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Now it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the LORD, and he said, Shall I go up to Judah ( 2 Samuel 2:1 )?
Now to me it is interesting as we observe David, he doesn't take any actions without first of all seeking guidance from God. Now there's a scripture that says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path"( Proverbs 3:4 , Proverbs 3:5 ).
Now many times we complain that we don't know what God wants. We are confused as to the leading of God within our lives. Oftentimes it is as James says, "You have not because you ask not." The scripture tells us that if in all of our ways we acknowledge Him, He will direct our paths. You see our problem is that we're prone to just go ahead and barge in, then later say, "Lord, what am I doing here? Why did You allow me get in this place?" Whereas, had I stopped beforehand and said, "Lord, shall I go in?" He would've said, "No stay out of there, there's problems in there." So it's important that we acknowledge the Lord in everything, and if we do, then God will direct our paths. Here David is a classic example of seeking the guidance of the Lord in every move.
Now you remember he was living in the city of the Philistines. Actually, the king of Gath, Achish had given him this city of Ziklag because Saul had been chasing him all over, and he got tired of running from Saul, figured Saul was finally gonna catch up with him and kill him. So he fled over to the Philistines knowing that Saul wouldn't pursue him there. Achish gave him this Philistine City of Ziklag.
So David now says, "Lord, shall I go to one of the cities of Judah?"
And the Lord answered David and said, Go up. And David said, Where shall I go Lord? And the Lord said, To Hebron. [So here is David inquiring of the Lord, seeking the guidance of God for each move that he makes.] So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal's wife the Carmelite. And his men that were with him David brought up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. And the men of Judah came, and they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were those that buried Saul ( 2 Samuel 2:1-4 ).
So they came, anointed David king and he was informed at that point of the men of Jabeshgilead who took Saul's body and Jonathan's body out of the temple at Bethshan and took them over to Jabeshgilead for a decent burial.
So David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead, and said to them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that you have showed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and you have buried him. And now may the LORD shew kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because you have done this thing. ["I'll remember this," David said.] Therefore let your hands be strengthened, and be valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me to be king over them. However Abner the son of Ner, who was the captain of Saul's host, [He was the one that David had chided earlier because he had failed to guard Saul.] he took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; [Which is on the other side of Jordan.] And he made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. So Ishbosheth Saul's son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned for two years. But the house of Judah followed David. And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months ( 2 Samuel 2:5-11 ).
So the kingdom is divided. Later on the kingdom is to be divided again at the time of David's grandson Rehoboam. Because of his stupidity, the northern ten tribes pulled out and formed a separate nation Israel, the southern two tribes became known as Judah. But David ruled only over Judah. The rest of the tribes swore their allegiance to Saul's son Ishbosheth under Abner's instigation.
Now Abner it would seem, knew that God had anointed David to be king. Abner was actually a cousin to Saul and was probably more or less seeking to reign himself, but using Ishbosheth as sort of a figurehead. So it was his own ambitions more or less to rule, and Ishbosheth, because he was the son of Saul, became sort of a figurehead, sort of like Carter is. Not really ruling you know, but just taking orders from those that control the things.
Now Ishbosheth was forty years old when he began to reign. David was thirty years old when he began his reign in Hebron. David reigned for seven years and six months in Hebron, over just Judah. It wasn't until seven and a half years later that there came to David the rulers of Israel, and said, "We want you to rule over all of us." So his reign began in Hebron over just the tribe of Judah.
Now Abner [Who was the general, and more or less the guy in charge of Israel.] and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. And Joab [who was David's general], and the servants of David, went out, and they met them together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, one on one side of the pool, and one on the other side of the pool ( 2 Samuel 2:12-13 ).
These guys are tough, bloody men of war, there's very little to be admired in Joab. In fact Joab was a very cruel, and difficult person, tough as nails. David tolerated him because he had such tremendous devotion to David, and he was such a tremendous fighter. But David really was never comfortable with Joab because of the nature of the fellow. So what we read now isn't at all commendable or pleasant, or it just shows really the corrupt nature of man. So here's Abner with the men of Israel, young fellows, here's Joab from David, they're sitting by this pool, and they say, "How about having a little sport?"
"All right." So ten of the young men of David, and ten from Abner got out to entertain these two generals.
They all of them grabbed each other by the head, and ran each other through with their swords ( 2 Samuel 2:16 );
Great sport, you know it's just sort of hard for us in our Christian, Western culture, to even imagine such a thing as being sporting or whatever. So that escalated into a real battle, and Joab and his men jumped up, and Abner and his men, and Joab began to prevail. The men of David began to prevail over those of Abner. Abner and his men began to flee.
There were three sons there [Two brothers of Joab, actually three sons.] of Zeruiah, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: now Asahel was as fleet as a deer. [He was just a great runner.] And as Abner was fleeing, Asahel started chasing him. [But evidently Asahel didn't have any armour, just running after him.] And Abner turned around, and said, Hey grab thee armour from one of those young boys, in order that you may be able to have sort of a fair fight. But he wouldn't do it. [He just kept right on his heels, just running after him, right on his heels.] Finally Abner said, Hey turn away: why should I smite you? But he wouldn't listen he just stayed right on his heels: and finally Abner ran him through with his spear; all the way through and Asahel died there ( 2 Samuel 2:18-23 ).
As the men of David came up to the spot, they just sort of waited, sort of shocked to see Asahel the brother of Joab dead. And when Joab and his men came up then they were getting ready to pursue again in the morning. It was evening, and they in the morning started to pursue.
Abner was up on a hill. And he said, Shall we fight with a sword forever? [We're just gonna-What value is it?] So Joab said, Good thing you said that or else we would've been destroying each other ( 2 Samuel 2:25-27 ).
And Joab and his men went home. However, Joab in his heart carried that desire for vengeance against Abner. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent