1.David’s submissive response
1After this David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?” And the LORD said to him, “Go up.” David said, “To which shall I go up?” And he said, “To Hebron.” 2So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 3And David brought up his men who were with him, everyone with his household, and they lived in the towns of Hebron. 2 Samuel 2:1-3 (ESV)
5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5 (ESV)
We are not to advance ourselves ahead of others, but allow others a leading place until God should see fit to move us up (see Lk. 14:8-10).
Scores of Jesus' disciples find most of their labor is done in a 'Hebron stage' in which they see little of the power and the glory. But as long as they know God reigns (Eph. 1:19b-21), they are content.
David’s Hebron phase called for a patient faith that waited on the promises of God.
2. Judah’s submissive response
4And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. When they told David, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul,” 2 Samuel 2:4 (ESV)
3. David’s conciliatory response
4And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. When they told David, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul,” 5David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, “May you be blessed by the LORD, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord and buried him. 6Now may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you. And I will do good to you because you have done this thing. 7Now therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant, for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.” 2 Samuel 2:4-7 (ESV)
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 (ESV)
Two words that are often found together in the Bible’s descriptions of God’s ways: he is “abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” comprehend all that we could desire from and ask of God. Exodus 34:6; Matthew 10:34-39
4. Abner’s defiant response
8But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim, 9and he made him king over Gilead and the Ashurites and Jezreel and Ephraim and Benjamin and all Israel. 10Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months. 2 Samuel 2:8-11 (ESV)
20And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. 1 Samuel 24:20 (ESV); 2 Samuel 3:18
While Mahanaim (which means “two camps”) may not be as weighty with memories as Hebron, it was named by Jacob when he met angels on his way to his reunion with Esau (Genesis 32:2) and divided the company who were with him into “two camps” (Genesis 32:7, 10). There is some irony in Abner’s choice of Mahanaim. He was again dividing the people of Israel into “two camps.” Zechariah 4:10