2 Samuel 3

* David's power increases His family. (1-6) Abner revolts to

David. (7-21) Joab kills Abner David mourns for him. (22-39)

1-6 The length of this war tried the faith and patience of

David, and made his settlement at last the more welcome. The

contest between grace and corruption in the hearts of believers,

may fitly be compared to this warfare. There is a long war

between them, the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the

spirit against the flesh; but as the work of holiness is carried

on, corruption, like the house of Saul, grows weaker and weaker;

while grace, like the house of David, grows stronger and

7-21 Many, like Abner, are not above committing base crimes,

who are too proud to bear reproof, or even the suspicion of

being guilty. While men go on in sin, and apparently without

concern, they are often conscious that they are fighting against

God. Many mean to serve their own purposes; and will betray

those who trust them, when they can get any advantage. Yet the

Lord serves his own designs, even by those who are thus actuated

by revenge, ambition, or lust; but as they intend not to honour

him, in the end they will be thrown aside with contempt. There

was real generosity both to Michal and to the memory of Saul, in

David's receiving the former, remembering probably how once he

owed his life to her affection, and knowing that she was

separated from him partly by her father's authority. Let no man

set his heart on that which he is not entitled to. If any

disagreement has separated husband and wife, as they expect the

blessing of God, let them be reconciled, and live together in

22-39 Judgments are prepared for such scorners as Abner; but

Joab, in what he did, acted wickedly. David laid Abner's murder

deeply to heart, and in many ways expressed his detestation of

it. The guilt of blood brings a curse upon families: if men do

not avenge it, God will. It is a sad thing to die like a fool,

as they do that any way shorten their own days, and those who

make no provision for another world. Who would be fond of power,

when a man may have the name of it, and must be accountable for

it, yet is hampered in the use of it? David ought to have done

his duty, and then trusted God with the issue. Carnal policy

spared Joab. The Son of David may long delay, but never fails to

punish impenitent sinners. He who now reigns upon the throne of

David, has a kingdom of a nobler kind. Whatever He doeth, is

noticed by all his willing people, and is pleasing to them.

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