The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker. 2 Sons were born to David in Hebron: His firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel; 3 his second, Kileab the son of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; the third, Absalom the son of Maakah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; 4 the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; 5 and the sixth, Ithream the son of David’s wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron.
6 During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner had been strengthening his own position in the house of Saul. 7 Now Saul had had a concubine named Rizpah daughter of Aiah. And Ish-Bosheth said to Abner, “Why did you sleep with my father’s concubine?”
8 Abner was very angry because of what Ish-Bosheth said. So he answered, “Am I a dog’s head—on Judah’s side? This very day I am loyal to the house of your father Saul and to his family and friends. I haven’t handed you over to David. Yet now you accuse me of an offense involving this woman! 9 May God deal with Abner, be it ever so severely, if I do not do for David what the Lord promised him on oath 10 and transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish David’s throne over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beersheba.” 11 Ish-Bosheth did not dare to say another word to Abner, because he was afraid of him.
12 Then Abner sent messengers on his behalf to say to David, “Whose land is it? Make an agreement with me, and I will help you bring all Israel over to you.”
Deut 17…be sure to appoint over you a king the LORD your God chooses… He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.
This is one of the laws that God set in place before Israel actually chose a king. God did not put random laws in place to make people’s lives miserable. He put laws in place to protect people from themselves and from the cultural norms around them. Why did the kings feel the need to completely ignore these instructions? In that list of children born to David’s “growing herd” is Absalom… who will eventually go on to overthrow David and cause havoc in Israel. Saul’s harem has also come back to undo what Abner and Ish-Bosheth have been trying to build and as I read on I see David making a deal with Ish-Bosheth to return David’s first wife (Saul’s daughter) who seems to be happily remarried. So much brokenness simply because people think they are above the laws God has set in place.
My challenge is this; if we are in a good space with God, close to Him and open to His heart then we trust and believe that what He asks of us is good. If we try to live from the outside- in, living in a world that has a different set of standards to the ones that God calls us to we lose the plot. We look from the world’s perspective and think of all the “good things” we can’t have. However, when we get close to God and look from the inside- out, we will start to crave what God craves to love what He loves and see that His ways are good. To have many wives was a status symbol, a symbol of power and wealth in David’s world. However, this seems to cause a break down in family bonds and intimate trusting relationships which have always been God’s plan for us. In our world today we tend to run after other status symbols (corporate ladders etc) these also cause a breakdown in our relationships and family bonds. Let’s not be defined by what the world decides is good… let’s trust God today and know that He is good.