Revenge

A lot of American movies, especially action movies, focus on revenge.  Revenge is attractive because it leaves room for justice to run its course.  If we repay a crime we are dishing out punishment.  If a life is taken and we respond by taking a life it is justice and revenge.  However, revenge is not the highest good.  The Bible asks us to leave revenge with God (Rom. 12).  We should look to the grace that we have received and issue mercy and grace to others.

David was mindful of this principle.  When Abner came to him in repentant submission David did not take the opportunity to get revenge.  However, Joab (David’s military officer) took revenge for the slaying of his brother by Abner.  Rather than approving of this as a just end to a feud, David castigates Joab for his harsh action.  David mourns Abner and gives him hnour, even though Abner has been fighting against David in a civil war.

Are you consumed with justice and revenge?  God wants you to let that go and be free.  You do not have power over the life of another – anger and a desire for revenge eventually destroy the one desiring them.  Mercy and grace flow from a free heart.

2 Samuel 3

 1The 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.

 2 Sons were born to David in Hebron:
   His firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel;
 3 his second, Kileab the son of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel;
   the third, Absalom the son of Maakah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
 4 the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith;
   the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
 5 and the sixth, Ithream the son of David’s wife Eglah.
   These were born to David in Hebron.

Abner Goes Over to David

 6 During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner had been strengthening his own position in the house of Saul. 7Now Saul had had a concubine named Rizpah daughter of Aiah. And Ish-Bosheth said to Abner, “Why did you sleep with my father’s concubine?”

 8 Abner was very angry because of what Ish-Bosheth said. So he answered, “Am I a dog’s head—on Judah’s side? This very day I am loyal to the house of your father Saul and to his family and friends. I haven’t handed you over to David. Yet now you accuse me of an offense involving this woman! 9 May God deal with Abner, be it ever so severely, if I do not do for David what the LORD promised him on oath 10 and transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish David’s throne over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beersheba.” 11Ish-Bosheth did not dare to say another word to Abner, because he was afraid of him.

 12Then Abner sent messengers on his behalf to say to David, “Whose land is it? Make an agreement with me, and I will help you bring all Israel over to you.”

 13 “Good,” said David. “I will make an agreement with you. But I demand one thing of you: Do not come into my presence unless you bring Michal daughter of Saul when you come to see me.” 14Then David sent messengers to Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, demanding, “Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for the price of a hundred Philistine foreskins.”

 15 So Ish-Bosheth gave orders and had her taken away from her husband Paltiel son of Laish. 16Her husband, however, went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go back home!” So he went back.

 17 Abner conferred with the elders of Israel and said, “For some time you have wanted to make David your king. 18Now do it! For the LORD promised David, ‘By my servant David I will rescue my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.’”

 19 Abner also spoke to the Benjamites in person. Then he went to Hebron to tell David everything that Israel and the whole tribe of Benjamin wanted to do. 20 When Abner, who had twenty men with him, came to David at Hebron, David prepared a feast for him and his men. 21Then Abner said to David, “Let me go at once and assemble all Israel for my lord the king, so that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may rule over all that your heart desires.” So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.

Joab Murders Abner

 22 Just then David’s men and Joab returned from a raid and brought with them a great deal of plunder. But Abner was no longer with David in Hebron, because David had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23When Joab and all the soldiers with him arrived, he was told that Abner son of Ner had come to the king and that the king had sent him away and that he had gone in peace.

 24 So Joab went to the king and said, “What have you done? Look, Abner came to you. Why did you let him go? Now he is gone! 25You know Abner son of Ner; he came to deceive you and observe your movements and find out everything you are doing.”

 26 Joab then left David and sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern at Sirah. But David did not know it. 27Now when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into an inner chamber, as if to speak with him privately. And there, to avenge the blood of his brother Asahel, Joab stabbed him in the stomach, and he died.

 28 Later, when David heard about this, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever innocent before the LORD concerning the blood of Abner son of Ner. 29 May his blood fall on the head of Joab and on his whole family! May Joab’s family never be without someone who has a running sore or leprosy[a]or who leans on a crutch or who falls by the sword or who lacks food.”

 30(Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.)

 31 Then David said to Joab and all the people with him, “Tear your clothes and put on sackcloth and walk in mourning in front of Abner.” King David himself walked behind the bier. 32They buried Abner in Hebron, and the king wept aloud at Abner’s tomb. All the people wept also.

 33The king sang this lament for Abner:

   “Should Abner have died as the lawless die?
 34 Your hands were not bound,
   your feet were not fettered.
You fell as one falls before the wicked.”

   And all the people wept over him again.

 35Then they all came and urged David to eat something while it was still day; but David took an oath, saying, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun sets!”

 36 All the people took note and were pleased; indeed, everything the king did pleased them. 37So on that day all the people there and all Israel knew that the king had no part in the murder of Abner son of Ner.

 38 Then the king said to his men, “Do you not realize that a commander and a great man has fallen in Israel this day? 39 And today, though I am the anointed king, I am weak, and these sons of Zeruiah are too strong for me. May the LORD repay the evildoer according to his evil deeds!”

Questions

  1. Who is added to David’s royal line?
  2. Who is reclaimed by David?
  3. Why is it important that David be cleared of wrongdoing when establishing his line?
  4. What hopes do you have for your family?
  5. What are you willing to do to ensure your dreams come true?  Can you sacrifice your dreams to God and relinquish control?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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12 Responses to Revenge

  1. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. Amnon, Kileab, Absalom, Adonijah, Shephatiah, and Ithream
    2. Saul’s daughter Michal
    3. It is important that the people trust him completely and it is also important because he is the Lord’s anointed.
    4. My biggest hope is that all would continue to serve the Lord wholeheartedly and that the Lord’s purpose would be accomplished in them and through them. I also hope that someday my brothers will get married.
    5. I would be willing to do anything to have these things accomplished in their lives. It is necessary, however, for me to allow God to have control and not try to take it myself.

  2. Amy Kringle says:

    1. His sons, Amnon, Kileab, Absalom, Adonijah, Shphatiah, Ithream.
    2. His wife, Michal.
    3. Because the blessing would be passed down from generation to generation.
    4. That our relationships to each other and toward the world would be one of strong kindness, not timid compliance.
    5. I can relinquish these dreams, however, I also rest in the hope that these are his “dreams” also for my family and it is not out of line with his will.

  3. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) Many sons are added, including Amnon, Kileab, Absolom, Adonijah, shphatiah, and Ithream.
    2) He reclaimed his wife Michal, Saul’s daughter.
    3) This is important so that he would have a righteous reputation as God’s annointed.
    4) I hope that both of my sisters will continue walking with the Lord, and will one day be blessed with families of thier own!
    5) I am willing to pray for them and support them in any way possible, and I do believe that I am prepared to sacrifice any plan of mine if it’s not part of God’s plan.

  4. aaron wright says:

    1 kileab adonijah, shephatiah, amnon, and ithream.
    2. Michal
    4 That each of my children grows in the knowledge of God and desire to serve and love Him. and that my wife and i would work in harmony in service to God. (and constantly growing)
    5. Ive had to give much thought onto what Im holding close and what I’m not willing to give up for Christ. God has given me the strength to say nothing. I would give it all up.

  5. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. His sons Amnon, Kileab, Absalom, Adonijah, Shephatiah, and Ithream.
    2. Michal
    3. Because he is the Lord’s anointed.
    4. That my brothers and sisters will never forget that the Lord is their sole Provider and that He will finish the work that He has begun in each of them.
    5. lay them at His feet.

  6. Cassie Clark says:

    1.Amnon, Kileab, Absalom, Adonijah
    2.His wife Michal
    3.So that the people did not resent him
    4.I hope that my family will break the cycle of sin and be a Godly, growing, close family
    5.Big question! Prayer is the answer!!

  7. Rebecca Langer says:

    1.Who is added to David’s royal line?
    Amnon, Kileab, Absalom, Adonijah, Shephatiah, and Ithriam
    2.Who is reclaimed by David?
    Michal
    3.Why is it important that David be cleared of wrongdoing when establishing his line?
    Because he is supposed to be a man after God’s own heart!
    4.What hopes do you have for your family?
    I hope that we will love the Lord, and stay united. I want my children to grow up loveing Christ.
    5.What are you willing to do to ensure your dreams come true? Can you sacrifice your dreams to God and relinquish control?
    Well, I want to wait for the right guy to come along, because without a great guy, I couldn’t have a God-loving family. I could sacrifice my dreams if that is what God had for me. I think that I would be willing to be single.

  8. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    1.Who is added to David’s royal line?
    Amnon, Kileab, Absalom, Adonijah
    2.Who is reclaimed by David?
    Michal
    3.Why is it important that David be cleared of wrongdoing when establishing his line?
    Because David was God’s anointed.
    4.What hopes do you have for your family?
    Keeping solid faith in God through all generation that will come after me.
    5.What are you willing to do to ensure your dreams come true? Can you sacrifice your dreams to God and relinquish control?
    I’m still struggling on this topic.. I still have something that I want to do and I want to be. but I know that this is different than what God wants me to do. So I keep praying for God would change my mind willing to do what He wants.

  9. Moon Jung Kim says:

    1.Who is added to David’s royal line? Amnon, Kileab, Absalom, Adonijah
    2.Who is reclaimed by David? Michal
    3.Why is it important that David be cleared of wrongdoing when establishing his line? Because he is the king anointed by God, he was supposed to be cleared of wrongdoing before God when establishing his line.
    4.What hopes do you have for your family? all of my family members believe Jesus Christ and follow Him
    5.What are you willing to do to ensure your dreams come true? Can you sacrifice your dreams to God and relinquish control? I share my stories about what God has worked in my life.
    Yes. I am willing to sacrifice my will to be used by God for joining His work. Also, I want this be my dream.

  10. Grace Yoo says:

    1. Amnon, Kileab, Absalom, Adonijah, Shephatiah, and Ithream is added to David’s royal line.

    2. Michal is reclaimed by David.

    3. It is important that David be cleared of wrongdoing when establishing his line because he needs a good reputation so that people can trust him.

    4. Some hopes I have for my family are that they would grow in their walk with Christ and would encourage others to do the same. I also hope that our relationship with each other would be Christ-centered.

    5. Yes, I can sacrifice my dreams for God because I know He knows what is best for me.

  11. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.Who is added to David’s royal line?
    -Amnon, Kileab, Absalom, Adonijah, Shephatiah, and Ithream
    2.Who is reclaimed by David?
    – Michal
    3.Why is it important that David be cleared of wrongdoing when establishing his line?
    – Because David didn’t want to degrace God who had anointed him as king.
    4.What hopes do you have for your family?
    – I hope that our whole family become outstanding in light of honoring God with pureness.
    5.What are you willing to do to ensure your dreams come true? Can you sacrifice your dreams to God and relinquish control?
    – I will be willing to be used by God as long as He wants to do so.

  12. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. The line of Ahinoam of Jezreel, Nabal of Carmel, Talmai king of Geshur, Haggith, Abital, and Eglah were all added to David’s line.
    2. Abner was reclaimed by David.
    3. It is important that David be cleared of wrongdoing when establishing his line so that nobody can have a reason to go against it.
    4. I hope that my family follows God and lives lives serving Him.
    5. I’m willing to do a lot to make sure my dreams come true, as long as it’s not going against God. If you sacrifice your dreams to God, you can’t have control, you gave it to God.

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