It has been about 15 years since David had been anointed king by the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 16:13). Now, following the death of Saul, David is anointed King of Judah. This is so near, yet so far. David knew his history. In the time of Joshua when the people conquered the land there were twelve united tribes of Israel. Since being anointed by Samuel, David has lived with the promise from God that his destiny is to be king over all Israel. But Judah was only one of the twelve tribes of Israel. At this point the other tribes are still loyal to the supporters of the deceased King Saul, who had repeatedly tried to kill David.
Have you ever been in a situation when it takes a long time for your prayers to be answered? Have you ever been in a situation when you have had a long wait for a promise from God to come to fulfilment? As we read the story of David this week, we can learn from David’s attitude towards God and towards other people as he waited for God’s promise to be fulfilled. He was patient and he had a respect for the life of innocent people, even for his enemies.
War between the houses of David and Saul
Names to remember:
Abner – (son of Ner and first cousin of Saul) commander of Saul’s army
Ish-Bosheth – (son of Saul) made king of Israel (not including Judah) by Abner
Joab, Abishai and Asahel – (sons of Zeruaiah) soldiers loyal to David
In the power struggle between the houses of David and Saul things start to get messy. Abner kills Asahel in battle. Then Abner suggests a ceasefire. This is, after all, civil war. The fighting is between ‘fellow Israelites’ (verse 26).
Does the Bible approve of polygamy?
In verse 2 we are told about David’s two wives. As we read on this week we will see that David later has other wives and even concubines (women who lived with him but had a lower status than his wives). Although at this point there is no comment about polygamy, either positive or negative, we will see next week the mess that comes when David’s sons from different mothers come into conflict. There is plenty of other evidence in the Bible to show that polygamy leads to family chaos.