Opening Prayer

I praise you Lord. There is no power on earth like yours. You have done wondrous things.

Read 2 SAMUEL 2:1-17

David Anointed King Over Judah

2 In the course of time, David inquired of the Lord. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked.

The Lord said, “Go up.”

David asked, “Where shall I go?”

“To Hebron,” the Lord answered.

So David went up there with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David also took the men who were with him, each with his family, and they settled in Hebron and its towns. Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah.

When David was told that it was the men from Jabesh Gilead who had buried Saul, he sent messengers to them to say to them, “The Lord bless you for showing this kindness to Saul your master by burying him. May the Lord now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this. Now then, be strong and brave, for Saul your master is dead, and the people of Judah have anointed me king over them.”

War Between the Houses of David and Saul

Meanwhile, Abner son of Ner, the commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ish-Bosheth son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim. He made him king over Gilead, Ashuri and Jezreel, and also over Ephraim, Benjamin and all Israel.

10 Ish-Bosheth son of Saul was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he reigned two years. The tribe of Judah, however, remained loyal to David. 11 The length of time David was king in Hebron over Judah was seven years and six months.

12 Abner son of Ner, together with the men of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, left Mahanaim and went to Gibeon. 13 Joab son of Zeruiah and David’s men went out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. One group sat down on one side of the pool and one group on the other side.

14 Then Abner said to Joab, “Let’s have some of the young men get up and fight hand to hand in front of us.”

“All right, let them do it,” Joab said.

15 So they stood up and were counted off—twelve men for Benjamin and Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, and twelve for David. 16 Then each man grabbed his opponent by the head and thrust his dagger into his opponent’s side, and they fell down together. So that place in Gibeon was called Helkath Hazzurim.[a]

17 The battle that day was very fierce, and Abner and the Israelites were defeated by David’s men.

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  1. 2 Samuel 2:16 Helkath Hazzurim means field of daggers or field of hostilities.

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.


‘Jesus was killed like Saul, so he could reign like David.’1 May we follow God’s lead, to search after God wholeheartedly and with purity of heart.

Think Further

After Saul’s tragic fall and with his son (Ish-Bosheth) ruling Israel, God’s people are divided. Many are loyal to the house of Judah, others are still loyal to Saul’s line. But God is moving, as he always does with his people, just beyond our comprehension or time span. This passage opens ‘In the course of time …’ How hard it is, when we desire God’s plans and next steps, to face the frustration of preparation and the fullness of time. David’s patience shows his heart and obedience. He asks God, ‘Shall I go?’ I am sure that, over the waiting period, he would often have prayed, ‘Lord, what now?’ Eventually the Lord says, ‘Go.’ Again, when many would have seen ‘Go up’ as enough, David once more seeks the direction of God: ‘Where shall I go?’ (v 1).

This is a challenge to us, as churches and individuals: do we seek God’s direction when we hit the impasse, or do we ask it before we set out? David is sent to Hebron and he goes – obviously, we may say; but are there times when we know God is sending us to pray, speak, or act for him but we close our hearts, allowing the flesh to quench the Spirit? Hebron was important as the resting place of Abraham and his family and as the city given to Caleb as his inheritance.2 This was a special place for the people of God, as they sought after God’s heart, through trials and triumphs. This was home. David and his men were no longer fugitives. His loyal men, too, had suffered, but now they would reign with him. Holding unswervingly to God’s way is often hard. Be encouraged – he is faithful.


What are your plans for today? Do they coincide with God’s? Have you asked him, as ‘Lord’, for the day’s directions, warnings, and promises: ‘Where shall I go, Lord?’

Closing prayer

Merciful Father, keep open the ears of my spirit to hear your voice, but keep me deaf to the voices that call me away from you.

Last Updated on June 29, 2023 by kingstar

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