2 Samuel 3:6-4:12: Power struggle


  • Abner
  • Joab
  • David


The change of governments and especially civil war is a hard time for any government. The corruption, the ambitions of men, the manipulations, blackmail, negotiations, the deceit, the murder and all this mixed with civil war. This is what we find in our portion. Yet the will of God triumphs, the promises of God come to pass.

Why do we have the details in the 7 ½ year period before David becomes king recorded? To show that God’s promises will triumph; but not without a lot of interference and trouble along the way. One commentator in surveying these chapters tells us that the section clearly teaches us three things:

  1. No kingdom can overcome the kingdom (Abner, Chap. 2)
  2. No folly can thwart the kingdom (Joab, Chap. 3)
  3. No injustice can establish the kingdom (Baanah and Rechab, Chap. 4)

The ambition, the folly, and the injustice of man do not produce the kingdom of God, but nor can they overthrow it. These three points revolve around the three main characters we want to look at, Abner, Joab and David. The true main character in all of this though is God who brings His sovereign purposes to pass despite the sinfulness of man. Let us look at these three men as it leads to the point David will become king.