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Violence and the Kingdom of God

September 22, 2018

The sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, and about the heat of the day they came to the house of Ish-bosheth as he was taking his noonday rest. 2 Samuel 4:5

After Abner’s death, two men by the names of Baanah and Rechab take center stage in the story. These men were “captains of raiding bands” (4:2), so they had prominent positions in Ish-bosheth’s army.

With the death of Abner, it may be that these two were the next in line. And as the house of Saul became weaker and weaker, these men realized that they had a problem. They were on the wrong side. “What will happen to us when we fall into the hands of David, whose rule we have resisted and whose reign we have opposed?”

They knew that they were going down, so they decided to do something that, they thought, would put them in good standing with David.

Here we have the record of yet another cold-blooded murder. Baanah and Rechab walked into the house of the king as if they were going to pick up supplies (4:6). They went into Ish-bosheth’s bedroom and killed him while he was lying on his bed. Then they took the head of Ish-bosheth to present as a trophy to David (4:7).

These men assume that David is like them, that he will rejoice in what they have done, and that he will reward them greatly. After all, have they not opened the way for David to inherit the kingdom? But Christ’s kingdom does not advance through acts of violence.

In a world that often only cares about what will work, Christ calls us to care about what is right. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Mat. 6:33).

Examine your heart to see if you care more about success than righteousness.

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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