2 Samuel 4


2 Samuel 4:8-11

They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to kill you. This day the Lord has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.” David answered Rekab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, when someone told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news! How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!”


As the body count in the war between the house of Saul and the house of David increases, Ish-Bosheth, son of Saul, is murdered in his sleep by Baanah and Recab. In a bit of a flashback from the events surrounding Saul’s death, these two offer the head of Ish-Bosheth to David in order to show their loyalty and perhaps gain some reward. Instead, David orders that they be slain for shedding innocent blood.


When we decide to help God without securing His direction and approval, more often than not we end up hindering instead of hastening the plans of God.

Many times I have seen parents step into a situation in order to spare their child from experiencing the painful consequences of their actions – consequences and pain that God intended to use to show them that they are sinners in need of deliverance or rebels in need of repentance. Sparing them from experiencing the harm and damage of sin actually facilitates their continued disobedience and error. In our attempts to do what we think is best for someone or for a situation we may actually be delaying a work that God has well in hand. It’s important to understand that God does not need my help. Yes, in His great grace, He chooses to use me as part of His redemptive plan for those within my sphere of influence; but my job is not to assess the situation, come up with and implement my plan of action. Rather, my responsibility is to seek the heart and voice of God in prayer and act (or not) according to His wisdom and will. To do anything else is to usurp the sovereignty, plan and purposes of God in my life and the lives of others.

Life Application

I am wise if I seek to discover where God is working and then join Him there

Lord, help me to remember Your word that says, “In me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells” (Romans 7:18) and that You, “O God…know my foolishness…” (Psalm 69:5). Help me also to remember that You are the Vine and we are the branches. Apart from you, we can do no good thing (John 15:5). May all that I do for you flow out of abiding in You. May I not endeavor to help you but live to serve you.
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Gary Parker