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Dealing with Scandals—Part 1: Tell the Truth

September 17, 2018

When David heard of it, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever guiltless before the Lord for the blood of Abner the son of Ner. May it fall upon the head of Joab…” 2 Samuel 3:28-29

Joab, the commander of David’s army, was out on a raid when Abner came to visit David. When Joab returned and learned about the visit, he was furious (3:24), convinced that Abner came as a spy.

So Joab decided to take the law into his own hands, sending messengers after Abner, presumably in David’s name, telling him to come back to Hebron (3:26). Joab did this behind David’s back.

Since Abner had been shown grace in Hebron, he did not hesitate to return, but “Joab took him aside into the midst of the gate to speak with him privately, and there he struck him in the stomach, so that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother” (3:27).

This was a brutal revenge killing, a cold-blooded murder, a murder committed by the commander of his own army. It was an outrageous scandal in David’s kingdom.

How did David deal with this first scandal in his kingdom? David states the truth clearly, openly, and without evasion. There were two things people needed to know. First, was that this had nothing whatsoever to do with David (3:28). Second, that it was entirely on Joab who had taken the law into his own hands, motivated by a desire to avenge the death of his brother (3:30).

When there is a public scandal, the truth must be known.

Have you seen a scandal where the truth was handled well or handled poorly?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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