Summary: Wait on God. His timetable is not always the same as ours. His ways are different from ours. God's concern is not in bringing us to a destination but in transforming us into the likeness of His Son.
Now that Saul the King has died, we would expect a smooth transition and David to be made King, as God has so promised.
• Since this has been God’s plan all along, we thought everything would be neat and tidy. But it’s not going to be so.
• God can work in ways that are different and in a manner that we do not expect.
Let’s read what happened next – 2 Sam 2:1-7
David was in Ziklag when he asked God if he should return back to Israel.
• We would think that this was something expected, and you do not need to ask God, since Saul is now dead.
• But David has learned from past experiences, NOT TO PRESUME to know what is right.
• God said YES and directed him to HEBRON.
The people made him King over the territory surrounding Hebron. Jabesh Gilead came also under his rule. [See Map]
In the meantime… - 2 Sam 2:8-11.
Abner took Saul’s surviving son and fled to Mahanaim, and made him King.
• Saul and his 3 older sons were killed at Mount Gilboa by the Philistines.
• So Ish-Bosheth ruled over the major part of the Northern region (green).
Israel was divided – one run by the remnant of Saul’s house, and the other by David.
• The co-existed amiably, until something unfortunate happened.
• Abner (Saul’s commander) proposed some sort of a tournament or contest, and challenged Joab (David’s commander) to a contest – read 2 Sam 2:14-17.
This was an unnecessary game. It not only caused the death of 24 contestants, but led to an all-out fight between both sides – read 2 Sam 2:18-3:1.
This was a messy time in Israel. David was made to govern JUDAH from Hebron for 7½ years (2:11), while Ish-Bosheth rules the North.
• When would David be made King over the nation, as promised? 2 Sam 5:1-2.
In real life, chapters 2-4 is not what I would like to see. If God has promised, then many would prefer to connect chapter 1 neatly with chapter 5.
• Why must there be some more delay? Why must there be so much messy conflict?
• With Saul out of the scene, just put David neatly on the throne and fulfil Your promise.
• Those are the questions we would ask for our own lives.
The problem is, God’s time-table is not always the same as ours. God’s way is not the same as ours.
• The fact is, David has already waited some 15 years from the time he was first anointed by Samuel, to the day Saul died, clearing the throne for him.
• And for most part of that 15 years, it was hardship and adversity.
• Now that Saul is dead, David has to wait for another 7½ years before he could see God’s promise being fulfilled in his life.
And he has to contend with the remnant of Saul’s family.
• He will not fight them or exterminate them. He has made a promise to Saul when he had a chance to kill him in the cave back in 1 Sam 24.
• David promised Saul that he “will not cut off his descendants or wipe out his name from his father’s family.” (1 Sam 24:21). David will keep his oath to Saul.