2 Samuel 4

Ish-bosheth Murdered

Now when [a]Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, heard that Abner had died in Hebron, [b]his courage failed, and all Israel was horrified. And Saul’s son had two men who were commanders of troops: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, of the sons of Benjamin (for Beeroth is also considered part of Benjamin, and the Beerothites fled to Gittaim and have lived there as strangers until this day).

Now Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son who was disabled in both feet. He was five years old when the news of Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse picked him up and fled. But it happened that in her hurry to flee, he fell and could no longer walk. And his name was [c]Mephibosheth.

So the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, departed and came to the house of Ish-bosheth in the heat of the day, while he was taking his midday rest. 6 [d]And they came to the interior of the house as if [e]to get wheat, and they struck him in the belly; and Rechab and his brother Baanah escaped. Now when they had come into the house, as he was lying on his bed in his bedroom, they struck him and killed him, and they beheaded him. And they took his head and [f]traveled by way of the Arabah all night. Then they brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron, and said to the king, “Behold, the head of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; so the Lord has given my lord the king vengeance this day on Saul and his [g]descendants.”

But David replied to Rechab and his brother Baanah, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress, 10 when the one who informed me, saying, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ also [h]viewed himself as the bearer of good news, I seized him and killed him in 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 from your hands and eliminate you both from the earth?” 12 Then David commanded the young men, and they killed them and cut off their hands and feet, and hung them up beside the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth and buried it in the grave of Abner in Hebron.

Left to our own devices and human instincts, it is easy to get caught up in revenge and retaliation. Again, we have two men who thought they could gain David’s favor by killing his rival.

We, like David, should not entertain such thoughts, and ought to keep our behavior above reproach. Do not live according to earthly standards, but strive for a higher standard, to abide by God’s standards, which are lofty indeed.

As Christians, our ultimate goal is to live as Jesus would in our shoes. We cannot do that if we give in to our own selfish or carnal desires. First, of course, we need God’s help to reach for higher footing in life. And second, we need to keep our eyes focused on serving and pleasing our Savior rather than men.

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