2 Samuel 3:6-21
Abner had helped Ishbosheth become king of Israel. But after a while Ishbosheth accused Abner of taking something that belonged to him. Abner became angry! The Bible does not say he was innocent but Abner was mad because, after all he had done to help Ishbosheth, he felt like he deserved to be given some special favors. Ishbosheth saw his actions as trying to make himself powerful enough to eventually be the king. We don’t know who was right but we know the results. When Abner got mad he decided to leave Ishbosheth and go support David!
Abner pledges to Ishbosheth that he will help David take the kingdom from him. Ishbosheth is too frightened to respond. So Abner sends messengers to David to offer his loyalty. In turn David responds that he will accept Abner if he brings David’s wife, Michal, back to him. (Michal was Saul’s daughter that married David but King Saul didn’t let her go with David when he left the palace). Abner agreed and David sent the request to Ishbosheth who sent her to David with Abner.
After returning Michal, Abner began contacting all the leaders in Israel telling them they should abandon Ishbosheth and make David their king. David accepted Abner and sent him out in peace to continue trying to convince the leaders of Israel to follow David.
Have you ever thought about the power of words? Do you know that how you say something can be incredibly important? Have you ever gotten a gift you didn’t like? How should you respond? With, “Oh, no, I hate this!” or with, “Thank you for giving me a gift.” One hurts the givers feelings, the other lets them know you appreciate the thought. If they ask if you like it, you can choose between, “No, it is ugly,” or “Well, I don’t really like this color very much.” Which will hurt them less?
Ishbosheth may have been right to question Abner’s actions, but the way he did it brought anger and discord. We need to try our best to be kind, even when correcting!
Take this opportunity to discuss and role play appropriate responses to disliked things. Such as, being offered food you don’t like or given a gift you don’t care for.