Abner, the commander of Saul’s armies was faithful to Saul’s family even after Saul’s death. But Saul’s family insulted him and he defected to David’s side planning to bring his troops with him. This would have saved many Israeli lives, brought peace to the kingdom and immediately established David as king over all of Israel.
But the commander of David’s army, Joab wanted to kill Abner to avenge the death of his brother that Abner had killed in battle. Without David knowing it Joab deceived Abner and killed him before peace could be established. Upon hearing of this, David says this interesting thing:
And today, though I am the anointed king, I am weak, and these sons of Zeruiah are too strong for me. May the Lord repay the evildoer according to his evil deeds!” (2 Samuel 3:39)
Do you ever feel helpless against evil people or situations in your life? Am I the only one that at times has wished I could stop being a king (Child of God) for just a few hours? “If I weren’t a Christian I could do this and then do that. But as a Christian I have to ‘turn the other cheek’, ‘bless those who do evil to me’, ‘pray for them’, love them.’ UGH! How can a king be so powerless to attack evil?”
Obviously David was not truly powerless. He could have punished Joab, even had him executed for his crime. But Joab’s mother, Zeruiah, was David’s sister. How could he inflict this grief on his own sister, who had just recently lost another son in battle? Yes, David could have taken matters into his own hands. He could have done something but it would not have been right and it would not have undone the evil that had already occurred.
As “anointed kings” (Disciples of Jesus) we can find ourselves feeling helpless against evil. “Praying for them’, “blessing them”, “turning the other cheek” just does not bring satisfaction to the old flesh nature that wants to retaliate. But David shows us what true kings do. He committed the evildoer to the Lord. He left it to God to judge – “May the Lord repay..” He retained his regal posture and placed his hope in the righteous judge of all the earth. Feel helpless? Put your hope in God.
1 Peter 2:23
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.