Apr 21 (Daily reading: 2 Samuel 1-4) After the death of Saul and Jonathan, one would think that David, who had waited so long, would now be the uncontested king. But even though God had chosen David to be king, the will of man often resists the will of God. Abner was the commander of Saul’s army, and after Saul’s death, he made “Ish-bosheth the son of Saul…king…over all Israel” (2:8-9). Abner gave allegiance to the house of Saul, which God had rejected. Here is a lesson for us: the flesh (sinful nature) seeks to wear the crown in our lives, but only Jesus has that right!
“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” (3:1). The house of David “grew stronger and stronger.” This is what happens in your life when Jesus becomes uncontested King! As John the Baptist said about Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30).
“Now it happened that while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner was strengthening himself in the house of Saul” (3:6). Spiritual warfare is described by Paul in Galatians 5:17, “The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another.” Abner found his strength in the house of Saul and continued to resist God’s plans. The time came when Abner had a change of heart, and he said: “For some time you have wanted to make David your king. Now do it!” (3:17-18). Every day we can make the choice for Jesus to be King over our lives. This is a daily choice, as Jesus said: “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Lk. 9:23). “Just do it!”
– Al Gary