The guilt of blood brings a curse, and if men do not avenge it, God will.
II Samuel 1
1 And when Saul’s son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled.
2 And Saul’s son had two men that were captains of bands: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin:
3 And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day.)
4 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.
5 And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ish-bosheth, who lay on a bed at noon.
6 And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth rib: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.
7 For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night.
8 And they brought the head of Ish-bosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.
9 ¶ And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity,
10 When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:
11 How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?
12 And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.
II Samuel 1 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Samuel 4:1-12 – Another Treacherous Deed and Its Penalty
Abner’s death rendered hopeless the cause of Ish-bosheth. Two captains incurred lasting shame and deserved punishment by their dastardly act of murder. Their act was the more despicable because of their prince’s trust.
How little do coarse natures understand the workings of a really religious nature! These men knew that, if they were in David’s place, nothing would please them better than the removal of the last obstacle to the throne. They reasoned that David would feel thus and reward them munificently. But to their astonishment, he turned on them with honest indignation. We must dare to act apart from self-interest, as in the light and fire of the Eternal Throne.
Notice David’s devout spirit. He ascribed his redemption to God’s tender mercy, II Samuel 4:9. His first thought was always of God’s love and grace and help. Ah, Christian soul, you, too, will one day attain the sunny heights, standing on which you also will be able to say, “Who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity” (2 Samuel 4:9). The night may be long, but the day-spring is at hand.
2 Samuel 4:9—As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity.
It was the mid day of David’s life, and, looking back, he saw how good the Lord had been to him. Step by step God had brought him up out of a horrible pit, and from the miry clay, setting him upon a rock, and establishing his goings. What need was there, then, that men should interfere to hasten the unfolding of the Divine purposes? It had been his lifelong habit to wait. Whatever he needed he looked to God to supply. Whatever difficulties blocked his path, he looked to God to remove. Whatever men stood in his way, he looked to God to deal with them. Twice in the wilderness he refused to take Saul’s life. He had executed the Amalekite because he claimed to have slain Saul on Gilboa. And, in pursuance of the same policy, he could have no complicity in the act of the murderers of Ishbosheth, even though they made his way clear to the throne of Israel.
Let God redeem thee out of all thine adversities. Do not lose heart or hope. Do not put forth thy hand to snatch at any position or deliverance by an act which might afterwards cause thee shame or sorrow. “Trust in the LORD, and do good. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:3, 5, 7). He, who turns glaciers to rivers that pass away, will remove all thy difficulties and perplexities. He shall cause thee to inherit the land. He will promote thee in due time, and give thee to see thy desire upon thine enemies. He who redeemed thy soul by his most precious blood cannot fail thee, however long He may tarry. Remember that He ever liveth, and loveth, and reigneth.