November 21, 2021


2 Samuel 3:1-21

“Make an agreement with me, and I will help you bring all of Israel over to you.”

—  2 Samuel 3:12

“The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time” and established the conditions of conflict between God’s people. We read of the births of David’s sons as a sign of the growth and strength of his royal household. The silence about Saul’s household points to the fading influence of Israel’s first king.

But the house of Saul refused to go down without a fight. Abner, who had been Saul’s military commander, believed he could restore the house of Saul, so he made Ish-Bosheth king. Abner also tried to secure his own position by taking one of Saul’s concubines. But Ish-Bosheth didn’t want to share power with Abner, so Abner turned against him and supported David instead.

Abner’s answer could not be clearer: “May God deal with [me], be it ever so severely, if I do not do for David what the Lord promised him on oath and transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish David’s throne over Israel and Judah.” The rise of David was under way.

God can use strange turns of events like this to establish his plans for us. Sometimes he will even use our enemies to help.

Has that ever happened to you?

Father, I am leery of my enemies. But I know that when I was an enemy to you, Jesus died so that we could become friends (Romans 5:10). Help me to keep my heart open to your surprising work in my life and in your kingdom. In Christ, Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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