How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!” (2 Samuel 4:11 NIV)
Baanah and Rekab are not the first names you think of when you think about famous Bible characters. They’re probably not among the first 10 names or 20.
There’s a good reason for that, they only turn up in one episode of Scripture. Their part is not that big at all and as soon as they’re mentioned they are soon out of the picture again. The part that they play, however, goes to further establish the David’s character of honour. The shadow of Saul was immense in this stage of David’s life. From the time he had entered Saul’s court it was evident that Saul would play a key role and when that role proved to be that of an adversary that sent David on the run as a fugitive, many, understandably, thought that the enmity went both ways. David’s men who were with him thought so and on two occasions where David had the opportunity they encouraged him to kill Saul. Yet David remained honourable to Saul as the Lord’s anointed.
That honour was maintained even after his death. This was seen when the person who told him the news of the demise of Saul met a grisly fate because he said he killed him in the hope of being seen to be doing David a favour.
Now a king himself, David is met by Baanah and Rekab. Two fighters who look to be seen to be doing David a favour in the most brutal manner. It was clear that as David got stronger it was a matter of time before the ever weaker Ish-Bosheth – the puppet king without his puppet master – would yield. Yet these two fighters took matters into their own hands, not just killing the puppet but beheading him as if to show David a trophy they gained for his pleasure.
David’s sense of honour rose once more as he issued the death sentence for these mutinous fighters.
Sometimes that sense of honour has to be pronounced in the face of acts that may appear to be ‘doing us a favour’ but are still out of order. There is no good in condoning wrong even if it works in our favour. May that sense of honour be ever present with us in life’s various challenges.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden