Day 122: Abner Is Killed

Psalm 25 The contrite psalmist sought forgiveness as well as help in avoiding future sin. These are indispensable signs of true conversion and necessary elements in the Sacrament of Penance. God is infinitely merciful and the source of mercy and unconditional love; since there is no limit to God’s love and desire to forgive, we should never doubt his willingness to accept our contrition for sins.


I lift up my soul: This indicates a strong desire to give oneself ENTIRELY to God.


Sinners...the humble: It is interesting to note that sinners and the humble are put on equal footing. A person’s humble self-knowledge of his or her own sinfulness is the first step to conversion and spiritual growth. The psalmist ranked himself among the sinful, humbly asking for God’s merciful forgiveness.


His way: The Lord’s way is one of “steadfast love and fruitfulness,” to which St. Augustine added mercy and judgement. (CCC 1732)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


  • Today, we get an “Oh Brother!” and a “Yeesh!” (So be sure to scratch those off your “Fr. Mike’s Cute Phrases" Bingo cards 😜)

  • So were these readings difficult for you?

  • IT’S GOING TO BE FINE, MY FRIENDS, IT’S GOING TO BE FINE (So does anyone know what show/movie Fr. Mike was quoting here? 🤔)

  • 1 Chronicles is still working on the names which is SO GOOD

  • Fr. Mike isn’t just psyching himself up for this

  • But it is a COMPLETE GRACE to hear the stories of the people that are going to factor into the REST OF THE STORY OF SALVATION

  • For example, we have the descendants of DAVID and SOLOMON

  • You might not know ALL of the stories of ALL of these people

  • David has a number of sons: Amnon, Kileab, Absalom, Adonijah, Shephatiah, Ithream, etc. (He will have more after we meet Bathsheba so stay tuned 🤓)

  • Another happy crossover between 2 Samuel 3 and 1 Chronicles 3 because the list of David’s children is in BOTH

  • If you struggled with names like Amnon, Absalom, etc. these sons of David and one daughter, Tamar are going to be very important as the story unfolds in 2 Samuel

  • As we get to SOLOMON, the story of 1 and 2 Kings will unfold

  • These names might not mean a ton to you RIGHT NOW

  • But they mean a ton in the LARGER SCHEME OF THINGS

  • We are going to follow the line of David in The Books of Kings

  • We are also going to find the story of these kings is not necessarily the story of really really great kings

  • We praise God for being able to hear their stories and their names more than once

  • When it comes to 2 Samuel 3, we have this tragic story of how David recognizes that he can enter into an agreement of sorts with Abner

  • Abner was accused by Ish-bosheth of taking one of Saul’s concubines for his own

  • There are some commentaries out there that indicate there is not necessarily a reason why Abner, who seems like a pretty upstanding, solid individual, that this reason is the truth

  • But it seems because Ish-bosheth saw Abner as a threat, he would make up some kind of accusation against him

  • That may be the case

  • That may not be the case

  • We just don’t know

  • It leads to Abner going to David and asking to make peace and he would be willing to fight for David and make sure he is the King of all Israel

  • David agrees and lets Abner go in peace

  • Remember what we talked about yesterday?

  • VIOLENCE BEGETS VIOLENCE

  • Joab finds out that Abner talked to David

  • Remember the chapter yesterday the three brothers: Abishai, Asahel, and Joab

  • Remember Abner killed Asahel in self defense

  • There should NOT be any desire for revenge

  • AND YET…

  • Joab gives in to his desire for revenge and KILLS Abner, this highly decorated and respected general

  • Everyone in Israel would have known Abner

  • David had invited Abner to his home and called him back and then Joab kills Abner

  • What David does is GENIUS and shows his CHARACTER

  • It is GENIUS because it unites ALL THE PEOPLE (Which was never going to happen when the Mother of Dragons, Danaerys Targeryen, destroyed King’s Landing and set out to conquer all of Westeros 🤓)

  • It shows David’s CHARACTER because it is the RIGHT THING TO DO

  • David publicly mourns the death of his enemy, Abner

  • David instructs the murderer, Joab and his brother Abishai to wear SACK-CLOTH and TEAR THEIR GARMENTS

  • So all the people saw this and recognized that David is a GOOD LEADER

  • David is a good leader because he has CHARACTER AND WISDOM

  • There is something SO GOOD about this

  • Everything that David did in this regard pleased the people because it showed the DEPTH OF WHO HE IS, the kind of LEADER he was, and the kind of HUMAN he was

  • That is SUCH A GIFT to be able to MOURN for one’s ENEMIES

  • It would have been wiser to have made that ENEMY a FRIEND

  • That’s what he wanted to do in the first place

  • We are called to let those enemies become friends not because we need to trust people who are not trustworthy

  • But we are called to have an open door to people who MIGHT BE ABLE TO COME BACK HOME

  • We are called to have an open door to people who MIGHT BE ABLE TO BE RECONCILED

  • We are called to have an open door to people who MIGHT BE ABLE TO BE FORGIVEN

  • To do that, WE NEED WISDOM

  • We don’t want to be taken for a FOOL

  • We don’t want to TRUST people who are UNTRUSTWORTHY

  • Abner seemed like a TRUSTWORTHY person

  • There are people in our lives that have HURT us

  • We do need to be careful and not BLINDLY trust them

  • But there are OTHERS who have hurt us and we CAN grow in TRUST again

  • And the CYCLE OF VIOLENCE can end with us, in our hearts

  • So we pray for each other that the CYCLE OF VIOLENCE ends in our hearts

  • Forgiveness can be offered from our HEARTS

  • Reconciliation can be offered from our HEARTS

  • PRAY FOR EACH OTHER

  • PRAY FOR FR. MIKE


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and we thank you. We thank you for the difficulty of these days. Honestly, God, it is difficult to get through these names. And we just have to admit that, ‘Yes, they mean something. Yes, they are powerful. They are meaningful. And they are difficult.’ That is worth noting. It is worth noting that. Oh gosh, Lord, thank you. Thank you for your Word that is rooted in history, and rooted in reality, rooted in people’s actual stories so that all of these names is a marker. All of these names is a person. All of these names is an untold story. So many of these names we have here, Lord, are names of people that we don’t know much about other than their name and other than the fact that they were critical to you. They were loved by you. They were known by you. And they were part of your story to redeem the world. So in the difficulty, Lord, we ask that you please give us strength and give us patience so that we can hear the words we need to hear and we can become the people you want us to become. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”