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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Payback


2 Samuel 3:27-30

Verse 30 (Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.)


Knowing that the man they hate is so close is more than Joab and his brother, Abishai, could handle. David may have decided to believe Abner but there is no way they could trust him. It was too soon after what he had done. First he set up a battle between the two nations, in a way of stirring up tensions between the two portions of God’s people. That was bad enough but he didn’t stop there and these brothers wouldn’t forget the sight they had witnessed that day from afar. And they sure hadn’t given up on revenge.


Behind David’s back the brothers set in motion the plan to get back at Abner for their brother’s death. They had to know that David wouldn’t stand for it and so they couldn’t tell him. This is one time that they couldn’t let this man of honor get in their way. This had to happen and the sooner the better. With the plan set they send out the messengers to bring Abner and his men back.


Now remember, Abner had 20 men with him. These men were loyal to him and they wouldn’t let him go back on his own. The brothers couldn’t allow David to hear this group of 21 coming back into town, they had to figure out a way they could keep word of their visitors from reaching the king. Having already figured out where to take him for the most privacy, Joab takes his enemy into an inner room and stabs him.


Abner had killed Asahel in broad daylight with witnesses as an act of war, he was killed in privacy as a method of revenge. Abner had been a mighty man of war, right-hand man of two kings and yet his life is ended not in battle but for an act he did during a battle charged day. He had played the brothers that day making them retreat after what he had done to them. He couldn’t mock his way out of this one.


They thought they had gotten away with it but David found out that Abner had been murdered and he couldn’t stand by and not address it, so he curses Joab, his brother, Abishai and their descendants. David knew that to ignore the sinfulness of this situation would taint God’s people and that was unacceptable. The man after God’s own heart was making sure the people of the land were living as God’s people.


Making It Personal

Have you ever wanted to get revenge on someone? Did you make plans to get revenge on them? When have you done something that someone would want to get back at you for?


Making It Personal Kids

Have you ever wanted to get back at someone for something they did? Has anyone ever gotten back at you for something you did? What should you do instead of getting back at them?


Closing Prayer

Father, we are so thankful that You don’t take revenge on us. We deserve Your wrath but You are so gracious. Help us know how to show your graciousness to others. Keep us from desiring revenge. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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