2 Samuel 4 tells the story of how after hearing of Abner’s death Ish-bosheth became very afraid. He knew deep down, he wasn’t supposed to be king. He knew deep down David the rightful king had the right to usurp him or worse. But David had made a covenant with Saul that all his household and descendants would be safe from harm from David (1 Samuel 24:21-22). But not every citizen of Judah was faithful to King David. Some sought their own power and glory by doing what they imagined would please the king instead of knowing who the king was and doing what would please him.
This was the case with brothers Baanah, and Rechab. They decided it was time to kill King Ish-bosheth. The Beerothite brothers snuck into Ish-bosheth’s house while he was taking a noon time nap to steal wheat. But when they saw the king asleep in his bed they stabbed him in the stomach and cut off his head! They brought the head to David in Hebron, excited about the rewards they imagined the king would bestow on them. But since they didn’t know who the king was, the response they got was not the one they assumed they would get. Verses 9-12 read,
But David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life out of every adversity, 10 when one told me, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news. 11 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 at your hand and destroy you from the earth?” 12 And David commanded his young men, and they killed them and cut off their hands and feet and hanged them beside the pool at Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth and buried it in the tomb of Abner at Hebron.
Had they bothered knowing their king at all, they would have known what happened to those who had killed Saul and his other sons, they would have known that killing his last son was not David’s will and in fact was against his will. David knew God and knew that He could and would use the circumstances of the earth including the evil and hate which was against His will to bring about His purposes. God is Sovereign over all of us. He does not want the bad, He does not will the bad, but He will use the bad for His will and the good of those of us who are called to know Him. Romans 8:28-30 says it this way,
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
2 Samuel 5 continues the story of David’s life and describes how God’s promise and call was finally manifested after many turbulent years. Verses 1-5 read,
Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. 2 In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.’” 3 So all 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.4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.5 At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.
The world believes the lies they’ve heard about God, they believe the propaganda not the truth. How often do we fall for the lies too instead of just turning to God? Cities, nations, and people came against Israel often. They didn’t know David and they didn’t know the LORD was with Him. They ignored David’s reputation and chose to believe lies about him instead of the truth. Verses 6-10 describes one such people.
And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off”—thinking, “David cannot come in here.”7 Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David.8 And David said on that day, “Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack ‘the lame and the blind,’ who are hated by David's soul.” Therefore it is said, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.” 9 And David lived in the stronghold and called it the city of David. And David built the city all around from the Millo inward. 10 And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.
Instead of believing the song sung of David, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7, 21:11, 29:5) they chose to believe that even the lame and blind could defeat him. They ignored the truth that the LORD was with David and prospered him in his endeavors. They ignored the history of what David had done. They refused to believe that David was made perfect in God because of faith. You too have been made complete because of faith lived out in the work of God you manifest. James 2:22-23 says,
You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.”
David was a man after God’s own heart because he was a friend to God. He knew God’s will and plans and trusted God to carry His plans out. In John 15:14-17 Jesus described it this way,
You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
The Jebusites couldn’t defeat Israel because David was their king. David was complete in the LORD and the Jebusites were incomplete, blind to God and the truth and lame in their ability to please Him. They wanted to overcome His friend David; it is not God’s will to overcome or harm His chosen children. God wants good for His children. Jeremiah 29:11-14 says,
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[b] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
David was perfect, blameless in the LORD but he was still human and so imperfect until the Day of Resurrection. He took more wives against God’s will (Verses13-15), but God forgave him his imperfections. He was God’s friend, a man after God’s heart. God made sure David knew his throne had finally been established over Israel as some kings recognized David’s kingship and saw the glory of God in him. Verses 11-12 read,
And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built David a house. 12 And David knew that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.
You are either a friend of God or his enemy. You either care about God’s desires and make them your own or you care about your own desires. James 4:1-10 reads,
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Whoever it was that came against David, he checked with God first for His will. David acted in accordance with what God wanted because he trusted God’s plans more than his own desires. Even when the Philistines came against David, he inquired of God first before acting. Verses 18-20 read,
Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 19 And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” 20 And David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me like a breaking flood.”
David didn’t assume that God would automatically bless his every action, he checked in with God again and again. Verses 22-25 read,
And the Philistines came up yet again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 23 And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees.24 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 25 And David did as the Lord commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer.
How careful are you about doing what God wills over what you assume He wills? Do you ask God first, seek God first, and listen to God first? Or do you assume that God wants you to do something because it seems right? It seemed that the king would want his enemy King Ish-bosheth dead, but Baanah, and Rechab didn’t know David enough to know that it was not his will. Had they inquired of their king first, they would have been saved from death.
Believer, I encourage to be God’s friend. Hang out with Him, talk to Him honestly and sincerely listen to what He says. Seek to know him more and more and to love Him more and more. Read His Word, delight yourself in His Word, and abide in Him. Be God’s friend, His child with His nature and Spirit. Do what pleases the Lord and not yourself. He will soon enough make what pleases Him into what delights you!
Proverbs 37:3-6 says it this way,
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.