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

The Sin and Danger of Presumption

II Samuel 4


         This is another bloody episode in our study of II Samuel

         We pick up after Abner tried to broker a peace treaty, but ends up killed by Joab in chapter 3. Now, the house of Saul seems to be in disarray, and we see in this chapter the assassination of Ishbosheth, Saulís son.

         We also see the problem with presumption

o   One of Satanís temptations to Christ (jump from the top of the Temple- his angels will protect you!)

o   Getting ahead of God

o   Ex. Abraham and Hagar- taking matters into our own hands

         Planning is good, normal, and healthy. But when planning becomes presumption, we have crossed the line into sin. When things donít unfold as we had assumed they would or as we had planned, it is easy to get angry or bitter against God or other people. But if we recognize that God is in control and we are not, it is much easier to be flexible and pliable to the plans of God as they unfold. I am not against long term thinking. This is a necessary part of life. In the Christian life, we may know the general direction we are to go. For example, we should read Godís Word, pray, train our children to obey the Lord, fellowship with other believers, love our spouses, etc. God doesnít mind us planning and being wise stewards. But what He doesnít take glory in is us imposing our will upon Him such that we donít remain pliable to His plans as they unfold tomorrow.


I.                    The weak condition of the house of Saul

a.      He lost heart: When Ishbosheth heard that the man who put and propped him on the throne was dead, he knew that his days were numbered. He trusted in man to gain his position, so when the man was gone, he knew his position would be soon gone. Ishbosheth was weak because he trusted in man.

b.      Physically weak- Mephibosheth- This was the son of Jonathan, Davidís good friend who died with his father on the field of battle. Mephibosheth was the last male descendant of Saul with a strong legal claim to the throne of Saul. At this time he was only 12 years old Ė and he was lame on both his feet, a cripple. What a picture of Saulís house at this time!

c.       Remember this name- he would technically pose a threat to Davidís throne but David would later show great kindness to him!

II.                  Ishbosheth Murdered-

a.      (2Sa 4:5-7) Baanah and Rechab murder Ishbosheth.

b.      2 Samuel 4:2 reminds us that Rechab and Baanah were of Benjamin. This was the tribe that Saulís family came from. This means that it was fellow Benjaminites who murdered Ishbosheth.

c.       He was killed during a mid-day siesta

d.      Beheaded him and took his head: This was an important part of their plan, because they wanted to prove to David that they murdered his rival to the throne.

III.                David executes Ishboshethís assassins.

a.      (2Sa 4:8) Baanah and Rechab bring the head of Ishbosheth to David.

b.      When they brought Ishboshethís severed head to David they said, ďWe are Godís servants, defeating your enemies as instruments of God.Ē

c.       ďTheir claim, The Lord has avenged my lord the king, was presuming on Godís approval of their deed, as though they had acted on the Lordís express orders.Ē (Baldwin)

d.      Bad news for these guys: David never considered Saul his enemy. He composed a poem after he died, he mourned and wept bitterly for Saul and Jonathan after they died

e.      Rechab and Baanah thought David would be pleased to see the severed head of Ishbosheth. They underestimated Davidís loyalty to God and the house of Saul. David was loyal to his pledge to honor and preserve Saulís family and descendants (1 Samuel 24:20-22).

f.        V. 10-11- Can you imagine their cold sweat when David reminds them what he did to the Amalekite who claimed to kill Saul?

g.      These brothers were guilty of the sin of presumption

                                                              i.      Notice they tried to act as if God had done this- illustr- free meal?

                                                            ii.      Illustr- testimony of speeding through stop signs and claiming Godís protection

                                                          iii.      We must not get ahead of God!

                                                           iv.      See Numbers 14:44, 24:13

                                                             v.      Eccl. 8:11- Presumption sometimes comes from ďgetting away with sinĒ

                                                           vi.      James 4:2-3 asking amiss

                                                         vii.      James 4:13-16- Godís will

                                                       viii.      Presumption is a form of arrogance- Nebuchadnezzar

h.      David was used to seeing severed heads Ė he carried the head of Goliath around as a trophy for some period of time. But David knew that Saul and his descendants were not his enemy the same way that Goliath was his enemy.

i.        Even though Ishbosheth was not the Lordís anointed in the same sense as Saul was, David had thoroughly learned to let God take vengeance.

j.        David had them executed in a public act of justice. This proved what was in Davidís heart.

k.       Later, he would search out any family members of Saul and Jonathan not to slay them, but to show them kindness.

l.        This act of justice is a reminder that God sees and knows whatís in manís heart. We may feel cheated, and abused in this world, but the judge of all the earth will do right! When Christ returns evil will be punished and vanquished!



         Psalm 19:12-13- Davidís psalm- we must guard against blind spots, and areas of our lives that we presume upon God

         When we knowingly go against Godís will that is a serious problem. We must not try and justify and deceive ourselves into accepting sin!

         So often we just make our plans, and then seek counsel, or ask God to bless us. It is better to go with God, than ahead of God! To do otherwise is arrogance and pride!

         In 1912 the "unsinkable" Titanic was launched in Liverpool, England. So haughty was the hoopla surrounding the Titanic's safety and structural integrity that it caused great anxiety in the heart of one God-fearing woman, whose family was unexpectedly transferred onto the gigantic liner for its maiden voyage. The woman was the mother of seven-year-old Eva Hart, who recalls that her family was saved from tragedy because of Mrs' Hart's spiritual convictions. Throughout the voyage, Mrs. Hart stayed awake at night waiting for disaster to strike, and thus was able to move her family to an upper deck almost immediately after the ship collided with an unseen iceberg. Because of her vigilance, the family did not join the 1,500 others who died that night.

         After reading the shipbuilders' claims, Mrs. Hart believed--and so stated--"This is flying in the face of God!"