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A Tale of a Nation Divided


2 Samuel 4:1-3

Verse 1 When Ish-Bosheth son of Saul heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he lost courage, and all Israel became alarmed.


As David’s men were gaining confidence in their king, the king of Israel was losing confidence in himself and therefore causing all of his nation to become alarmed. These two sections of the nation of God were not living in unity with each other and it was now becoming obvious that only one of the branches of the nation was living in line with God.


It is hard on any nation when there is doubt regarding the leaders. In Israel they had begun to see they had been misled into making a leader of someone who didn’t deserve the job. Abner hadn’t wanted to lose his position and wanted to show his continued loyalty to the family of King Saul. He had made the prince a king and had made it look like the king was doing well but the truth was Abner was making most, if not all, of the decisions. With Abner out of the picture the truth was starting to shine brightly.


Remember, God had set out the rules for who could be made king and Ish-Bosheth did not fit the mold. The problem is they are now stuck with a king who didn’t qualify and they aren’t sure what to do. If their king wasn’t strong enough to lead, who would be their leader? Ish-Bosheth had two men who led some raiding parties the king had. These men had become known for their ability to raid and were from the tribe of Benjamin just as Saul had been.


These men, Baanah and Rekab, were brothers, raised to be loyal to the tribe of Benjamin and Saul, a fellow tribesmen. It seems the people of Benjamin had gone from feeling insignificant to thinking that God choosing Saul made them superior to the other tribes. This was not true and was proof of pride growing in the people of the tribe of Benjamin. Pride in their name as a son of Jacob instead of having pride in the God who had chosen them.


Two parts of the same family, each desiring to be the head of the nation they want to unite. God had a plan on uniting and it would include putting His man, David, on the throne. But before that could happen, God’s people had to surrender to His will instead of trying to build the kingdom their own way.


Making It Personal

Do you have a hard time surrendering to God’s plans and timing? Are there certain areas in your life which are harder to surrender to His control? What do you fear will happen if you gave up control?


Making It Personal Kids

What does it mean to surrender? Do you find it hard to surrender to what Jesus wants you to do? What makes it hard to do all Jesus wants you to do?


Closing Prayer

Father, we confess we don’t fight off the desire for control as often as we should. Give us a desire to always put You first. Help us understand the importance of fully surrendering to You and making You king of our hearts. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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