Skip to content

16. David Rises to Power

January 19, 2010

Text:    II Samuel 1:1-4:12

Outline:            I. David Becomes King of Judah      II Samuel 1:1-2:7

II. Ish-Bosheth is made King of Israel      II Samuel 2:8-11

III. David and Ish-Bosheth Fight        II Samuel2:12-3:11

IV. Abner Defects to David      II Samuel 3:12-39

V. Ish-Bosheth is Killed      II Samuel 4:1-12


David continues to reside in Ziglag [Philistine territory] and fight the Amalekites. A man from Saul’s army who escaped their slaughter at the hands of the Philistines comes to David and tells him Saul and Jonathan are dead. David asks how he knows. The man reveals he is an Amalekite who observed their wounds and actually killed Saul, taking his crown and bringing it to David. Note that his story is different than that of Lesson 15 where it is recorded that Saul fell on his own sword. Perhaps this man was there in that he has given David Saul’s crown but he claims to be an Amalekite, an enemy of Israel. Perhaps he was in the right place at the right time and is using Saul’s crown as a way of making peace with David, a peace between Israel and the Amalekites, whom God told Israel to eliminate. David and his men mourn the death of Saul and Jonathan and then kill the Amalekite because he willingly killed the Lord’s anointed, Saul.

David composes a lament for Saul and Jonathan acknowledging their fearless exploits in battle. He asks that the Philistines not be allowed to rejoice in their victory and states that Saul and Jonathan were loved and respected. Finally David expresses his grief and love for Jonathan.

David asks and the Lord directs him to return to Hebron. David, his men, and their families go and the elders of Judah anoint David as King of Judah. David’s first act is to commend and bless the men of Jabesh Gilead for their kindness and faithfulness to Saul and for burying his body.

In the meantime, Abner, Saul’s commander, brings Saul’s remaining son, Ish-Bosheth, to Mahanain and makes him king over all Israel except for Judah.

Abner, now the commander of Ish-Bosheth’s army, meets Joab with David’s army and they decide to determine the winner via single hand to hand combat. All 24 men, 12 from each side are killed and a large battle resulted. David’s army routed Abner, army but Abner kills Joab’s brother. Abner and Joab agree to call a truce so Abner returns to Mahanain and Joab returns to Hebron. The house of Saul and the House of David continued to war for 7 1/2 years. During that time, Abner became very influential in Ish-Bosheth’s kingdom, sleeping with the king’s concubine and even threatening to become loyal to David.

Abner makes good on his threat and David agrees to meet with him if he brings his other wife, Saul’s daughter Michal, with him. Abner receives agreements from Israel’s elders that David should be king over all Israel and so he meets with David. Joab returns from a battle and accuses David of being deceived by Abner. Joab takes matters into his own hands, captures Abner, and kills him to avenge the blood of his brother who was killed by Abner. David disclaims any involvement, does not discipline Joab, but laments over Abner’s death. David is king but is a weak king at this moment.

Ish-Bosheth falls out of favor as a result of Abner’s death and is killed by two other leaders in his army. They bring Ish-Bosheth’s head to David in Hebron to avenge Saul’s attempts on David’s life. David become angry over the killing of an innocent man and orders the two men be killed.


1. One’s anointing doesn’t guarantee one’s appointment. Appointment/respect from people comes through demonstrated maturity and wise decisions. We grow into increased responsibility and success; we don’t jump into it. God’s sovereignty over our lives includes training time. He never shortcuts our required training and preparation for increased responsibility.

2. Always show respect for another even if that person was your enemy. Value everyone’s life and accomplishments even if you did not always agree with that person.

3. Acceptance and respect usually requires time. Fight for what is right but don’t push it. Sometimes a truce is of benefit to all. Trust in God’s sovereignty in every situation.

4. Be discerning of those who decide to change sides after a major defeat. They may be honest and truthful and they may be changing loyalty for purely selfish reasons.

5. Justice must always be administered fairly. Revenge is rarely a righteous motive.

6. As servants of the King, all we say and do must conform to His righteous will. Consult with Him in all matters. Do not assume you know His Will without talking to Him. The Lord values honest, trustworthy, and faithful servants. He knows if your heart is selfish. or selfless. A vengeful attitude definitely signals selfishness.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: