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2 Samuel 2:12-3:39

Something I have wrestled with for years. (You know it is hard to discuss David’s faults or character failures amongst a lot of people: they throw stones at you.). The wives, and they are only the ones he married in Hebron; the failure to restrain his nephews, the wavering between seeking God and allowing God to work to bring about what He declared to pass; but I think there may have been a little seed of vengeance that grew up in him. We see that tendency to drift over into vengeance in his dealings with Nabal. It is “the I deserve it mentality” we get. I call it a spirit of arrogance. It may not manifest itself all the time, but it is akin to the us-four-and-no-more mentality and the “posse” mentality we see in many celebrities. This should be no surprise to the readers because Samuel declared this very thing when he warned them what they would get with their king (1 Samuel 8: 9-18).

Vengeance is Mine, and recompense, in the time when their foot shall slide; for the day of their disaster is at hand and their doom comes speedily. (Deuteronomy 32:35 AMP)

Has anyone ever wondered why God requires us to leave vengeance to Him? I believe something happens to us when we seek it, it turns us into little god like idols seeking to direct and control outcomes. David had a relationship with Saul; after all, he had been his father-in-law before David took back his daughter as his wife. (By the way the taking of a sitting kings wife, or even a dead one, was a proclamation in the ancient world that one was claiming the throne-thus the incident with Palti and the rift between Ishbosheth and Abner). David didn’t have a relationship with Nabal, but he had one with his sister and her kids. One should also note that David wasn’t well liked by his brothers so there was more than likely a rift that had built up over time kept them on the outs, thus we don’t really read about his brothers or their off-spring being in the picture.

If one is observant with family dynamics and sibling rivalry, you will find that the one “picked-on” will usually try to show his worthiness to gain some iota of recognition. I am not sure if this a problem per say, but it can lead to doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. If we look at David as a type of deliverer, then the One True Deliverer did not try to gain His Families approval when he went about ministering.

Now Jesus went home, and a crowd gathered so that they were not able to eat. When his family heard this they went out to restrain him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." (Mark 3:20-21 NET.)

While Jesus was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and brothers came and stood outside, asking to speak to him. Someone told him, "Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside wanting to speak to you." To the one who had said this, Jesus replied, "Who is my mother and who are my brothers?" And pointing toward his disciples he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! (Matthew 12:46-49 NET.)

There is something that makes what Joab did a particular heinous crime. Hebron was a city of refuge (Joshua 21:13), a city set aside for anyone who had killed someone accidentally. Was Asahel’s death accidental? Wasn’t it done during a time of fighting? Is this something along the lines of, “You can dish it out but you can’t take it,” mentality? I do not believe Abner turned to face Asahel because the butt of the spear took him out not the tip. More than likely Abner thrust the sword attached to his side or even in his hand to try to knock the wind out of Asahel as he chased behind him.

Whatever way the death happened, Joab called Abner back into a city of refuge to kill him, a clear breach of the law.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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