"And Abner sent messengers to David where he was (at Hebron), saying, ‘Whose is the land? Make your league with me, and my hand shall be with you to bring all Israel over to you.' And David said, ‘Good. I will make a league with you. But I require one thing you.'"
II Samuel 3: 12, 13, Amplified Bible
"The Temptation To Threaten"
"Ourselves are the greatest snares to ourselves."
If I look over my life, was there a point when I made a seemingly minor choice to do something, and this one decision ended up leading me down a path I later regretted?
"I see no fault that I might not have committed myself."
Johannes Von Goethe
"Worst of all my foes, I fear the enemy within."
Even though I have read the Bible through before, I've never studied God's Word the way I do in Transformation Garden. This is why a chapter like II Samuel 3 is so interesting and illuminating -- to the point that I want to spend several days studying.
II Samuel 3: 12 - 39.
It would be easy to by-pass these verses because the stories about women that are contained in these passages are not prominent accounts that provide fodder for sermons. However, it is in the tiny details where we often find answers to bigger questions.
For example, if someone asked you to name David's wives, you might know the names of three women -- Michal, Abigail and Bathsheba. But this would be small compared to the number of wives David really had. And here's another question I've wondered about. How did a man who was called a "man after God's own heart," end up having an affair and committing murder? Do these things just happen?
Well, the answer is "NO!" This is why we are going to take time to study II Samuel 3 where we find out that the seeds of heartache were planted in Hebron long before they bloomed in the city of David. Temptation struck in the most insidious ways -- taking David off-guard.
First of all, in II Samuel 3, Abner turned his back on Saul's son Ishbosheth and threatened him by informing him that he was going to join David's side of the battle. If I had been David, I would have been afraid of getting into bed with the enemy, but instead David came up with a threat of his own to Abner.
The dictionary defines a "threat" as "retaliation or intimidation." Threatening behavior is used to grieve or annoy. And not only did Abner threaten Saul's son, but then, when he arrived with a back-stabbing proposition for David, David turned around and threatened Abner. David told Abner he'd play along with him if he (Abner) would bring him Michal. Here are David's exact words: "But I require one thing of you: that is, you shall not see my face unless you first bring Michal, Saul's daughter, when you come to see me" (II Samuel 3: 13 Amplified Bible).
It seems David had not forgiven or forgotten that King Saul had given his daughter, Michal, to another man -- even after marrying her off to David. So David used a threat to try to get Michal back.
This technique is frequently used in our world today. And if there is any characteristic I try to keep out of my life, it is threatening behavior.
In 1170, Thomas Becket, who was Chancellor of England and later became Archbishop of Canterbury was murdered in a cathedral. Here are the words he penned regarding those who would try to use "threats" in order to change his thinking:
"I have committed my cause to the Great Judge of all mankind, so I am not threatened or moved by swords."
David would have done a lot better in his life if he had chosen not to use threats at all. He should never have fallen prey to the temptation to use threats toward others. What David learned way too quickly was that "Vices are more costly than their virtues." (Thomas Brooks). We would do well to learn the same.
"Incline my heart to Your commands, and not to selfish gain; turn away my eyes from looking at vain things; as I walk in Your way, give me life."
Psalm 119: 36, 37
"When I want to run - hold me,
When I want to turn away -- turn me round
When I want to hide -- race me
to my hiding place and win.When I want to hurt others --defect my aim.
When I want to hurt myself -- love me.
When I cry, grab me quickly and
rock me safely in Your arms."
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus is available where Christian books are sold. They can also be purchased through Paypal at www.transformationgarden.com or by calling our office toll-free at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.