Mourning the Enemy
2 Samuel 3:31-35
Verse 32 They buried Abner in Hebron, and the king wept aloud at Abner’s tomb. All the people wept also.
When King David heard the news of Joab's death it caused him great sadness and anger. He valued life and this was murder in the first degree. It was premeditated and he, as a righteous king, couldn't let it go. David was a man after God's own heart and God has commanded His people not to murder.
Like a parent telling their child to repent, David told these men to mourn this man they have killed. While these men were more of a mind to rejoice over their evil deed, the king was chastising them and commanding they see the sin they had just committed. The king would not allow any celebration about such a horrid event.
The king had a personal reason for mourning. Abner had played a very important role in David's life. The general was there when David killed the giant. As King Saul's "right hand man" Abner had been around allot as David benefited from Saul's mentoring. As David became a mighty warrior, Abner had been right there likely giving him pointers about growing as a man of war. In some ways Abner may have unknowingly mentored David making it possible for him to evade Saul, Abner and their army.
David feels like he has lost yet another mentor from his life and being the man of song that he is, he sings as he follows the funeral procession on its way to burial. David's song calls out the truth of the murder of Abner. This truth brings the people to more mourning.
David is so upset by what may have felt like a betrayal by some of his main men and he refuses to eat until sundown. While Abner was an enemy to Joab and Abishai, David needed his men to understand that just because the men of Israel were not united with them at that moment, they were still God's chosen people. They were family and needed to be treated as God has called them to be.
Making It Personal
Has there been someone in your life that you hated enough you wished them dead? Does God give allowances for hatred in certain circumstances? Who do you need to choose to love?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to hate someone? What does it mean to love someone? How can you show love to someone you don't like?
Father, forgive us for the feelings of hate we sometimes have for others. Convict us when we are thinking of or treating someone in a way that goes against You. Help us learn to love as You love. In Jesus' name, amen.