When Ish-Bosheth son of Saul heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he lost courage, and all Israel became alarmed. 2 Now Saul’s son had two men who were leaders of raiding bands. One was named Baanah and the other Rekab; they were sons of Rimmon the Beerothite from the tribe of Benjamin—Beerothis considered part of Benjamin, 3 because the people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim and have resided there as foreigners to this day.
4 (Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became disabled. His name was Mephibosheth.)
5 Now Rekab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out for the house of Ish-Bosheth, and they arrived there in the heat of the day while he was taking his noonday rest.6 They went into the inner part of the house as if to get some wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rekab and his brother Baanah slipped away.
7 They had gone into the house while he was lying on the bed in his bedroom. After they stabbed and killed him, they cut off his head. Taking it with them, they travelled all night by way of the Arabah. 8 They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to kill you. This day the Lord has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.”
9 David answered Rekab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, 10 when someone told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news! 11 How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!”
12 So David gave an order to his men, and they killed them. They cut off their hands and feet and hung the bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-Bosheth and buried it in Abner’s tomb at Hebron.
David answered … “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble…” Ish-Bosheth is dead but David is not pleased by the news. David can finally be the king of Israel but he is not excited about the news. The above phrase helps me understand what is going on, David’s faith in God is returning. He is saying that God would have delivered David out of his troubles with the house of Saul. It was not for these men to take the matter into their own hands and kill an innocent man while he sleeps.
There is also a piece of this scripture that seems out of place. The story is about the murder of Ish-Bosheth but verse 4 randomly tells us about Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan. Why? I read on a bit and can’t seem to find the link. The only thing I can think of is that when David confronted Saul outside the cave, David promised not to harm anybody from the house of Saul when he became king. It seems like this Mephibosheth is now one of the few surviving men from Saul’s line. I am encouraged to believe that in a difficult space David is starting to remember where his help comes from and that he is still able to honour commitments he made to his enemy.
We live in such a privileged time by comparison. We know that no matter how poor our choices have been this day or this week. We are able to freely turn away from those poor choices and come into Gods presence because of what Jesus did. Let’s be those who know how to live fully in the advantage of the era we live in. We don’t have to wonder around in the wilderness for 40 years before finding our way back. Right here, right now we can turn back to our Father… into His loving embrace and continue to be built up from strength to strength. Thank you Jesus.