2 Samuel 3:16 — Weeping All the Way to Bahurim
But her husband went with her, weeping as he went, and followed her as far as Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go, return.” So he returned.
We have all been placed in no win situations. We have all been asked to do things or have been given responsibilities, and we had no choice because someone manipulated us and the situation. We felt like puppets. 2 Samuel 3 tells us an interesting story about people who placed an innocent victim in the middle of circumstances beyond her control. Michal became a pawn to broker a political deal. The people around Michal used and manipulated her to gain advantage for themselves. We have all been manipulated at one time or another, and we have either manipulated someone else or we have at least been tempted to manipulate a circumstance for our advantage. Manipulation is always purely self-centered, having no place in a believer’s life. The believer is called to serve others as he would serve himself, and manipulation has no place in the second half of the great commandment. The lesson we learn from our text is very simple. Do not use people to gain personal advantage.
David was manipulated through a promised marriage to Saul’s daughter Michal. The promise was broken, and 2 Samuel 3 tells how David went to retrieve his promised bride. The chapter records the broken hearts that occurred because of the manipulation.
We have all been in a situation where we have been manipulated. We have all been in a situation where we too have manipulated others. Manipulation is not a Biblical characteristic since it seeks one’s own good first and foremost. Others are seen as inferior to one’s self since they are used as servants to fulfill whims and desires. Manipulation must be cloaked in order to be effective. For one to manipulate, he must appear sincere. Manipulation stems from our own self-conceit and hypocrisy.
You and I must strive to avoid manipulating and maneuvering others to gain personal advantage. Romans 12:10-11 says, “10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;” If we truly love the Lord, we will also love those around us. Love seeks the welfare of others before self. When we manipulate, we seek our welfare first; when we prefer each other in honor, we seek others’ welfare first. As we are genuinely enthusiastic about our ministry for Christ, we will be able to avoid manipulating someone else do what we are unmotivated to do. To be honest, not every task is a pleasant task, but every task must be done to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” Any service we do for God’s glory is not done in vain. God will see our excellent spirit and reward us.