Summary: Be patient with God. Don't take matters into your own hands. Give God time. Focus on the Person of God, and not the promises.
Let me ask you this: Do you know how long it takes to hatch an egg? 21 days.
• Is there a way for us to shorten the days? Can we do something to speed it up?
• I’m afraid not. Speed up the process and we would spoil what God is doing.
Most of us have a problem waiting for God to fulfil His will.
• It is our prayer, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” but we can’t wait.
• We cannot wait for the egg to hatch. That’s too long. We need to speed things up. We help to crack the egg.
• We think we are smart, but in the process, we kill the chick.
The problem is, we don’t see any GOOD in the wait. In fact, we believe nothing good come out of the waiting.
• If we are going to think that way, we will not only lose trust in God, we are going to mess things up.
• We will take things into our own hands, trying to resolve the problem. We want to “help God” fulfil His will, as if He is not capable of doing that.
• This is what we are going to see today in 2 Samuel 4.
Last week we saw the tragic death of Abner, the commander of Saul’s house.
• He lived a life without any regard for God, driven only by his vain conceit and selfish ambition, and eventually came to a fruitless end.
• We want to live a life guided by God’s agenda, driven by God’s purpose – to know Him and do His will.
Nothing can compensate that – not prestige, power, position, possessions or the pleasures of life.
• King Solomon says, without the fear of God, everything is meaningless, utterly meaningless (Eccl 1:2).
• Without God, life is motion without meaning, activity without direction, and events without reason (Rick Warren).
Now Abner is gone. We are left with a puppet King, Ish-Bosheth, and in the eyes of many, he should not even be there. Let’s read 2 Sam 4:1-12.
Two men decided to take matters into their own hands and help remove the useless King. That would speed things up and resolve the problem.
• They obviously believe that they have the better plan for Israel. Ish-Bosheth ought to go and make way for David.
• They cut off his head and travelled all night to bring it to David (v.7). They were eager and excited about telling David:
2 Sam 4:8 “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 take your life. This day the LORD has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring."
They thought they were doing David a favour. They believed they were also doing God a favour.
• “This day the Lord has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.” (v.8) How? By our assassination!
• They’ve taken matters into their own hands, and tagged God’s Name to it.
DON’T TAKE MATTERS INTO YOUR OWN HANDS
They thought they had Saul’s household exterminated, but they were wrong.
• The author reveals in 2 Sam 4:4 in parenthesis: (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 crippled. His name was Mephibosheth.)
• These men were mistaken. Saul has a grandson who was still alive.
David was angry that the men had done such an evil by killing an innocent man and that being Saul’s son!
• He told them what happened to the Amalekite man who killed Saul (2 Sam 1) and came running to him with his crown (in Ziklag).
• They made the same mistake of thinking that they had done David and God a favour, and they were similarly executed.
David would have no part in seizing the throne for himself, not even when God has given him the promise. He submits to God and waits.
• This is not an easy lesson for many. It takes humility to know that you are not the one running the show. It takes trust to let God take His time.
Remember SARAH, Abraham’s wife. God promised her a child but she could not wait any longer, being 76 years old and still childless (Gen 16).
• She came up with a plan to help God fulfil His promise and urged Abraham to have a child through her maidservant (a common practice in that culture).
• It looks workable at first (it usually does, at the beginning). That’s just man’s wisdom. Genesis 16 tells us very soon the relationship between the childless Sarah and the expectant Hagar became very sour. Jealousy and bitterness sets in, and Sarah did not see it coming.