Second Samuel 4 Commentary
Mephibosheth is introduced but the main focus is on the death of the puppet King Ish-Bosheth. His reign is short and hardly fits the title. Abner’s desire to maintain the status quo and his desire to maintain his own position must have motivated him to install Ish-Bosheth as King over Israel. Now that Abner is dead, fear seizes Ish-Bosheth. He is murdered by his team.
The sad story of Mephibosheth pops up from nowhere and appears quite out of place. But its inclusion is intentional.
The chapter appears to concern itself with two characters: Ish-Bosheth and Mephibosheth. But in reality, we can see that the chapter is actually about King Saul. It’s like the Bible is showing us what has become of the once-powerful royal family, in keeping with the word of the LORD via the prophet Samuel.
According to the word of the LORD via the prophet Samuel, we knew Saul’s dynasty would not last. But who would have wanted things to end this way and so fast?
It is nearly impossible for us to disassociate Mephibosheth’s fate with Saul’s declining fortunes. The possibility that children and grandchildren can proceed without grace, as a consequence of ungodliness by parents is very scary.
“Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,” Deuteronomy 5 verse 9.
It is very difficult not to think of this verse when you look at the downfall of Saul.
This is truly scary. Let the saint be encouraged by the very next verse, verse 10 of the above scripture.
“but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
The compassions of the LORD outlast His anger. But today we are drawn to the shocking events that marked the end of Saul’s dynasty.
We came to Canaan, the land of promise, expecting rest under the leadership of the LORD Himself. Instead, we have seen fights both within and without. Extreme ungodliness and consequently extreme violence, pain, and suffering are the order of the day. Nothing is working. There is simply no rest.
Saul has failed and his story and dynasty end here; but it remains in print and on our minds for our instruction. Bring it to our times and use it to project your own end.
Now we are looking at David. Let’s see what the new regime brings.
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