Summary: Have you ever faced a time when you felt powerless to handle a situation? Perhaps this sermon will help.

The Weakened Heart

2 Samuel 3:17-39

17 Now Abner had communicated with the elders of Israel, saying, "In time past you were seeking for David to be king over you.

18Now then, do it! For the LORD has spoken of David, saying, 'By the hand of My servant David, I will save My people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and the hand of all their enemies.' "

19And Abner also spoke in the hearing of Benjamin. Then Abner also went to speak in the hearing of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel and the whole house of Benjamin.

20So Abner and twenty men with him came to David at Hebron. And David made a feast for Abner and the men who were with him.

21Then Abner said to David, "I will arise and go, and gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your heart desires." So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.

22At that moment the servants of David and Joab came from a raid and brought much spoil with them. But Abner was not with David in Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace.

23When Joab and all the troops that were with him had come, they told Joab, saying, "Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he sent him away, and he has gone in peace."

24Then Joab came to the king and said, "What have you done? Look, Abner came to you; why is it that you sent him away, and he has already gone? 25Surely you realize that Abner the son of Ner came to deceive you, to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you are doing."

26And when Joab had gone from David's presence, he sent messengers after Abner, who brought him back from the well of Sirah. But David did not know it.

27Now when Abner had returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him privately, and there stabbed him in the stomach, so that he died for the blood of Asahel his brother.

28Afterward, when David heard it, he said, "My kingdom and I are guiltless before the LORD forever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner.

29Let it rest on the head of Joab and on all his father's house; and let there never fail to be in the house of Joab one who has a discharge or is a leper, who leans on a staff or falls by the sword, or who lacks bread."

30So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner, because he had killed their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.

31Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, "Tear your clothes, gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn for Abner." And King David followed the coffin.

32So they buried Abner in Hebron; and the king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept.

33And the king sang a lament over Abner and said: "Should Abner die as a fool dies?

34Your hands were not bound Nor your feet put into fetters;

As a man falls before wicked men, so you fell." Then all the people wept

over him again.

35And when all the people came to persuade David to eat food while it was

still day, David took an oath, saying, "God do so to me, and more also, if I

taste bread or anything else till the sun goes down!"

36Now all the people took note of it, and it pleased them, since whatever the

king did pleased all the people.

37For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it had not been

the king's intent to kill Abner the son of Ner.

38Then the king said to his servants, "Do you not know that a prince and a

great man has fallen this day in Israel?

39And I am weak today, though anointed king; and these men, the sons of

Zeruiah, are too harsh for me. The LORD shall repay the evildoer according

to his wickedness."

We pick up our examination of the life of David

in 2 Samuel chapter 3 at Verse 17.

After King Saul died,

David was crowned king of the tribe of Judah.

The other 11 tribes of Israel chose Ishbosheth, the 4th son of Saul.

The result is about 7 1/2 years of civil war,

as David gradually grows stronger

and Ishbosheth and Abner get weaker and weaker.

Finally Abner realizes that diplomacy is the answer.

Point #1. There are people who will twist the Scriptures to meet their needs.

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