2 Samuel 3* David's power increases His family. (1-6) Abner revolts toDavid. (7-21) Joab kills Abner David mourns for him. (22-39)1-6 The length of this war tried the faith and patience ofDavid, and made his settlement at last the more welcome. Thecontest between grace and corruption in the hearts of believers,may fitly be compared to this warfare. There is a long warbetween them, the flesh lusting against the spirit, and thespirit against the flesh; but as the work of holiness is carriedon, corruption, like the house of Saul, grows weaker and weaker;while grace, like the house of David, grows stronger andstronger. 7-21 Many, like Abner, are not above committing base crimes,who are too proud to bear reproof, or even the suspicion ofbeing guilty. While men go on in sin, and apparently withoutconcern, they are often conscious that they are fighting againstGod. Many mean to serve their own purposes; and will betraythose who trust them, when they can get any advantage. Yet theLord serves his own designs, even by those who are thus actuatedby revenge, ambition, or lust; but as they intend not to honourhim, in the end they will be thrown aside with contempt. Therewas real generosity both to Michal and to the memory of Saul, inDavid's receiving the former, remembering probably how once heowed his life to her affection, and knowing that she wasseparated from him partly by her father's authority. Let no manset his heart on that which he is not entitled to. If anydisagreement has separated husband and wife, as they expect theblessing of God, let them be reconciled, and live together inlove. 22-39 Judgments are prepared for such scorners as Abner; butJoab, in what he did, acted wickedly. David laid Abner's murderdeeply to heart, and in many ways expressed his detestation ofit. The guilt of blood brings a curse upon families: if men donot 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 whomake no provision for another world. Who would be fond of power,when a man may have the name of it, and must be accountable forit, yet is hampered in the use of it? David ought to have donehis duty, and then trusted God with the issue. Carnal policyspared Joab. The Son of David may long delay, but never fails topunish impenitent sinners. He who now reigns upon the throne ofDavid, has a kingdom of a nobler kind. Whatever He doeth, isnoticed by all his willing people, and is pleasing to them.
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