2 Samuel 3:6-21 (Part 2) – Armchair Christians No Longer: The Time Has Come!

Posted: May 16, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel
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2 Samuel 3:6-21 (Part 2 of 3)
Abner Joins Forces with David

Do you or I have what it takes to stand up for what is right no matter if the political tide or popular opinion is against us? Never has this question been more important to Christians in America than it is now. Do we stand up for Christian values or do we cave in to public opinion and conform to the society even though biblical standards are in opposition to the general public’s view. As we grow further and further into a society that is biblically illiterate and a society that is often opposed to the Bible, it is a question we must answer, do we conform just to get people in the doors of our churches or do we stand on the Bible in areas where it is in opposition to the Bible?

We have been fortunate for centuries here in America to be able to worship Jesus Christ freely and for biblical values to be the norms and measure for societal will. That tide is changing and very noticeably in many areas as we become a country of slippery political correctness (afraid to offend anyone’s preferences) rather a nation whose values are based on the timeless and absolute morals enumerated in the Bible. We see denominations of Protestant Christianity deviating from bedrock theology developed over the millenniums of Judeo-Christian history just to seem relevant to a society that has departed from biblical values. We see people who do stand on their Christian values castigated publicly for their out-of-step values and sometimes, like in Oregon bakery owners’ case a few years, even prosecuted for standing on their biblical convictions.

We have been fortunate but the time is coming where we will have to make a choice to be unpopular as Christians or to cave into public pressure and join in the politically correct parade. The time for armchair Christians is coming to an end. There will be a day when saying that you are a Christian will be a liability for us in this country rather than a neutral or positive trait. We have taken for granted our freedom to be Christians for so long and it has cost us nothing for so long, will we be prepared for the day when saying you are a Christian or standing firm on Christian values may cause you to lose your job, may cause you to be jailed, or, worse yet, cause you to be killed. Are we ready for those days? In some ways, those days are already starting. Are we ready as the tide of political correctness towers over us like a wave crashing ashore in Hawaii? Are we ready to stand against the tide? There is an old saying that is applicable to this idea. It goes “if you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Do we cave in on accepting behaviors that are clearly anti-biblical just so that we can fit in to society with the least amount of inconvenience? Or do we have the guts to stand out like the prophets of old speaking to Israel in the Old Testament? The day is coming where being a Christian will be inconvenient and even deadly. How many of us will go to church when going to church will get you arrested? How many of us will have the spiritual conviction that North Korean Christians and Chinese Christians have about holding their secret house churches when the threat of arrest and imprisonment is ever present? Do we have that kind of guts to stand against that which is against God’s Word? I pray that when it really counts that you and I both have that conviction to stand on God’s Word no matter the cost.

With that idea in mind, let us read this passage now:

6 As the war between the house of Saul and the house of David went on, Abner became a powerful leader among those loyal to Saul. 7 One day Ishbosheth,[a] Saul’s son, accused Abner of sleeping with one of his father’s concubines, a woman named Rizpah, daughter of Aiah.

8 Abner was furious. “Am I some Judean dog to be kicked around like this?” he shouted. “After all I have done for your father, Saul, and his family and friends by not handing you over to David, is this my reward—that you find fault with me about this woman? 9 May God strike me and even kill me if I don’t do everything I can to help David get what the Lord has promised him! 10 I’m going to take Saul’s kingdom and give it to David. I will establish the throne of David over Israel as well as Judah, all the way from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south.” 11 Ishbosheth didn’t dare say another word because he was afraid of what Abner might do.

12 Then Abner sent messengers to David, saying, “Doesn’t the entire land belong to you? Make a solemn pact with me, and I will help turn over all of Israel to you.”

13 “All right,” David replied, “but I will not negotiate with you unless you bring back my wife Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come.”

14 David then sent this message to Ishbosheth, Saul’s son: “Give me back my wife Michal, for I bought her with the lives[b] of 100 Philistines.”

15 So Ishbosheth took Michal away from her husband, Palti[c] son of Laish. 16 Palti followed along behind her as far as Bahurim, weeping as he went. Then Abner told him, “Go back home!” So Palti returned.

17 Meanwhile, Abner had consulted with the elders of Israel. “For some time now,” he told them, “you have wanted to make David your king. 18 Now is the time! For the Lord has said, ‘I have chosen David to save my people Israel from the hands of the Philistines and from all their other enemies.’” 19 Abner also spoke with the men of Benjamin. Then he went to Hebron to tell David that all the people of Israel and Benjamin had agreed to support him.

20 When Abner and twenty of his men came to Hebron, David entertained them with a great feast. 21 Then Abner said to David, “Let me go and call an assembly of all Israel to support my lord the king. They will make a covenant with you to make you their king, and you will rule over everything your heart desires.” So David sent Abner safely on his way.

In this passage, we see that Ishbosheth may have been right to speak out against Abner’s behavior, but he didn’t have the moral strength and character to maintain his authority (see 2 Samuel 3:11). Lack of moral backbone in the kings of Israel become the root of the nation’s problems over the next four centuries. In the upcoming books of the Old Testament, we will see that only 4 kings after the kingdom split in two out of a total of 40 kings were called “good” by the Scriptures. It takes courage and strength to stand firm in your convictions and to confront wrongdoing in the face of opposition. When you believe something is wrong, do not let yourself be talked out of your position. Firmly attack wrongdoing and uphold what is right.

Here, Ishbosheth was afraid of Abner more than he was willing to stand on his convictions. That is where we stand today as American Christians. We have the choice to cave in to the mounting pressure to adjust our values to meet the popular mood of our country or to stand against the tide when it is in opposition to the Bible. What we see today is just the beginning, I fear. Will we have what it takes? Will we stand up for biblical values when society glories in thumbing its nose at God? Will we quietly complain about where the country is headed but do nothing? Will we adjust our theology to adapt to the prevailing social sentiments and call it good and thereby water down and eliminate the values of Christianity? Or do we have the guts to take our values to the mat? Will we have the guts that Paul had to be willing to be stoned, imprisoned, marooned at sea, kept under house arrest and all the indignities that he suffered just so he could spread the gospel? Do we have those kind of guts?

My prayer is that when it really counts that you and I have what it takes? May we take the attitude of Paul that even in prison God has us where He wants us? May we have the attitude that even in persecution we can speak loudly for Jesus. May we have that kind of guts!

Amen and Amen.

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