When the Unrighteous Work Out God’s Plans

Ishbosheth was killed.  His murderers thought they were doing David a fsvour.  In a sense they were.  By removing the heir of Saul David’s claim to the throne was strengthened.  However, David did not approve of the way two men murdered their king.  He therefore had them executed.  God can allow unrighteous acts to occur and in allowing them he brings about a greater good.  God brought David to the throne.  the difficult point is that God used unrighteos murderers in his plan. 

Hidden in this passage is part of the answer to the question why God allows evil to exist.  How do you process that God allowed evil for the sake of good?

2 Samuel 4

1 When Ish-Bosheth son of Saul heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he lost courage, and all Israel became alarmed. 2 Now Saul’s son had two men who were leaders of raiding bands. One was named Baanah and the other Rekab; they were sons of Rimmon the Beerothite from the tribe of Benjamin—Beeroth is considered part of Benjamin, 3because the people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim and have resided there as foreigners to this day.

 4(Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became disabled. His name was Mephibosheth.)

 5 Now Rekab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out for the house of Ish-Bosheth, and they arrived there in the heat of the day while he was taking his noonday rest. 6They went into the inner part of the house as if to get some wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rekab and his brother Baanah slipped away.

 7 They had gone into the house while he was lying on the bed in his bedroom. After they stabbed and killed him, they cut off his head. Taking it with them, they traveled all night by way of the Arabah. 8They 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.”

 9 David answered Rekab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, 10 when someone told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news! 11How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!”

 12 So David gave an order to his men, and they killed them. They cut off their hands and feet and hung the bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-Bosheth and buried it in Abner’s tomb at Hebron.

Questions

  1. How is Ish-Bosheth killed?
  2. How is his death both good and evil?
  3. What kind of character does David show upon hearing the news?
  4. Does a death penalty decrease murder?
  5. How has God used liars, cheats or thieves to further his plan for your life?
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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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11 Responses to When the Unrighteous Work Out God’s Plans

  1. Rebecca Langer says:

    1.How is Ish-Bosheth killed?
    He is murdered in his own house by two men.
    2.How is his death both good and evil?
    It is evil because David promised not to kill Saul’s descendendents, and he was brutally murdered. It was good because it eliminated some of the competition for David for the throne.
    3.What kind of character does David show upon hearing the news?
    He shows good character by staying true to his word.
    4.Does a death penalty decrease murder?
    well, in some states it does, but here it does not.
    5.How has God used liars, cheats or thieves to further his plan for your life?
    I cannot rightly remember a time when this was the case. :/

  2. Amy Kringle says:

    1. He was stabbed in the stomach and then got his head cut off.
    2. Its bad b/c it shows that we are presently under the rule of evil and it is good b/c it fulfills God’s plan.
    3. He responded by saying the man should be put to death for killing the man.
    4. yes…if it is actually enforced.
    5. probably to grow me and realize what i should not be like.

  3. Melisa Guiles says:

    1, He is stabbed in the stomach.
    2. It is good because it allows David to assume the kingship that God had given to him, but it is bad because Ish-Bosheth was innocent.
    3. He shows that he is not one to rejoice when his enemies suffer.
    4. I guess it might in some ways, but I think that there will always be people out there that are going to murder others no matter laws are in place.
    5. I can’t really think of a time when this happened to me.

  4. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. He was stabbed in the stomach.
    2. it is good because it unified Israel under David’s reign as king. it was evil because Ish-Bosheth was innocent.
    3. He showed that he was loyal to the house of Saul.
    4. I don’t think so…
    5. to teach me that everyone will be accountable for their actions.

  5. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. He was killed in his own house, stabbed while he was resting.
    2. It was good in that it allowed for David to rightfully have the thone, it was evil in that he was an innocent man murdered.
    3. David shows his very honorable character as when he finds out he is furious for what has been done verses thinking of it as a lucky thing for him.
    4. I guess a death penalty might decrease murder, but I don’t know.
    5. God has used my parents’ divorce even though an ungodly thing to shape me and to teach me many things about himself.

  6. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) Rekab and Baanah slipped into his bedroom and stabbed him to death.
    2) It is good because it allows David, a godly king, to rule, but it is evil because these men resort to murder to make this happen instead of waiting for God’s solution.
    3) He reminds the men how he resonded when he heard that Saul died, and once again, he ordered that these men who took Ish-bosheth’s life be killed. This show’s the respect and obedience David has for the Lord.
    4) I don’t necessarily think the death penalty would decrease murder. Anytime that someone has enough hatred to kill someone, they are probably not going to consider the consequenses invovled, and most murderers end up taking their own life anyways.
    5) I can’t think of a specific time where this has happened.

  7. 1. He was stabbed to death.
    2. Good because it allows David to be king, bad because he did not deserve to die.
    3. He shows that he is respectful and wholesome.
    4. I think it should, logically.
    5. Hmmm. I guess people from my past– like, past people that tried to harm me in some way… God ended up delivering me from the situations or allowed me to go through them but never left my side because of His faithfulness.

  8. Moon Jung Kim says:

    1.How is Ish-Bosheth killed? Rekab and Baanah stabbed Ish-Bosheth in his stomach.
    2.How is his death both good and evil? Ish-Bosheth were against David, so his death was good news. the other hand what Rekab and Baanah reported their murder was bad news
    3.What kind of character does David show upon hearing the news? what David hated murder (even he hated murdering his enemy) shows justice toward human value that God has made.
    4.Does a death penalty decrease murder? I am not sure.But I guess.. a death penalty comes as a consequence of the crime; (after the crime happened), which means that it does not certainly deter the motivation of the crime, then it can not prevent the crime… therefore a death penalty does not certainly decrease murder.
    5.How has God used liars, cheats or thieves to further his plan for your life?
    …… when i saw those people around me, it made me think i would not do the bad things as those people.

  9. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.How is Ish-Bosheth killed?
    – Rekab and Baanah killed Ish-Bosheth while he was taking a noonday rest.
    2.How is his death both good and evil?
    – It was conducive for making David as king over whole Israel but it was also evil since the death took place by men’s wicked intention.
    3.What kind of character does David show upon hearing the news?
    – He’s innocence and justice are seen in thie event.
    4.Does a death penalty decrease murder?
    – It could have temporary decrease but not in the long run, but if manmade-law and penalty could decrease men’s sinful nature, we wouldn’t need Jesus.
    5.How has God used liars, cheats or thieves to further his plan for your life?
    – God taught me that how important continuous prayer is.

  10. Grace Yoo says:

    1. Ish-Bosheth was stabbed to death.

    2. His death is good because as a result David becomes king, and his death is also bad because he did not deserve to die.

    3. Upon hearing the news, David shows a character of respect and justice.

    4. I am not sure how a death penalty decreases murder.

    5. God has used liars, thieves, or cheats in my life to have me trust in Him more.

  11. aaron wright says:

    1 stabbed
    3 he killed the men who killed Ish Bosheth
    4. I dont believe so. I believe letting someone spend their life in jail would decrease murder. Your taking away their pain by killing them.
    5. He has used those people to help me grow to love them despite how they have treated me.

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