9 But David said to Recab and Baanah, “The Lord, who saves me from all my enemies, is my witness.
10 Someone once told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ thinking he was bringing me good news. But I seized him and killed him at Ziklag. That’s the reward I gave him for his news!
11 How much more should I reward evil men who have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed? Shouldn’t I hold you responsible for his blood and rid the earth of you?”
12 So David ordered his young men to kill them, and they did. They cut off their hands and feet and hung their bodies beside the pool in Hebron. Then they took Ishbosheth’s head and buried it in Abner’s tomb in Hebron.
2 Samuel 4:9-12 (NLT)
After Abner was killed, his former boss King Ishbosheth became more fearful. He became weaker and weaker. Even his own people began to feel insecure of their future with him. Among them were Recab and Baanah, the brothers who served as the commanders of Ishbosheth’s raiding parties.
One day the brothers decided to take a proactive step to secure a better future. They wanted to follow Abner’s footsteps in switching to David’s side. Before they left, they wanted to bring a gift for David to secure his favor. The killed King Ishbosheth, chopped off his head and presented it to David in hope that they would be rewarded. Unfortunately, they did not do their homework.
David had executed the man who brought him Saul’s head in Ziklag. Why would he spare those who killed Saul’s son? He got them killed and buried King Ishbosheth in dignity.
In this article, we shall study the story of the brothers Recab and Baanah, find out what went wrong and learn to avoid similar outcome.
First of all, we need to realize that the brothers are not exceptionally evil. They were just normal people like you and me. They wanted a good and secure future for themselves. Unfortunately, the company they worked in was not doing well. This company was about to go bankrupt. So, it made good sense for them to apply for jobs in the other one that was doing well. This is a good thing to do.
They were not the first guys who thought of defecting. Abner did that and he had a good future until he was murdered. David treated defectors well. If the brothers were to cross over, they would have a fresh start toward a great future. Unfortunately, they did something extra. They thought David would be extra happy if they brought him Ishbosheth’s head. It was a bad move on their part. They did not do enough research on their prospective boss. If they did, they could have known what David did at Ziglag. This mistake cost them their lives. While David wanted to be the king, he did not want to ascend to his throne through murder.
Why did the brothers want to kill their former boss? Could they not just leave professionally like Abner? The answer lies in their insecurity. They must have been afraid that David might have rejected them. They wanted to be extra sure and they did that by killing David’s rival. This is basically why people resorted to evil acts like killing, cheating and stealing.
Why do you think people resorted to crimes in the first place? Do you think they don’t know that what they do is wrong? Do you think you can reduce the crime rate by telling people that crime is wrong? There was once in America that a parents’ group was trying to pressure schools to put up the 10 Commandments in the their premises. What do you think they hope to achieve from such efforts? Will there be lesser murders when you stick “Thou shalt not commit murder” everywhere?
My message here is, people do not do evil because they do not know what they do is evil. They do evil because they are desperate. Of course there are some exceptions here. Some people commit crimes for the thrill of it but most do that because they could not see any way out. There are people who had resorted to killing, stealing, cheating and in prostitution not because they like to do those things. They do those because they could not see any way else they could do to survive. They need to have the money to buy food, get shelters and provide for their family. Their problem is in their mentality of scarcity.
Those who are living under the bondage of the mentality of scarcity cannot see the opportunities of prosperity around them. All they can see is poverty. There is no way out. They got desperate and are willing to do anything to put food on the table. If you ask them, their standard answer is they have no choice. Their purpose of life is to survive by any means. They became easy prey for the devil, which will exploit them and make them do anything he wants.
This is basically the root cause for all the crimes that has been happening in this world. The operation motto is “I have no choice.”
Now that we know the cause, it is time to look at the solution. There is only one solution to the mentality of scarcity. It is the mentality of abundance. The mentality of abundance works the opposite way from the mentality of scarcity. The mentality of abundance says there is wealth all around us. We are entitled to unlimited wealth in this world and the world to come. All we need to do is to cause it to manifest physically and we do that through our faith.
23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.
Mark 11:23 (NLT)
Believe and you shall receive. God has made this world with abundance of resources for all of us. There is more than enough for every one. God wants us to be rich and he will make sure of it. There is no need to resort to crimes or any other form of evil to meet our needs. He is able to give us exceedingly and abundantly above all than we dare to ask or hope for. Our role is to ask and hope. We are to use our faith in bringing riches into our lives.
The bottom line is to faith. When you face any problem, do not focus on it. Focusing in your problems will only make them big. Focus on God. Focus on building up your faith to overcome every problem that comes your way. You have to convince yourself that he who is in you is greater than he who is in this world. You have to keep yourself in the mentality of abundance. Once you do that, all your problems will eventually fade away. This is the power of faith.