from our lives? Is it righteous or unrighteousness?
9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
~ James 3:9-12
27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
~ Luke 6:27-28
David’s reaction was very sincere. He genuinely mourns for Abner and the people can tell that he was really mourning.
People will know if we are acting or not. Or whether we are truly living out our faith in our lives.
David’s act showed the people that he was truly a man of God. And the people would follow him.
The Psalmist promises this…
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.
~ Psalm 5:12