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David eschewed bitterness – Part 2



The second incidence that showed David’s character was when Saul died at Mount Gilboa, partially from his own hands; a man, an Amalekite came to David with the sad news claiming that he killed Saul, expecting to be commended by David.

Rather, David tore his clothes and rebuked the Amalekite sharply for daring to kill the Lord’s anointed. He quickly gave a command to one of his men to summarily kill the man.

“So David said to him, “Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.” (2 Sam.1:16). 

David heartfelt grief and mourning over the death of King Saul demonstrates the type of man he was.

The third occasion was when Abner, the captain of Saul’s army died.

David’s reaction left no one in doubt of his revulsion about the role Joab and Abishai played in the death of Abner.

Hear what he said: “Afterward, when David heard it, he said, “My kingdom and I are [a]guiltless before the Lord forever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner. 29 Let it rest on the head of Joab and on all his father’s house; and let there never fail to be in the [b]house of Joab one who has a discharge or is a leper, who leans on a staff or falls by the sword, or who lacks bread.” (2 Sam.3:28-29).

Thereafter, David spent days mourning the death of Abner and would not eat until he was persuaded to.

The fourth occasion was when Baanah and Rechab, the two commanders of Ishbosheth switched loyalty from their master to David.

They secretly arranged to kill Saul’s grandson, Ishbosheth while he was asleep thinking that David would applaud them for their action.

Rather, than commend them, David chastised them for their action and requested that they are killed.

“And they brought the head of Ishbosheth to David at Hebron, and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul your enemy, who sought your life; and the Lord has avenged my lord the king this day of Saul and his descendants.”

9 But David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from all adversity, 10 when someone told me, saying, ‘Look, Saul is dead,’ thinking to have brought good news, I arrested him and had him executed in Ziklag—the one who thought I would give him a reward for his news. 

11 How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous person in his own house on his bed?

Therefore, shall I not now require his [a]blood at your hand and [b]remove you from the earth?” 

12 So David commanded his young men, and they executed them, cut off their hands and feet, and hanged them by the pool in Hebron.

But they took the head of Ishbosheth and buried it in the tomb of Abner in Hebron” (2 Sam.4:8-12).

The fifth occasion that revealed David’s charitable character was the kindness he extended to Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth. David had earlier sworn to Jonathan that he would show kindness to his family whenever he became the king.

In fulfilment of this vow, when David was crowned King, he sought for Jonathan’s children to show kindness to them.

“Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him [a]kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Sam.9:1).”

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