He was one of King Saul’s younger sons and was made king over Israel by Abner. His name was Eshbaal, which means “the Lord’s man” after Saul left the picture his name was changed to Ishbosheth (2 Sam. 2:8 with 1 Chron. 8:33; 1 Chron. 9:39). Unfortunately, his new name means “man of shame,” so this was not a step up.

Ishbosheth contested the throne of Israel with David for seven years. Ultimately he was deserted by Abner and murdered in his bed by two of his captains. What a shameful end.

What we have in Ishbosheth is a man who was not content to play the role that God had for him. Being the son of a king, even a king like Saul, gave Eshbaal the opportunity to wield great influence. He had a choice, do I support the leadership that God has allowed to be put in place, or do I try to elevate myself? Unfortunately, Ishbosheth chose the latter. At first, he had support, but ultimately, people who will unite with you against authority will turn on you once you get into power.

How often do we fall into the same trap? Maybe we don’t like a Sunday School teacher or even a church, so we leave and go somewhere else, or even start a new church. We feel justified because we have others with us. Well, if your goal is Godly, then praise the Lord, it’s a good thing. But, if your goal is other than honoring the Lord, well, you might just end up like Ishbosheth…

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

-Rom 13

About John Harris

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
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  • david

    Thank you for the great message.