The Heart of the King

2 Samuel 4:5-12:

Rechab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out and arrived at Ish-bosheth’s house during the heat of the day while the king was taking his midday nap. They entered the interior of the house as if to get wheat and stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rechab and his brother Baanah escaped. They had entered the house while Ish-bosheth was lying on his bed in his bedroom and stabbed and killed him. Then they beheaded him, took his head, and traveled by way of the Arabah all night. They brought Ish-bosheth’s head to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here’s the head of Ish-bosheth son of Saul, your enemy who intended to take your life. Today the Lord has granted vengeance to my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.”

But David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the Lord lives, the One who has redeemed my life from every distress,when the person told me, ‘Look, Saul is dead,’ he thought he was a bearer of good news, but I seized him and put him to death at Ziklag. That was my reward to him for his news! How much more when wicked men kill a righteous man in his own house on his own bed! So now, should I not require his blood from your hands and wipe you off the earth?”

So David gave orders to the young men, and they killed Rechab and Baanah. They cut off their hands and feet and hung their bodies by the pool in Hebron, but they took Ish-bosheth’s head and buried it in Abner’s tomb in Hebron.

First, a little background. King Saul, David’s longtime enemy, had died and his son Ish-bosheth had been improperly named king. In that day, once a new dynasty took power it was customary to annihilate the descendants of the former king.

Rechab and Baanah thought they were doing something that would please the true king of Israel.  I’m pretty sure they were shocked by his reaction. Beyond the fact that their  motive was likely reward, their main failure was not knowing the heart of the king. Logic would lead them to believe that David would appreciate such an act of vengeance against his long-time enemy. To them, it seemed like the right thing to do. What they did not take to heart, however, was that Ish-bosheth was the brother of David’s best friend Jonathan. To David, he was family.

How often do we act on logic or with these same motives without knowing the heart of our King?  I’m reminded of Matthew 7:20-23:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers! ’’

Religion about God but without God is futile, and sometimes even counterproductive. King Yeshua wants to share His heart with you; once you get it, you’ll act on it naturally. He was moved to action not by compulsion, loyalty, or the promise of reward, but by compassion.

Quit trying so hard, and just know Him.


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