A Murder in Vain

Krista Williams

Day: 35 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel

Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 4

2 Samuel 4:8 (NIV) They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, ‘Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to kill you. This day the LORD has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.’"

In every nation and people group across the globe, crime is a part of life. Historically, no matter what century or place on the planet you examine, you will find people engage in unlawful activity. Quite often, faulty reasoning persuades criminals to think that potential penalties or any risk involved will most likely pale in comparison to the personal benefits they might gain.

It’s simply not true. Sure, people might get away with unlawful or unrighteous behavior for a little while or even for a lifetime, but eventually the guilty will be punished … if not here then in eternity. We can be sure our sin will find us out and we will reap what we sow. If anything is gained from a person’s unlawful activity those benefits are superficial and short-lived compared to eternity 

Crime doesn’t pay. The murderers of Saul’s son, Ish-Bosheth, would soon learn this lesson the hard way. They thought if they killed Ish-Bosheth and brought his head to David as a gift they would be rewarded.

These men hoped this brutal act would elevate them to a superior position. They selfishly valued temporary personal gain and their own agendas over righteousness. Their actions were done in vain.

These men did not know or understand the heart of David. King David’s heart was aligned with God’s, and David knew that vengeance belongs to God alone. And David would have no part in any unrighteous methods to establish or secure his kingdom.

They also failed to understand that under God’s righteous law, murder was a crime punishable by death and so David upheld God’s law, and these assassins were put to death. (Exodus 21:12; 2 Samuel 4:11)

Now I doubt that any of us would ever think of murdering someone as a way to advance God’s kingdom or the gospel. But there are still some things we can learn and apply to our lives from the actions of Rechab and Baanah.

We need to be careful to ensure we don’t use self-serving, unholy actions to establish, advance or secure our personal agendas. We must never imagine good will come from evil.

We must also be careful not to try to advance the cause of Christ in a disgraceful or unworthy manner. And we must love righteousness more than success.

God’s people don’t do evil hoping good will come from it; we must overcome evil with good.

Prayer: Lord, I cannot help but think of all the heartache, bloodshed, pain and needless tragedies that could be avoided if we would submit to You instead of seeking our own advantage. Forgive me for the times I have been self-serving and compromised righteousness for my own selfish gain. Help me to refuse to take part in unrighteousness and help me fully trust Your will and plans for my life. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

More Moments:

When Rechab and Baanah presented David with Ish-Bosheth’s head they came with blood on... Read More

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