Opening Prayer

Lord God, there are so many places in Scripture where I can see myself in other’s weaknesses and sins. Thank you for your Word that enlightens me, convicts me, and changes me.

Read 2 SAMUEL 4

Ish-Bosheth Murdered

4 When Ish-Bosheth son of Saul heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he lost courage, and all Israel became alarmed. 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, because the people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim and have resided there as foreigners to this day.

(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.)

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.”

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! 11 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!”

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.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


May we read and respond to today’s words with honesty and integrity, focus on God’s holiness, and confess.

Think Further

Another murder, another killing! It’s difficult reading of violent act after violent act. Such acts, even though extreme, displayed the work of the enemy – and today, also, the sinful nature which controls so many of our own desires and actions. We cannot judge others. As Paul declared, all of us have fallen short and sinned before God.1 Thankfully, when we seek the Lord with all our heart and in repentance, salvation flows freely.

Notice that Ish-Bosheth was murdered (v 11, GNB), whereas David’s act is described as killing (v 12), an important distinction: one is unjust, the other just. David, throughout our readings, refuses to be associated with any actions that would contradict his master – the living God. Unsurprisingly then, when he is brought Ish-Bosheth’s head (as with Saul’s death), he is not grateful but incensed that others would insult his integrity as a man of God. David shows great consistency and the Lord himself sees this in advising Solomon later: ‘if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father.’2 Are we serving the Lord with wholehearted integrity, seeking glory for him alone, or are we searching for more for ourselves, more power and control over others? Beware, for this account reminds us of a God who clearly looks into and knows our hearts and acts with unswerving holy righteousness.


Think through your relationships, especially online ones. Are you using anyone to elevate yourself? What safeguards and accountabilities do you have in place to protect your integrity?

Closing prayer

Thank you, merciful Father that the ways you deal with me are always right, purposed to build my faith and bring me closer to my Savior.

Last Updated on July 3, 2023 by kingstar

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