The Ugly Years

2 Samuel 2:1 – 4:12

The Book of 2nd Samuel is the book of David's 40 year reign

A) The book falls into TWO main divisions

David’s Triumphs in Ch.1-10

David’s troubles in Ch.13-24

B) In the first part we hail David's triumphs.... In the second part we hurt for his failures and troubles

C) David's great sin recorded in CHAPTER 11-12 marks the SAD divide in the book

1) Right in the middle of the book and the middle of his 40 years reign is his great fall!

Tonight pick up in Ch. 2 -4

A) I have titled this section the ugly yrs because there is not much good that take place during this time –

B) We see David seeking to Rest in the Lord and allow the Lord to place him on the throne

C) All the while that David is trying to rest and allow the Lord to lead –

1) there is this Power struggle going on all around him.

D) Starts on a Good Note: RD 1-3



Don’t you love it when David seeks the Lord like this?

A) You just know that it is the right thing to do.

Seek the Lord, ask Him for direction, let Him direct your steps. "Lord, should I go up to any of the cities of Judah?" The Lord says, "Go up"

"Where shall I go? & God answers, " go to Hebron"

I want you to see something here, notice that God doesn’t give David all of the information that he needed at once.

A) Lord should I go up to Judah? Yeah David goes up.

B) Okay Lord, but where, go to Hebron.

C) Why didn’t God just give him all of the information the first time, David, go up to Judah to the city of Hebron.

D) I’ll tell you why, God wanted the conversation to continue.

1) God wanted to talk with David a little longer.

When God doesn’t give us all of the answers that we want, it’s not because He is not listening, or doesn’t want to answer

A) God just wants to extend the conversation a little longer, He just wants the fellowship to keep on going.

B) God loves it when we are talking to Him!

C) God woke me up at 1am today - Talk about some things –

D) It is that type of thing that keeps us dependent on Him! Faith – He keeps us dependent!

4 Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying,"The men of Jabesh Gilead were the ones who buried Saul.

Now some of you might be thinking – wait didn’t Samuel already anoint David to be King?

A) Why is He being anointed again?

B) Listen: For every new assignment there is a need for a fresh filling of God’s Spirit.

1) For every tough new Challenge there is a fresh installment of God’s power!

C) The anointing of Samuel had carried David this

far, but now it was time for a fresh anointing, a fresh filling, for a fresh chapter in his life.

D) Disciples in Acts 2 – again in Acts 4 -

1) Eph 5:18 Be continually being filled!

E) For each new challenge / Season – need that empowering –

1) Don’t rely on Past fillings for today’s needs!

David’s first Act as King in Judah Rd v.5-7

A) So David’s first Act as King in Judah is to bless the men of Jabesh Gilead for their Kindness to Saul

B) After this the Power struggle begins – Rd v.8-11

C) The Power struggle begins when Abner who was Saul’s General takes Ishbosheth –

1) Saul’s only surviving son and makes him King over Israel – Northern tribes

D) David is in the South – Judah –

Ishbosheth is in the North

But in reality Ishbosheth was just a figure head / it is really Abner who is calling the shots

A) Interesting Picture emerges – See David was God choice to be king and to rule in the land

B) Abner is resisting – God’s rule for his life

1) So what does he do – He makes his own King!

C) People are still doing that today : Jesus wants to reign in our lives

1) He has been appointed by God to be our King

D) But people resist the Lords rule – they want to call the shots – do their own thing

1) So they make their own King – Job –

2) Hobby

3) Person – Excuses for why they can’t serve God

Winston Churchill was the tenacious & inspirational prime minister of England during World War II

A)After the tremendous allied victory he was once quoted as saying to a group of graduating students:

"Never, give up. Never, never, never give up"

B) That is very good advice in MOST situations

C) William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, & Alan Redpath, the great pastor and author,

1) They each said something that is quite contrary to the words of Churchill, yet is proven out in our text tonight.

William Booth: "The greatness of a man's power is the measure of his surrender."

Alan Redpath: Before we can pray, 'Thy kingdom come', we must be willing to pray, 'My kingdom go'.

D) Surrender is really the Key to God’s greatness!

But when a man/ woman refuses to surrender the

Fall out is always great! –

A) Affects your life and those around you.

B) Husband it isn’t just you who suffer but your family suffers from your rebellion

C) Wife: Refuse to submit – yield to God / Hubby

1) Not the only one that loses out – Family does

Kids grow up without a clear picture of the roles

Summarize the rest of Ch.2 – We see the Fallout of Abner’s refusing to be ruled by God.

A) Civil war breaks out – Joab – David’s nephew – the son of his sister Zeruiah [ 1 Chron. 2:13-16 ]

B) Joab was David’s General – the leader of his army

1) Two Brothers – Abishai & Asahel

C) There was no love lost between Joab and Abner – rivals for yrs – David’s fugitive time

1) Joab is incredibly LOYAL – also very ungodly – not the best guy for David to have around

D) Stood by David – covered for David- Uriah

1) Catered to David’s Fleshly side.


So Abner & Joab decide to hold a little contest


A) Have some of the young men square off – common practice in Middle Eastern culture

B) But this shows a complete disregard for human life!

C) This is a trait of a person who is running from the rule of God –

1) Love things & use people Vs Loving people and using things


D) Result is 24 young men die -

1) Battle Breaks out – Abner is on the Run Asahel is in hot pursuit

E) Abner warns – Abner Kills –

1) Joab is angered – Promises revenge

F) For the next 2 yrs in Israel these two sides are fighting with each other

1) It could all stop if Abner would just give into the rule of God – Accept David

Ch.3 Rd v.1-5

Here we see that David is adding wives – Wife #3 is Maacah – daughter of Talmai – King of Geshur

A) Son is Absalom

B) INTERESTING - Geshur was one of the tribes that David raided when he was living in Ziklag

C) He reaped BITTER fruit from this marriage

1) For Absalom was a son that would grow up and be a source of incredible heart ache

D) Absalom would REBEL against David

After Maacah we see wife #4,5,6

A) Understand that when the Bible mentions multiple wives it is doing so not as an endorsement

B) But rather a revealing of the Historical fact.

Deut 17:14-17

"When you come to the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say,'I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,'15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses……..16 But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you,'You shall not return that way again.'17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.


Although David was not punished directly by the Lord for his sin of multiplying wives

A) He did indeed reap the negative aspects of his sin

B) His multiply wives and the Children he fathered by them – were a major part of his TROUBLES

C) This goes to show us that it is possible to be blessed in one area of your life

1) Even though there is compromise in another area

D) The foolish thing is to think that – that compromise isn’t going to come back to bite you

1) Reap what you sow – David is a classic example of that –

Now the Story shifts once again to Abner – Rd v.6-11

So Ishbosheth accuses ABNER of improper relations with the Royal Concubine.

A) The accusation was a serious one: if true it would be considered an act of Treason, not just a moral offense

B) You see to take the wife or Concubine of a late Monarch was to appropriate his property and make a bid for the throne.

C) So Ishbosheth who was feeling threatened by Abner makes this accusation

NOTE: The response of Abner to Ishbosheth (which means "man of rottenness or shame )

A)In v 8 - Listen you "man of rottenness", you are treating me like a dog!!

B) I have stood by you......The only reason you are still in power is because of me and this is the thanks I get

1) you are treating me like a dog!!

STORY: Libby Riddles, who won a 1,135 mile Alaskan dog sled race said that she would use the $50,000 prize money for a trip to Hawaii for herself and a box of dog biscuits for her dogs

The dogs that pulled her over that 1,135 mile course..... She's going to Hawaii and they're getting some biscuits

Abner feels like this team of dogs

Application: You too will come to feel the same thing towards the leader of your life UNLESS you are being led by Jesus Christ { Sex/ drugs /work/ ministry

NOTE: The Bible says that IF you are NOT being led by Jesus, you are by default being led by Satan


Now we don’t know if Abner did this or not – He denies it and is greatly offended – PRIDE

A) So much so that He tells Ishbosheth that it is over –He is going to lead Israel to David.

B) He is going to defect to the other side and take the people with him!

C) Abner is going to do the right thing but for the wrong reasons –

1) He wants to hurt Ishbosheth rather than surrender to God’s rule

People are still doing this today- Turn to God for the wrong reasons

A) Not because realize sinner –

B) But because their fleshly plan is not working

1) God bail me out –

C) God in His grace will even do that –

1) But what He is still looking for is surrender!

Rd v.12-22

Plot thickens - Abner is joining David

Remember: Reap what Sow – RD v.23-27

Abner defects to David but it doesn’t make all his problems go away

A) Joab engineered the events carefully so that the murder happened outside the gate of Hebron

B) Why? Because Hebron was a city of refuge (Joshua 20:7)

1) Joab, as Asahel’s blood avenger, could not kill Abner inside the city

C) This makes Joab’s act all the worse; he knew that Abner had a rightful claim of self-defense

1) and was protected inside the city of Hebron; yet he killed him anyway

Joab’s act set a bad precedent; it gave David’s administration a reputation for brutality

and made it harder for David to win the rest of Israel over to his side

David’s Response: RD v. 28-39

A) David honors Abner & declares his own innocence in the matter by speaking Harshly of Joab.

B) he spoke harshly toward Joab – but he did nothing with his actions

C) Many lessons to learn from David –

1) He was a great leader – however – one of his areas of weakness was Discipline

D) He doesn’t Discipline Joab- He doesn’t Discipline his own kids


God’s leaders are not perfect – and yet they are still used greatly.

A) David’s discipline only seems to stretch toward those who were not in his immediate circle

B) Ch.4 once again reveals – Rd v.1-12

David acted with strict justice in this case also, not only to prove to the people that he had neither commanded nor approved of the murder,

But from heartfelt abhorrence of such crimes, and to keep his conscience void of offense towards God and towards man."

Surrender to the Rule of God

Filled with the Holy Spirit!