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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Power Play

2 Samuel 3:6-11

Verse 9 May God deal with Abner, be it ever so severely, if I do not do for David what the Lord promised him on oath

The scene shifts off David and his family and shows what is going on in the enemy camp of Israel. Seven plus years have passed and Abner is tired of being a mere general. He knew the king was weak and only there because Abner had helped put him on the throne. Abner had likely been planning and setting up his plan for an overthrow of the kingdom for some time and now he is sure the king is relaxed enough in his position that Abner can make his bold move.

The boldest move that he can think of is taking advantage of one of King Saul’s concubines. This would be a slap in the face to all of Saul’s family but even more so for the current king who understood this as a move on the throne. It was claiming what the former king had as his own. Abner had a hunger for power and he was making his moves to claim what he saw as rightfully his.

King Ish-Bosheth became furious and confronts Abner who gets angry acting as if he is innocent and hurt the king would suggest any wrongdoing by his general. His anger carries him past the place of looking guiltless as he starts to brag about how he is the one who holds the power of who is in the top spot. The question he asks is a way of asking if the king sees him as one of the enemy Judeans.

Notice his next line of verbal sparring, “This very day I am loyal to the house of your father Saul and to his family and friends.” Abner is covering himself by claiming his commitment to both Saul’s family and friends, each of which he could claim for himself. By saying he was loyal to both of those groups he could simply have been stating the fact that he was loyal to himself and his own plan.

Abner continues and does something he may not have realized he was doing, he prophesies about David becoming king of the entire nation of the Lord. He continues that thought with the very threat he knew would give him the continued control over Ish-Bosheth. It worked, his threat did exactly what it was designed to do, cause the king to live in fear of the man who had the power of his army. For Ish-Bosheth this wasn’t just about keeping his throne, it was about saving his and his families lives.

Making It Personal

Have you ever felt the betrayal of someone you thought you could trust? How did you handle the fear that comes with the betrayal? Have you ever betrayed a friend?

Making It Personal Kids

What does it mean to betray someone? Have you ever had someone betray you? Have you ever betrayed someone?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for being someone we know will never betray us. But while You will never betray us, we all too often betray You. Give us the wisdom and courage we need to stand firm for You and always be willing to stand with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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