Clearly, ABNER was a talented individual. David referred to him as a valiant man and
remarked, at his death, that a prince and a great man had fallen that day in Israel, 2
Samuel chapter 3 verse 28. Sadly, however, his potential for good was lost. Why
was this so?
Firstly, he was primarily interested in self and showed no genuine interest in the
welfare of others. David first came across him, when he was sleeping alongside his
master, Saul, instead of standing guard over him. Later on he joined forces with Ish
-bosheth against David, because it suited him to do so but he changed sides in a fit
of pique, when the tide turned against him.
Secondly, disobedience to God’s word marked his pathway. When it was clear
that the house of Saul was growing weaker, as opposed to the increasing strength of
the house of David, he stubbornly refused to obey God’s word, 2 Samuel chapter 3 verse 1. However, later on he changed course and spoke in support of David,
2 Samuel chapter 3 verse 18; nevertheless, they were the words of a hypocrite, with
no evidence of genuine love for God’s anointed king.
Thirdly, he was unable to accept rebuke. Pride prevented him from showing any
sign of repentance. When Ish-bosheth challenged him about his relationship with
Saul’s concubine, he flew into a rage and sided with David, 2 Samuel chapter 3
Sadly, his ambition led to his death at the hands of Joab, the unscrupulous
leader of David’s army. David was deeply distressed at the tragic end of such a
gifted man. The deep flaws in his character led him to die as a fool dies! Let us
pray that our love does not fail like Abner’s.