Archive for December, 2008

The Price Of Fear


38 Then King David said to his officials, “Don’t you realize that a great commander has fallen today in Israel?
39 And even though I am the anointed king, these two sons of Zeruiah—Joab and Abishai—are too strong for me to control. So may the Lord repay these evil men for their evil deeds.”
2 Samuel 3:38-39 (NLT)


After Abner had fallen out with his former boss, he joined David. David replied by demanding his first wife back. This demand was relayed to King Ishbosheth and the king was too weak to say no. So, David got his first wife back. Meanwhile, Abner started his campaign to build support for David from the elders of Israel.

17 Meanwhile, Abner had consulted with the elders of Israel. “For some time now,” he told them, “you have wanted to make David your king.
18 Now is the time! For the Lord has said, ‘I have chosen David to save my people Israel from the hands of the Philistines and from all their other enemies.’”
19 Abner also spoke with the men of Benjamin. Then he went to Hebron to tell David that all the people of Israel and Benjamin had agreed to support him.
20 When Abner and twenty of his men came to Hebron, David entertained them with a great feast.
21 Then Abner said to David, “Let me go and call an assembly of all Israel to support my lord the king. They will make a covenant with you to make you their king, and you will rule over everything your heart desires.” So David sent Abner safely on his way.
2 Samuel 3:17-21 (NLT)

As a result of Abner’s efforts, David’s political support base grew to a higher level. At that time David had both military and political advantage over his rival. When Abner went to David, he was received warmly by David. Abner pledged his loyalty and promised to assemble the entire Israel to declare their support to David as their king.

Unfortunately, Joab arrived after Abner left. Joab was still bearing grudges against Abner for killing his brother in the earlier battle. Joab wanted to kill Abner. When Joab got the news that David had received Abner warmly, he stormed into David’s presence.

24 Joab rushed to the king and demanded, “What have you done? What do you mean by letting Abner get away?
25 You know perfectly well that he came to spy on you and find out everything you’re doing!”
2 Samuel 3:24-25 (NLT)

It does not sound very respectful. This tells us that Joab had become arrogant. Then Joab did the unthinkable. He killed Abner. When David got the news, he was saddened by it and declared a national mourn over Abner’s death.

28 When David heard about it, he declared, “I vow by the Lord that I and my kingdom are forever innocent of this crime against Abner son of Ner.
29 Joab and his family are the guilty ones. May the family of Joab be cursed in every generation with a man who has open sores or leprosy or who walks on crutches or dies by the sword or begs for food!”
30 So Joab and his brother Abishai killed Abner because Abner had killed their brother Asahel at the battle of Gibeon.

David Mourns Abner’s Death

31 Then David said to Joab and all those who were with him, “Tear your clothes and put on burlap. Mourn for Abner.” And King David himself walked behind the procession to the grave.
32 They buried Abner in Hebron, and the king and all the people wept at his graveside.
33 Then the king sang this funeral song for Abner:
“Should Abner have died as fools die?
34 Your hands were not bound;
your feet were not chained.
No, you were murdered—
the victim of a wicked plot.”
All the people wept again for Abner.
35 David had refused to eat anything on the day of the funeral, and now everyone begged him to eat. But David had made a vow, saying, “May God strike me and even kill me if I eat anything before sundown.”
36 This pleased the people very much. In fact, everything the king did pleased them!
37 So everyone in Judah and all Israel understood that David was not responsible for Abner’s murder.
2 Samuel 3:28-37 (NLT)

David had succeeded in achieving some damage control. He had done everything he could to make it clear that he was not involved in the murder of Abner, except for one thing. He did not punish Joab. Why not?

38 Then King David said to his officials, “Don’t you realize that a great commander has fallen today in Israel?
39 And even though I am the anointed king, these two sons of Zeruiah—Joab and Abishai—are too strong for me to control. So may the Lord repay these evil men for their evil deeds.”
2 Samuel 3:38-39 (NLT)

It seems that Joab and his brother were too strong for him. Is that true? If you read further, you will learn that David’s son Solomon killed Joab when he took over the throne. Think about this. How could Joab (who was supposed to be too strong for an established king like David), be easily killed by Solomon when Solomon was just a new king?

Let us analyze this situation further. Joab was nothing like Abner. Joab was not the one who held David’s kingdom together. David had the direct support from the people of Judah and then the rest of Israel, thanks to Abner. The people’s support and loyalty was for David and not Joab. Joab was nothing more than a military commander. Even if Joab commanded the loyalty of the army, he could never have brought his army with him everywhere he went. All David had to do was to summon Joab to his palace and kill him there. The problem would have been solved.

Obviously, the idea of Joab being too strong is nothing more than a mental bondage in the mind of David. This mental bondage resulted in fear. Fear paralyzes people into inaction. Fortunately for David, Joab did not cause anymore problem for him until he died. Then Joab tried to be a kingmaker by electing his choice to be the king. He was killed by Solomon when the latter ascended the throne. It seems that Solomon did not share his father’s view that Joab was too strong for him to control.

The lesson for us to learn here is fear. What is fear and how can we overcome it? We shall study deeper into it in this article.

Fear is nothing more than an emotional response to a bad event that has not happened yet. If a lion is charging at you, you will feel the fear as long as you have not been attacked. If the lion is to kill you, you will not have any fear anymore because you are dead by then. No matter what you are afraid of right now, that thing is only a speculation. It does not exist right now. It only exists in your mind. That thing that we fear gets its power from us, in particular our thoughts.

The more you think about it, the more fearful you will get. Therefore, the solution is to replace the negative thought that inspires fear with a positive thought that inspires faith. Is it that simple? Of course it is. This is what engineering is all about. Engineers make things simple for people to understand and apply them into their lives.

Let me give you an example to illustrate this point.

We are in the beginning of a global recession right now. Many businesses are closing down and employees are being retrenched. You read news about retrenchment everyday. You are very fearful because the company you work in is not doing well and it may consider retrenchment. When they do, you might be among those who will get retrenched. What will happen then? When you get retrenched, you will not have any income. How are you going to pay for your family’s daily expenses? How are you going to pay for your house mortgage? How are you going to pay for your utilities bills? How are you going to pay for your children education?

The more you think about the above, the more fearful you will get. You will be focused on the retrenchment that has not happened yet. What will happen? You are creating an inner reality that you will be retrenched. If you focus intensely to this inner reality, you will cause your outer reality to change to conform to it. In other words, you will get retrenched. Your retrenchment happens because you made it happen through your inner reality. You will get retrenchment because you think retrenchment. Your worst fear will happen because you give it the power to happen through your thoughts.

The solution here is to renew our minds. In the above example, you must focus on positive thoughts. If the news make you fearful, don’t read the news. Fill your mind with positive thoughts. Read the Bible and other positive books. Read the articles in this blog. I write all the articles here with the intention of creating positive mindsets. When we are positive, we are creating our own inner realities that are better than the realities outside us. If we focus intensely on them, our outer realities will change and conform to our inner realities. Think rich and you will be rich. This law always works even in a recession.

Some may ask, “What if I still get retrenched after I think positive?” The answer is to continue to think positive and move forward. Retrenchment is not the end of the world. Not everyone became poorer after they got retrenched. Some people found new jobs or set up new business after they got retrenched. They ended up getting richer. As they look back, they are even grateful for the retrenchment that they experienced.

God has decreed in his Word that you are to prosper exceedingly and abundantly in every area in your life. Recession has no power to stop this decree. Our God is greater than the worst recession that can ever happen. He who is in us is greater than he who is in this world. So, whether you are in a job, just got retrenched, in a business or in any situation, this truth does not change. God has given you everything you need to prosper exceedingly and abundantly in every area in your life. You have what it takes to be successful. The recession outside you has no power to stop that. This is the ultimate truth. Are you going to believe in it?

The choice is yours. Is your Joab too powerful for you to control?