And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth rib, that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother. And afterward when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before the LORD for ever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner: Let it rest on the head of Joab, and on all his father's house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, or that is a leper, or that leaneth on a staff, or that falleth on the sword, or that lacketh bread. So Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner, because he had slain their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle. (2 Sam. 3:27-30)
Because Joab was a nephew to David, this caused great consternation both to David and to the kingdom. David did not make any move against Joab following his crime of revenge and murder, and Joab knew he would not. Abner had done much wrong, but was now seeking peace and to reconcile the kingdom of Saul with the house of David. Whether he could be fully trusted, or had a true change of heart because of the disagreement with Saul’s son that drove him to this course of action, will never be known, for Joab acted personally and with great malice and killed Abner under the guise of peace. At a time when reconciliation and restoration finally seemed possible between Saul’s men and David’s to bring peace and stability to Israel, Joab extends a hand to Abner and assassinates him in revenge for his brother’s death.
For the Christian, who is to leave vengeance to God, lashing out against those who have wronged us only perpetuates the cycle of bitterness and anger. We are to be an example to those who are not yet born again by faith in Christ and His finished and perfect work on the Cross of Calvary unto Salvation and give our hurts and feelings unto the Lord in submission and surrender to Him. Just as we surrendered to Him on His terms when we were saved from sin, so we are to give up our need for revenge and let Him handle our battles. The worldly and fleshly desire to retaliate against those who wrong us is not pleasing unto our Father for His way is forgiveness and reconciliation. Taking action against others to destroy when God commands peace is of the flesh and is not the work or will of God but of the world and of the devil. Neither is harboring feelings of resentment or a root of bitterness which will destroy the soul of a person who allows it to grow and fester within. God will give peace unto those who surrender and repent and if we will let Him, He will take whatever action is necessary for the Kingdom and our commission to reach the lost, teach all nations, and preach His Word until He is done with us.
Until that day, God has sent those of us who are His saints and know Him out into this world to reach the lost that they might be saved from sin. He desires that His people strive to be holy and obedient unto Him that we might minister to those around us who are hurting and in need as He provides. We serve others, equipped with the Word of reconciliation and righteousness, rightly divided and fitly spoken, that they may see Christ in us, the hope of Glory. Our God has commanded us to love one another with an unfeigned love, even as He first loved us, and to disciple one another in the Word of God so that we may all grow in grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Our Lord has commissioned those who are His with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to go where He sends us in the power of the Holy Spirit. As we go, we are to proclaim the Good News of forgiveness through repentance and reconciliation with the Father through faith in His Son, that those who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah of God might have life in His Name.
God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and the knowledge of the Truth. Jesus loves you and wants to establish a covenant relationship with you that is real and personal. Surrender to Him on His terms and He will give you a brand new life of discipleship and fellowship with Him that is abundant and everlasting. God calls you to faith in Christ and His finished and perfect work on the Cross of Calvary to pay your sIn debt. He has provided the only way of reconciliation with God, forgiveness from God, and Salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is God the Son, to give you a new life in Christ. Turn away from yourself and your sIn and turn to Him alone for eternal Life, now and always.