Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3

Abner's Defection and Murder

II Samuel 3


         This is a messy situation, that God will use to accomplish His purposes

         God is mighty enough to weave the sinful choices of man and work it together for good

         We see Abner and his opportunism- but he did not lend God a helping hand! God did not need him!


I.                    Abner defects from Ishbosheth- v. 1-11

a.      (2Sa 3:2-5) Davidís sons born in Hebron.

b.      Sons were born to David: During Davidís seven-year reign in Hebron, his six different wives gave birth to six sons. This shows that David went against Godís commandment that Israelís king should not multiply wives to himself.

                                                              i.      David was wrong to have more than one wife. His many wives went against Godís command (Deuteronomy 17:17) and against Godís heart for marriage (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6).

                                                            ii.      Davidís many wives were common. Adding many wives was one way great men and especially kings expressed their power and status in that day.

c.       David was troubled because of his many wives. Some wonder why the Bible doesnít openly condemn Davidís polygamy here, but as is often the case, the Scripture simply states the fact and later records how David reaped the penalty for this sort of sin in regard to his family.

                                                              i.      These were born to David in Hebron: We must say that God used and blessed David despite his many wives. Yet his family life and these sons were obviously not blessed.

                                                            ii.      Among his sons we later will see rape, murder, and attempted coups, and civil war.

d.      Davidís polygamy was common in Eastern culture for kings to consolidate power and alliances- v. 3 King of Geshur strategically located to the rear of Ishosheth

e.      V. 6- Abner strengthened his hold on the house of Saul- Abner supported a weak man like Ishbosheth in power so he could be the power behind the throne. As time went on, he increased in strength and influence on the house of Saul.

f.        (2Sa 3:6-7) Ishbosheth accuses Abner

g.      Why have you gone in to my fatherís concubine? Ishbosheth accused Abner of a serious crime. Taking a royal concubine was regarded as treason.

h.      ďTo take the wife or concubine of the late monarch was to appropriate his property and to make a bid for the throne.Ē (Baldwin)

i.        Even though absent, the kingís bride was for him alone- iilustr Christ and the Church

j.        Ishbosheth may have been a puppet, but he wasnít blind

k.       (2Sa 3:8-11) Abnerís harsh reply.

l.        Then Abner became very angry: We arenít specifically told, but Abnerís response leads us to believe that the accusation was false. It is possible that as he was strengthening his hold on the house of Saul he took the concubine as an expression of his power and dominance. It is more likely that because of Abnerís increasing power Ishbosheth felt it necessary to invent this accusation as a reason to get rid of Abner.

m.    ďIíve been loyal to Saul this whole time, and now you accuse me of this! I could have handed you over to David and didnít! I will now help David and fulfil Godís promise to him!Ē

n.      If I do not do for David as the Lord has sworn to him: Abner told Ishbosheth that he would now support David and help David fulfill what the Lord promised Ė to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and set up the throne of David.

o.      This was not theological (coming to God)- it was purely political.He did not come to submit to Godís divine plan- otherwise he would have done so from the beginning. Abner was a schemer, manipulator, and opportunist!

                                                              i.      Guard against the spirit of Abner that wants to lift self above Godís plan!

p.      V.11- There was nothing Ishbosheth could do about it

q.      Abner did the right thing in joining Davidís side, but he did it for the wrong reason. Instead of joining David because Ishbosheth offended him personally, he should have joined David because he knew that David was Godís choice to be king.

II.                  Davidís deal with Abner- v. 12-21

a.      (2Sa 3:12-16) David agrees to receive Abner if he will bring Michal with him.

b.      David received Michal in marriage after providing an unusual dowry (1 Samuel 18:26-28), but Saul took her away to spite David (1 Samuel 25:44).

c.       Give me my wife Michal: Apparently, David was not done adding to his collection of wives. He insisted on receiving Michal as his wife again for at least three reasons.

                                                              i.      David remembered that Michal was his wife by both love and right and that King Saul took her away as part of a deliberate strategy to attack and destroy David.

                                                            ii.      David wanted to show that he harbored no bitterness towards Saulís house, and he would show this through his good treatment of Saulís daughter.

                                                          iii.      David wanted to give himself a greater claim to Saulís throne as his son-in-law.

d.      (2Sa 3:17-19) Abner rallies support for David among the other tribes. He even quotes scripture!

e.      V. 20-21 David has a feast for Abner

III.                Joab murders Abner- v. 22-39

a.      Surely you realize that Abner the son of Ner came to deceive you: Joab accused Abner of being a double agent for Ishbosheth. He was angry that David let Abner go without arresting or killing him.

b.      (2Sa 3:26-27) Joab murders Abner

                                                              i.      He thought he may have been a double agent

                                                            ii.      He wanted revenge

                                                          iii.      Perhaps he also thought Abner had the potential to replace him

c.       (2Sa 3:28-30) David renounces Joabís evil murder of Abner.

d.      David knew that he had nothing to do with this murder. Among other evils, this murder perpetrated by Joab set a bad precedent. It gave Davidís administration a reputation for brutality and made it harder for David to win the rest of Israel over to his side.

e.      Let it rest on the head of Joab: David pronounced a severe curse against Joab,

f.        He leads the mourning over Abner

g.      David still believed that vengeance belongs to the Lord.



         Another outline for this chapter:

o   Seeking the kingdom through manipulation

o   Subverting the kingdom through revenge

o   Expecting the kingdom with confidence

         David expected God to establish his kingdom, and thus did not feel the need to seize it himself through violence

         This was a messy situation but Godís sovereignty overrules manís sin to accomplish His purpose and plan