|Ishbosheth becomes king of Israel|
Well the wait was over..... sort of. God told David to settle in Hebron, a city in Judah. While he was there, the citizens of Judah crowned David king.... but at the same time, Abner, one of the commanders of King Saul's army, was crowning Ishbosheth, another one of Saul's sons, king of Israel. Israel was divided into 12 tribes (12 sections). David was king over Judah and Ishbosheth was king over the other eleven tribes.
Abner was leading Israel's troops through the land and Joab, one of David's men was leading his troops as well. They met in Gibeon. Abner stepped forward and said, "There is no need for a lot of bloodshed here. Why don't we each pick 12 warriors and have them battle it out in hand-to-hand combat. Whoever wins this exhibition will win the entire kingdom for their side." Joab and his men agreed. When the exhibition was over..... all 24 men were dead. So Abner took his men back to Israel and Joab took his men back to Judah. But one of Joab's brothers, Asahel, was angry about the outcome and wanted to kill Abner. Asahel began to chase Abner through the wilderness. Abner warned Asahel to turn back, but he would not relent. "Tun back!" Abner shouted. " I will never be able to face your brother Joab if I have to kill you." Just then Asahel caught up with Abner and Abner killed Asahel. This began a long war between those who had been loyal to Saul and those who were loyal to David.
|David becomes king of all of Israel|
Abner travelled throughout Israel and took a poll to see how the people would react if David became their king. The people relished the idea of David as their king. So Abner went to see David.
David threw a huge feast in honor of Abner and he agreed to a covenant between the people of Israel and Judah. "You will finally be king over all of Israel!" Abner declared. Then David sent him safely on his way. But as he was leaving, Joab saw Abner there and became enraged. He asked David how he could even think of making a covenant with the man who killed his brother. Then he caught up with Abner and killed him. "That's for killing my brother!" Joab sneered.
With word of Abner's death, King Ishbosheth became fearful. It seemed that his whole kingdom was turning against him, and sure enough, one night while he was sleeping, two of his commanders came in and killed him. They wanted to show David that they had decided to join his side, but when they came and told David what they had done, he had them executed.
David was willing to wait on God.(Psalm 27:14) He did not want to become king because the king was killed in his sleep. But that is how he became king over all of Israel.
David was 37 years old when he became king. Remember when he was a kid and Samuel anointed him king? David was about 15 years old then. He had to wait 22 years for God's promise. During that time David faced many hardships and sorrows. Are you willing to face difficulties while waiting on God? Waiting doesn't mean just sitting there and waiting. It means doing what God wants while waiting for God to fulfill His purpose in your life. Waiting makes us stronger. (Isaiah 40:31)