2 Samuel 4
-This chapter describes the events of Ish-bosheth’s murder two years after he had succeeded his father Saul as king over Israel (2 Samuel 2:10). When Ish-bosheth heard about the developments with Abner’s death in Hebron, he lost all courage and all Israel was disturbed. Among the remaining commanders of bands, Baanah and Rechab, who were brothers, plotted at this pivotal time to kill the fragile king. In an important aside, the text also informs us briefly of Mephibosheth, who was a crippled (from a fall early in his life) son of Jonathan’s. He was five years old when the report came from Jezreel of his father’s death along with King Saul, his grandfather. His nurse at that time took him up and fled for safety in a hurried rush. This is when Mephibosheth’s falling accident occurred where he became lame (2 Samuel 4:1-4).
-Anyway, the text returns to the rebellious plans of Baanah and Rechab as they went to the house of Ish-bosheth. At midday, when the king was taking his rest, the brothers came into the middle of his house as if to get wheat, went to the bedroom, and assassinated their king by striking him in his belly. Then they beheaded him and escaped. They took the head of Ish-bosheth and went by the way of the Arabah all night to Hebron where they presented proudly their accomplishment to the Judean King David. They purported, “Behold, the head of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; thus the LORD has given my lord the king vengeance this day on Saul and his descendants.” David’s reply was unostentatious and reviling, “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress, when one told me, saying, ‘Behold, Saul is dead.’ and thought he was brining good news, I seized him and killed him in Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news (2 Samuel 1:1-16). How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed, shall I not now require his blood from your hand and destroy you from the earth?” David then had them killed at the hands of his young servants in his army. Their hands and feet were cut off, and they were hung up beside the pool in Hebron. As for the head of Ish-bosheth, that had been presented to them auspiciously, it was buried in honor in the grave of Abner there in Hebron (2 Samuel 4:5-12).
-*Application* David again presents us with a code of honor that is respectable and worthy of imitation. He truly meant things from his heart when he supported the anointed line of the LORD in regards to Saul and his descendants. He kept his word to his friend (1 Samuel 20:42). He saw with discernment the bigger picture and was not afraid to let God truly fight his own battles with patience and righteousness. Anything that interfered with that, he opposed vigorously. He was not lured by the temptation for self-gratification and human vengeance, nor should we. The LORD is our only Redeemer from all of our distress.
Verses to Memorize: 2 Samuel 4:9-11