When David was waiting for his throne, a young man came to report Saul's death, indicating that he was the one who had done the killing at Saul's request. The young man was lying, hoping to gain favor with David. David would have none of it, however, and ordered the young man executed since he didn't have the sense in David's mind not to kill God's anointed. Now this week, we see two men who decided to operate in the same spirit but this time they were the ones who took the king's life who was standing between David and the promise of God. Let's see what David did this time.
David's house had been at war with Saul's descendants after David became king of Judah. Saul's son Ish-bosheth was in the throne when we read,
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. They 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. 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. 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” (2 Samuel 4:5-8).
We aren't told why they did this. Perhaps they were tired of the instability and fighting between the tribes. It's more likely that they were hoping to gain some favored position in David's administration by taking matters into their own hands and putting Saul's house out of its misery, for it was inevitable that they would be removed from the throne once and for all.
This was one more test for David. Would he look the other way? Was he tired of waiting and ready to get it over with and get on with leading the kingdom? Would he indirectly take matters into his own hands and do what probably every other kingdom would have done at that point in history? David didn't fall into any of those traps as we read in the narrative that follows.
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Those two assassins must have been surprised when they heard David say,
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, 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! How 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!” 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 (2 Samuel 4:9-12).
I waited 15 years to become the lead pastor in a church. In the early days, I was eager and anxious, and did what I could to promote myself and my chances of becoming a leader. Then one day, I had a dream of a gravestone with my name on it, which will certainly get one's attention. When I sought the interpretation, I felt like the Lord was saying, "I want you to work here, in this city and in this church, like it's your last assignment—like you're going to die here." And so that's what I did for 11 years after that.
Then at the end of those 11 years, someone offered me a pastoral position in a wonderful city, but I said no. Then they asked me again, but I said no again—and meant it. God had so dealt with my leadership drive that I refused to take matters out of His hands and into my own. Then on the third occasion, I was asked and said perhaps. From there, God opened the doors and I found myself the pastor of a church in Orlando, Florida. I had waited more than a decade, and the last three invitations were a test to see if I had truly released my desires and timetable to the Lord's purpose. I think that's similar to David's final test with the two assassins. He had so released his ambition to the Lord that he wasn't about to take matters into his own hands or allow others to do so.
Are you waiting for your throne? Have you thought of giving up or accepting any throne just so you will feel like progress is being made? I urge you to continue to prepare like your throne is imminent (that's what I did during those 11 years) but at the same time leaving the timing of your promotion in His hands. That way, you'll be ready when the door opens but won't be guilty of kicking the door in before it swings open or unlocks before you. David waited and didn't allow anyone to take away the privilege of God personally escorting him to his throne. I encourage you to do the same, for God needs no help in giving you the place He has hand in mind for you since the beginning of time. Have a blessed week!