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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

And You Call Yourself a Man

1 Samuel 26:13-16

Verse 14 He called out to the army and to Abner son of Ner, “Aren’t you going to answer me, Abner?” Abner replied, “Who are you who calls to the king?”

After leaving Saul’s camp to head back to his own, David climbs to the top of the hill so he is out of immediate danger. Once in the safe zone, he is ready to get the attention of the king and his men. He calls out to the army and Abner in particular. David was ready to make this personal.

Abner wasn’t just any man. He was a cousin to King Saul as their fathers were brothers (1 Samuel 14:50-51). Abner had been the long-time commander of Saul’s army, in fact he was the commander when David took on Goliath. Abner may not have known the shepherd boy that went up against the giant but he definitely knew the man that David was as an adult. They had fought together and the New Moon Festival celebration shows (1 Samuel 20:25) it was not uncommon for them to eat and celebrate together.

The king and Abner were really close and since there was a blood connection as well, they would do anything for each other. If the king didn’t trust his cousin, he wouldn’t have given him such a high position in the army. Abner would have had to prove himself as a good warrior or the king’s army would have been easily overthrown time and again.

Abner knows that David is wanting Saul’s attention most of all but that doesn’t keep him from hearing David talking smack about him. David points out that Abner did a lousy job of protecting the king. David mocks him by asking what kind of man lets others come to hurt the king and goes as far as reminding him that he and his men deserve to die for failing the king. Not only was David willing to mock the commander, he was willing to chastise.

David wasn’t calling Abner out for not protecting a man-chosen king, Saul was a God-chosen king and so to fail at protecting him was actually a sin against God. David’s whole point was to show he wasn’t out to hurt the king, he saw Saul as God’s anointed and Abner didn’t seem to hold the king in the same regard. David tells Abner to look for the missing items and Abner knows the truth, he had failed.

Making It Personal

Are there people who deserve your respect even if you don’t like them or they don’t care about you? Should you speak up to others about holding the person in respect? Who deserves your respect today?

Making It Personal Kids

What does it mean to respect someone? Who are some people who deserve your respect? Who can you show respect to today?

Closing Prayer

Father, help us to see people, especially our leaders as appointed by You. We don’t have to agree with them but You have called us to respect and pray for them, help us never forget that. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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