Changing Allegiance

Have you ever found yourself on the wrong side of an argument? Or supporting the wrong team?

2 Samuel 3:6-21

During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner had been strengthening his own position in the house of Saul. Now Saul had had a concubine named Rizpah daughter of Aiah. And Ish-Bosheth said to Abner, ‘Why did you sleep with my father’s concubine?’

Abner was very angry because of what Ish-Bosheth said. So he answered, ‘Am I a dog’s head – on Judah’s side? This very day I am loyal to the house of your father Saul and to his family and friends. I haven’t handed you over to David. Yet now you accuse me of an offence involving this woman! May God deal with Abner, be it ever so severely, if I do not do for David what the Lord promised him on oath 10 and transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish David’s throne over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beersheba.’ 11 Ish-Bosheth did not dare to say another word to Abner, because he was afraid of him.

12 Then Abner sent messengers on his behalf to say to David, ‘Whose land is it? Make an agreement with me, and I will help you bring all Israel over to you.’

13 ‘Good,’ said David. ‘I will make an agreement with you. But I demand one thing of you: do not come into my presence unless you bring Michal daughter of Saul when you come to see me.’ 14 Then David sent messengers to Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, demanding, ‘Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for the price of a hundred Philistine foreskins.’

15 So Ish-Bosheth gave orders and had her taken away from her husband Paltiel son of Laish. 16 Her husband, however, went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, ‘Go back home!’ So he went back.

17 Abner conferred with the elders of Israel and said, ‘For some time you have wanted to make David your king. 18 Now do it! For the Lord promised David, “By my servant David I will rescue my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.”’

19 Abner also spoke to the Benjaminites in person. Then he went to Hebron to tell David everything that Israel and the whole tribe of Benjamin wanted to do. 20 When Abner, who had twenty men with him, came to David at Hebron, David prepared a feast for him and his men. 21 Then Abner said to David, ‘Let me go at once and assemble all Israel for my lord the king, so that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may rule over all that your heart desires.’ So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace

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I found this passage rather confusing before I understood who the characters were and what they did. We have in the story Ish-Bosheth, King of Israel after Saul; David, King of Judah; and Abner who is the leader of the Israelite army. Abner is accused of sleeping with the late King Sauls’ concubine by Ish-Bosheth. We do not know if this is true or not as Abner doesn’t confirm or deny the claims. We do read that Abner was “strengthening his own position”, which could have made Ish-Bosheth scared that Abner wanted to over-power him as King.

However, Abner becomes angry at the accusations and somehow through this, realises that he is on the wrong team; that he is serving the wrong King. He understands that David is God’s true king intended to rule over all of Israel and Judah. He seems to turn down all the power that he has been accumulating and surrenders to Gods chosen King as King. We read in verses 17-19, that he uses his influence to want others to see that David is the true King of Israel, and pleads with the Elders to do the same.

It is amazing to see how David responds to Abner switching sides. David welcomes Abner in, preparing a feast for him and the others that join him. Abner was someone who had previously fought against and killed many of David’s men (check out 2 Samuel 2:8- 3:1) but yet David shows absolute generosity, forgiveness and ultimately undeserved grace towards him. Abner is accepted to be a part of David’s team and goes in peace.

This reflects our relationship towards God as well. We were once Gods enemies (Romans 5:10, Colossians 2:21) and there was no way that we could change teams by ourselves. However, Jesus made a way for us through his death and resurrection that we can be a part of Gods team. King Jesus has his arms open wide for everyone to come to him. What a generous, forgiving and gracious King. Gods true King.

Head: What does it mean to be on Gods team?

Heart: Do you live as though you are on Gods team?

Hands: Like Abner, he wanted to influence others to join David’s Team. Do you have a heart for others to join Gods team? How can you help others join Gods team today?


Gracious Father,

Thank you that your arms are wide open towards us, people who were once your enemies. Thank you that we can be a part of your team, a part of your family. Thank you that you are the True King that we can serve. Help us to reflect you to those around us in all that we say and do, to truly show others that we are a part of your team.

In Jesus’ mighty name,


A song to listen to:   No Other Name

Ellen Wilcox 

Living Church Creek Road