David and Ishbosheth: Competing Kings (2 Samuel 2:1 – 11)

David sought God as to whether he should go up to Judah.  The Lord told him to go to Hebron.  He, his two wives, and all his men went with him.  The men of Judah came and anointed David king over the house of Judah.  He commended the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead for taking care of Saul’s body.  He shared a thought of transition:

2 Samuel 2:7 (NKJV)
7 Now therefore, let your hands be strengthened, and be valiant; for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”

This statement closely resembles the statement Joshua heard from God when taking over the leadership of Israel, “Moses, my servant is dead.  Now go possess the land.”  David here accepts the call upon his life and is ready to move on beyond the death of King Saul.

But then there was the matter of Israel and their choice of king.  Abner, commander of Saul’s army, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul and made him king over all Israel.  He was forty years old, and reigned two years.  The time David was king in Judah was seven years and six months

David was the anointed of the Lord.  Ishbosheth was the presumed successor to the throne according to the order assumed by the world around them.  This was a time of division and conflict within the people of Israel.  This resembles a modern church split, or a group shooting off of a denomination to form their own.  God never ordained division, but when men insist, God is still God and can bring about His purpose.  Trust Him!

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