Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
2 Samuel 4:1 (NIV)
When Ish-Bosheth son of Saul heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he lost courage, and all Israel became alarmed.
2 Samuel 4:1(MSG)
Saul’s son, Ish-Bosheth, heard that Abner had died in Hebron. His heart sank. The whole country was shaken.
“When Saul’s son Ish-bosheth [king of Israel], heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he lost courage, and all Israel was horrified.”
News of the death of Abner finally reaches Ish-Bosheth, the son of Saul. When he heard the news of the downfall of his general, his right hand man, he panicked. Scripture tells us that he lost all courage. The Amplified footnote uses the term that his hands hung slack. In other words, he was so over-come with fear that he did not even know what to do. Abner had been his support and go-to-guy; he depended on him. Now he was just a feeble, inefficient prince who had few of those qualities required for a sovereign to reign over a kingdom. (He felt doomed.)
The interesting thing is that once Ish-Bosheth fell into this mentality, once he let this fear overcome him, all of Israel was affected and felt that same fear. They did not know what the end of all of this might be; nor did they had any confidence in Ish-Bosheth. No one knew who to turn to or what the outcome of this fiasco was going to be.
The totally horrifying, strange thing is that no one even mentioned the need for all of Israel to seek God in this turbulent, upsetting time; no one. Instead of turning to and focusing on the One, True God, the Great “I AM” they all panicked. Fear is a sure sign that one is not trusting in God; for it is the opposite of trust.
It was King Solomon who penned these words that we all need to make our life motto:
“Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].” -Proverbs 3:5-6 (AMP)
God’s message to all is this, “Fear not!” He tells us in the book of Isaiah, “Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].’” -Isaiah 41:10 (AMP)
Jesus told His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]” -John 14:27 (AMP)
Take courage my friend and trust in God!
Lord, help me to always put my trust in you and not be afraid. Too often my eyes wander to the circumstances and my focus goes off of you. At that instance, when my eyes leave you, I always wind up in a heap of trouble. Forgive me for not trusting, Lord. Fill me with your peace and help me to find my courage in you.