Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Trouble in Saul's Family

By Mary Vee
II Samuel 4

A Servant in the Palace

I was chosen to tell this story since I worked in the palace at the time. This news I share is painful for me. I have grown to love Saul, his sons, and grandsons. And now, to tell of these events, well, it is a difficult but a needed task.

Ishbosheth, Saul's son, has been on the thrown since his father's death. Abner, the captain of Saul's army became angry with Ishbosheth and left the palace to join sides with David. Need I say how upset Ishbosheth became? Not angry upset. Scared upset.

More news came last night. A messenger arrived and asked to speak with the king. Ishbosheth gave him permission to speak. "My lord, Abner has been slain. Joab and his brother killed him at the gate of Hebron."

Ishbosheth opened his mouth but words didn't come out. His eyes grew wide with fright. Everyone who heard the news, realized Saul's family was not safe in the palace.

Two soldiers from Ishbosheth's army came to the king's house. They arrived around the noon hour when he slept away the heat. The two soldiers, Baanah and Rechab, announced their presence and requested to resupply their wheat. Since they belonged to the army, no one doubted their task.

Baanah and Rechab walked through the palace corridors, greeting those they saw along the way. No one questioned their reason for approaching the king's chamber, not even me.

 I saw them go into the king's bedroom and close the door. I continued my work and happened to be in the same corridor moments later when the two men hurried from the king's bedroom. Something they concealed under their cloak dripped blood. I hurried inside the king's room and discovered his dead body, and no head!

I ran into the corridor screaming at the top of my lungs. "The king has been murdered. His killers are getting away!"

Fearing the life of Jonathan's son too, his nurse scooped up his five-year-old body and ran for the stairs. In her haste, she dropped him and broke his legs. Servants ran to his aid and took him to a safe place for medical treatment. The boy's name was Mephibosheth.

I hardly know what else to say. I only wish Saul had not turned away from the Lord.

1. Trouble continued to brew in Saul's family even in today's story, which happened after Saul's death. Why did his family have these troubles?
2. Who is Ishbosheth?
3. Why was he frightened when told about Abner?
4. Why were Baanah and Rechab able to walk into the king's chamber?
5. What did they do?
6. Who else in Saul's family needed to escape?
7. What happened to Mephibosheth?

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