RESOURCE FRIDAY: Power Plays (2 Samuel 3:1-11)

Today we return to our Friday series through 2nd Samuel! Having left off at the conclusion of chapter two we pick up today in chapter three and the moment when the ‘anti-Christ’ partnership between Abner and Ishbosheth goes south. It’s amazing how little holds together godless unions; and such a contemplation ought to provoke appreciation for all that holds together Christ-centered relationships! That is just one of the lessons illustrated for us in this passage. There are examples of God’s awe-striking sovereignty, encouragement as it relates to the Christian’s expectation of sanctification, and a reminder that long before David’s fall in 2nd Samuel 11 there was his disobedience to Deuteronomy 17 recorded in 2 Samuel 3. Such a reminder should help us catch the little foxes of ‘unremarkable sin’ that can not only spoil the vines of fruitful Christian living but can lead to a fall with far-reaching consequences.

With that being said, may you be edified and enamored as you behold and study the revelation of God in 2nd Samuel 3:1-11.

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Supposed Bible Contradictions – Is Jesus Eternal or the Firstborn of All Creation? (Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:15)

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (Jn. 1:3)

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Col. 1:15 NASB)

The answer to the question posed in the title of this teaching is “yes” – Jesus is eternal and He is the firstborn of all creation. While there isn’t a contradiction that exists between both of those suppositions, there can appear to be one if the use of the word firstborn in Colossians 1:15 is misunderstood.

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Supposed Bible Contradictions – Was Abraham Justified by Faith or by Works? (Rom. 4:2; Jas. 2:21)

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. (Rom. 4:2-3)

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? (Jas 2:21)

If someone isolates these verses outside of their context they could understandably say, ‘It looks like the Bible is saying in one place that Abraham was not justified by works and in another place that Abraham was justified by works.’ As is the case with many of these alleged discrepancies the issue concerns isolating Bible verses and setting them against each other as opposed to realizing that sentences fit within paragraphs, paragraphs fit within chapters, chapters fit within books, and when contexts are examined verses like the ones above are seen to be complementary not contradictory.

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Supposed Bible Contradictions – How Did Saul Really Die? (1 Sam. 31:4; 2 Sam. 1:10)

4 Then Saul said to his armorbearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and abuse me.” But his armorbearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it.

(1 Samuel 31:4)

10 So I stood over him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord.”
(2 Samuel 1:10)

Have you ever told a story to make yourself look better than you are? Have you ever changed certain details while recounting a personal story in the hopes that you’d win favor, or approval, or applause with your hearer(s)? That appears to be exactly what the young man in 2nd Samuel was doing – a strategy which didn’t work out well for him. But nonetheless, his fabrication provides an explanation for the different accounts of Saul’s demise.

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Supposed Bible Contradictions – Who Moved David to Number Israel?

Again the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” (2 Sam. 24:1)

1 Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring the number of them to me that I may know it.” (1 Chron. 21:1-2)

The opening verse of the closing chapter of 2nd  Samuel brings with it some interesting textual and theological questions. First we might ask, “Why ‘again?’” You’ll notice the beginning of the verse states, “Again the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel…” What was the prior event of God’s anger that preceded this occasion of His righteous indignation? Perhaps the best answer is found in Israel’s previous nation-wide sin of supporting Absalom and/or the more recent Sheba-inspired rebellion. Next, why exactly was God’s anger aroused against Israel at this time of this text? We are not given the precise reason but we can rest assured, based upon Israel’s prior disobedience and God’s unfailing righteousness, that they were deserving of His wrath.

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