2 Samuel 3:9-10 May God punish Abner and do so severely if I don’t do for David what the LORD swore to him: to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish the throne of David over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beer-sheba.”
Abner has been corrupted. To know God’s intent but to ignore it is to be corrupt and Abner has obviously known God’s intent for David, but has ignored it… until now. Why now? Why suddenly this point of transition in allegiance from Ishbosheth’s Israel to David’s Judah? We have to look back a few lines to verse 6: “Abner kept acquiring more power in the house of Saul.” Power. There’s a lot of power shifting in this chapter. All the power of the king of Israel is shifting to David and it’s a turbulent process and people are being influenced. In the shift, we learn a great deal about the effect of power on men.
In physics, power is defined as the rate at which work is performed. People of power are more than people with potential. They are called “movers and shakers” for a reason. Work is being performed. Power (moving, shaking and working) is not intrinsically marred or corrupt, but it does tend to mar and corrupt.
You may ask, “But when Abner became powerful, didn’t he shift allegiance to David who was the Lord’s chosen? Wasn’t that the right thing to do?” Yes. But if we consider not what he did when he had power, but what he didn’t do when he didn’t have power, we learn something important about the influence of power on our own lives.
Power doesn’t just tend to corrupt the “movers and shakers”. It tends to move and shake those in its vicinity.
Before Abner gained power in Israel, who had it? Ishbosheth the king. In fact, he had the most power. He ruled over all the tribes of Israel against David’s Judah. He was of the house of Saul, Saul’s son, the second in line to the first of Israel’s kings. He had the power. And even though Abner knew of the Lord’s favor for David, he chose to remain with Ishbosheth. Why? Because Ishbosheth had the most power. He was the mover and the shaker and it corrupted Abner, moving him to remain with the illegitimate king. Read on and there are other examples of power corrupting the beholder as much as the possessor. (2 Sam 4:8, and remember 1 Sam 1:10)
Consider Satan’s temptations of Jesus after his forty day fast. Satan uses both tactics. He reminds Jesus of His power and tempts Him to use it inappropriately, but he also reminds Jesus that he also has power and with it, he makes an offer in an attempt influence Jesus.
Power is not corrupt in itself, but when you find yourself in its proximity, it will tend to affect you. Watch for its influence and guard yourself against it. The enemy will always use it in an attempt to sideline God.