2 Samuel 3:6-21 (Part 3) – A Royal Reminder of Divorce’s Affect On Our Kids

Posted: May 20, 2018 in Book of 2 Samuel

2 Samuel 3:6-21 (Part 3 of 3)
Abner Joins Forces with David

No matter how you slice it divorce has its consequences that effect families for generations. Even if you are living in a loveless marriage, an abusive marriage, or whatever, it has its consequences. Even if it is best for everyone involved to admit a mistake was made and move on, divorce has its consequences. It is usually the kids that pay the cost. That is why it is important for us to allow God to choose our spouse for us rather that let our families or our own passions determine who we marry.

Unless you were living under a rock for the last week, you know that yesterday was the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Prince Harry is a modern day example of the affects of divorce on children. Because his mother thought she married for love and found out that her husband did not, it was a marriage set for disaster from the beginning. The royal requirements of the time called for Prince Charles to marry a virgin single woman who could bear him children quickly and who was of noble heritage. Diana fit the bill perfectly. She came from a family with a background of noble heritage. She was young, single, never been married, and was a virgin. However, such things are not the basis of God’s idea of marriage. In the royal idea of marriage, women were nothing more that breeders to continue the royal line. Love really had nothing to do with it. Diana, being naïve, thought Charles really loved her. These conflicting senses of what marriage was about set up the relationship for divorce. It was not founded in love. It was not founded in mutual love for one another. Respect for one another. And honor God’s ideal of a man and a woman becoming one soul who face the world together in unity and love. God’s ideal for marriage is more than just sex. It is a union of souls where the man and woman subject themselves to the marriage and make it bigger than their individual needs and desires as an human example of how we subject ourselves to God’s dominion over our lives. That is why God’s standard of marriage is greater than ours. That is why marriages based on God’s biblical principles last and marriages entered into for any other reason do not. Marriages based on sexual attraction alone do not last. Marriages arranged because the marriage is of political or monetary advantage do not last. Marriages arranged just so the couple can have kids is not God’s ideal either.

As we saw Harry grow up, he saw his mom’s marriage disintegrate before his very eyes. The divorce was ugly and public. Although we praise Diana as a great princess who changed the way the British throne views marriages and as a great humanitarian, she played as great a role in making the divorce a public relations disaster as did Prince Charles with his oh not so subtle relationship with Camila. After the divorce, Diana kind of went wild with dating men wealthy men who would piss off the royal family. All the games of one-up-manship between her and Charles was a childish game that drew more and more attention to Diana and that in part contributed to her death, not the least of which was getting into a car with a drunken driver just to sneak away from the press. However, the high profile of the divorce and her subsequent death all came together to send Harry into a tailspin for much of his pre-teen and teen years. It was not until he went into the military that he regained his footing and became the engaging young man with a desire to continue to the humanitarian legacy of his mother that he is today. But there for a while, you saw the classic child of divorce. Divorce itself is almost like a death in the family. The bedrock of children’s lives are changed and forever altered. They no longer have that foundation that they can count on in an uncertain world. Harry acted out in his teen years and early twenties. He was a party bad boy. He had scrapes with the law and other people. If he had not been royal, he would have been arrested several times. It took him a long time to get over (1) his parents divorce and (2) his mother’s death.

It is a modern day example of the affect that marriage for the wrong reason has on kids and the long-term consequences that divorce has on children. It is a reminder that marriage should be based on the godly reason of agape love for a member of the opposite sex that provides the basis for family and long-term love that is unconditional, strong, and weathers the storms of life. I know that my own children were affected in numerous ways by the divorce of their mother and me. Even now, they show the effects of it in how they react to life. My youngest still is seeking to find her way in life because of, not solely, but in part due to nasty nature of the divorce by her mother toward me. My oldest is a peacekeeper and often does not stand up for herself because she wants everyone to get along, not solely, but, in part, due to the divorce’s mean spirit. Her mother made it her life’s work to hate me after our divorce. It affected my daughters in opposite ways – much like the princely children of Diana and Charles. We can claim that divorce has no long term effects on our children but it is just not true.

As I watched the highlights of the wedding last night, I thought about the divorce of Harry’s parents and the effects that it had on his life. I thought about the fact that marriage for the wrong reasons lead to divorce. 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 Michal had been married to David. If you remember correctly, Saul had arranged the marriage as a reward for David’s acts of bravery (1 Samuel 17:25, 18:24-27) Later, in one of his jealous fits, Saul took Michael away from David and forced her to marry (1 Samuel 25:44). Now, David wanted his wife back before he would begin to negotiate peace with the northern tribes. Perhaps, David still loved her. Perhaps, more likely, he thought that the marriage to Saul’s daughter would strengthen his claim to rule all Israel and demonstrate he held no animosity toward the house of Saul. Palti was an unfortunate victim caught up in the web of Saul’s jealousy.

Palti was a sad victim of a political game over marriage. He was the unlucky pawn in a marriage game. Marriage here was nothing but a political game just as the marriage of Charles and Diana where Harry and William were the fallout victims. My children were the victims in my divorce from their mother. Marriage for any other reason that godly love is going to lead to disaster.

We often mistake passion today for love. We often mistake biological clock reasons for love. We do not listen to God when it comes to marriage. We should be praying for God to bring us the mate that He intends for us. We should be slow to marry and wait for God to reveal who that person is. We should pray that he brings us someone who complements us, who challenges us, who will love us through thick and thin, who will join us in making our marriage greater than us individually. We must see that someone we fall in love with and project 10 years, 20 years down the road, without the clouds of passion and see if that is a person we are compatible with. My mother always told be that when looking for a wife, I should determine if that person is some I can be best friends with in the living room as much as in the bedroom. Let us be the generation that returns marriage to God. Let us be the generation that seeks to marry those whom God has ordained for us. Let us seek God advice when we are seeking a mate. Let us seek marriages for the long haul and not just til someone better comes along. Let us fight for our marriages.

 

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