September 6, 2023
No one is immune to sin.
When they came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedroom, they struck him and put him to death and beheaded him. They took his head and went by the way of the Arabah all night, and brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron. And they said to the king, "Here is the head of Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life. The LORD has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring."
1 When Ish-bosheth, Saul's son, heard that Abner had died at Hebron, his courage failed, and all Israel was dismayed. 2 Now Saul's son had two men who were captains of raiding bands; the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, sons of Rimmon a man of Benjamin from Beeroth (for Beeroth also is counted part of Benjamin; 3 the Beerothites fled to Gittaim and have been sojourners there to this day).
4 Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled, and as she fled in her haste, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.
5 Now the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, and about the heat of the day they came to the house of Ish-bosheth as he was taking his noonday rest. 6 And they came into the midst of the house as if to get wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. 1 4:6 Septuagint And behold, the doorkeeper of the house had been cleaning wheat, but she grew drowsy and slept. So Rechab and Baanah his brother slipped in 7 When they came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedroom, they struck him and put him to death and beheaded him. They took his head and went by the way of the Arabah all night, 8 and brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron. And they said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life. The LORD has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring.” 9 But David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life out of every adversity, 10 when one told me, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news. 11 How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed, shall I not now require his blood at your hand and destroy you from the earth?” 12 And David commanded his young men, and they killed them and cut off their hands and feet and hanged them beside the pool at Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth and buried it in the tomb of Abner at Hebron.
It's easy for me to miss small details, even ones that are important. For example: every time I put furniture together from Ikea. I set the thousand tiny pieces out, grab whatever tools I need, and start assembling. Inevitably, I begin to think, "This is actually going pretty well. I'm almost done!" Imagine my disappointment when I realize I missed a tiny detail in the instructions 10 steps ago!
Oftentimes, the same thing happens to me when I read through the Old Testament. I skim through verses and chapters that seem tedious, but I miss incredibly meaningful details. Though 2 Samuel 4 is relatively short, there is so much to learn from this chapter.
As we continue in the story of King David, there is brief mention of Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was crippled by an accident when he was 5 years old, and David ends up forever granting him a seat at his table, all because of who Mephibosheth's father is. (Don't miss the end to this incredible story in 2 Samuel 9 that mirrors our relationship with our Father!)
In our key verse, we see the selfish act of vengeance performed by Rechab and Baanah. They thought they were serving the king, but David reproves them for taking matters into their own hands. David points to the sovereignty of the true King, "who has redeemed [David's] life out of every adversity" (2 Samuel 4:9).
So often I take the same approach as Rechab and Baanah. I have difficulty trusting God's sovereign plan and try taking matters into my own hands. Whether it's getting back at someone who wronged me or seeking to control the circumstances around me, I try to create my own outcomes instead of trusting the One who has proven Himself faithful.
May we trust in the sovereignty of our Father and yield to His plans and His timing. He has redeemed us from every adversity we could ever face through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Trust in Him. We've already been rescued!
This month's memory verse
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
1. How can you more deeply pursue the details of God's incredible rescue story?
2. How has the Lord personally redeemed your life out of every adversity?
3. What areas of your life are you trying to control instead of trusting God?
4. How can you practice submitting yourself to the Lord's sovereign plan today?