(Read 2 Samuel 3:20-30)
This morning we continue our series “Grace that is Simply Amazing.” It yesterday’s message we saw David’s life take a significant turn for the better. General Abner, the man responsible for making Saul’s son Ishbosheth king over 11 of the 12 tribes of Israel, got fed up with Ishbosheth and decided to change sides. Abner was very influential and he was determined to use his influence to make David the king over the entire nation of Israel. And to make a good situation even better, Abner brought David’s first wife (Michal) with him when he came. Abner and 20 of his men had a good meeting with David in Hebron. Abner asked David for permission to call an assembly of all Israel where he was going to ask for their support in making David the king of the unified nation. Of course David agreed, Abner took off to prepare for the assembly, and life was looking good for David.
Meanwhile, David’s own military commander, General Joab, was out performing a raid. After returning with the plunder from the raid, Joab was informed of Abner’s visit with David. Joab was furious. He rushed to David and asked the king why he had let Abner get away. David explained what was going on, but Joab did not believe it. Joab thought Abner was there as a spy. So he took it upon himself to send messengers to catch up with Abner and ask him to return. When Abner arrived back at Hebron, Joab took him aside as if to speak with him privately. But once he had Abner all alone, Joab stabbed him in the stomach and killed him in revenge for killing his brother Asahel. With that one blow, Joab killed the man who had the power and influence to make him king of Israel. When David found out what happened he was furious. David declared, “I vow by the LORD that I and my kingdom are forever innocent of this crime against Abner son of Ner. Joab and his family are the guilty ones. May the family of Joab be cursed in every generation with a man who has open sores or leprosy or who walks on crutches or dies by the sword or begs for food!”
So what does this mean to you today? It means that we serve a real God, who deals with real people, with real problems, in real ways. We have been following David’s life for over a decade now and we can see that the shepherd boy who was minding his own business when God picked him out to be king, has gone through all sorts of ups and downs. Even though David was chosen, destined and anointed, he still had to deal with real life challenges. Let’s close out this week by allowing the Bible to provide commentary on my points:
1. You can be destined and still face challenges. Paul said, “All who live Godly will suffer persecution” (2 tim 3:12). Jesus said, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world” (John 16:33).
2. Although you will face opposition, by God’s grace you never quit. Paul said, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed” (2 Cor 4:8,9). The writer of Hebrews said, “But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way” (Heb 10:39). James said, “Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.” (James 5:10,11).
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for Your Word. In Your Word I am reminded that You are a real God, who manifests Himself to real people, who face real challenges, and You do it in a real way. With that in mind, I declare by faith, that I don’t just read the Bible; I live it! I experience what those who have gone before me experienced. I don’t just read Your Word for head knowledge. I read Your Word to equip me for heart experiences with You. David was destined, but he had to wait on the manifestation of Your timing. I am the same way. I know You have destined me from greatness. Before the foundations of the world You made plans to bless me richly and I shall align my life with those plans. But that does not mean I will not face opposition. What it does mean is that I have the grace to face every obstacle, challenge, issue, problem, attack and attacker, HEAD ON. I am not afraid of any man or of the enemy. My trust and confidence is in You. If You are ON ME, IN ME, WITH ME, and FOR ME, I have nothing to fear. A thousand can fall at my side, and even ten thousand at my right hand, but it shall not come nigh me. Only with my eyes shall I see the reward of the wicked. No matter what I am facing, I have peace because You have already conquered the world through Your Son Jesus the Christ, and You have given me the authority to operate in His name. I may be pressed on every side, but I am not crushed. The enemy may come to perplex me, but I am not in despair. I may be hunted down, but I have peace because I am never abandoned. I may even get knocked down from time to time, but I shall never get knocked out! I am not a quitter and I shall never quit. I keep fighting, pressing, marching and believing, with my trust in You intact every step of the way. I stay the course. I have staying power. I keep going. And I shall not lose, because I will never quit. Satan has no power over me. Fear has no power over me. Death has no power over me. Sin has no power over me. I am more than a conqueror through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank You Father for giving me the Victory by Faith! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.