2 Samuel 1–4: Civil War & Vengeance

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 17: Tuesday

The time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
2 Samuel 2:11

Tuesday’s Bible reading of 2 Samuel 1–4, tells of the events following Saul’s and Jonathan’s deaths in battle. It is a gruesome record of a civil war that raged in Israel between Ish-bosheth (another of Saul’s sons) and Saul’s men, and David’s men. It’s a story of vengeance, deception and murder.

Throughout these chapters, there is no mention of David taking part in this actual conflict. At the beginning of chapter 2, he asks God if he should go to one of the cities of Judah (his tribe) and God tells him to go to Hebron. There he remains, justly punishing even his own men who take revenge into their hands. David’s fear of God are evident in his actions.

In my opinion David’s character—look at his decisions and his reaction to the death of Abner in 2 Samuel 3:35–39—were a factor in enabling him to become king over the entire nation without other tribes breaking out into rebellion against him. In the aftermath of Saul’s death, it’s remarkable to read that he did not seize the throne and take his own revenge against Saul’s house. In the face of the lure of power, he remained steadfast in his character before God.

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Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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