APRIL 2 In today's reading we see David's struggle against Saul's family, and that his march to the throne was a bloody one. His first reign was over his own tribe of Judah and his headquarters were at Hebron. However, Abner, the commander of Saul's army, had made Ish- bosheth, Saul's son, king over all the other tribes of Israel, and had relocated the capital over the Jordan River in Mahanaim. His purpose in this was to protect himself and the new king from David's men. This action was in direct violation to God's Word, for Abner knew that David alone was to rule over Israel. His rebellion caused him to murder Asahel, Joab's brother and a son of David's half sister, and thus a long war began between the two kings. In chapter 3 Joab kills Abner to avenge his brother's death. He also committed several other murders to protect David, and thus held unusual power over the king. This will be more emphatically pointed out in chapter 11 when he assists David in the murderous plot against innocent Uriah. Chapter 4 records the murder of Ish-bosheth. This opened wide the way for David's rule over the entire nation of Israel. David did not approve of the method the sons of Rimmon used to murder King Ish-bosheth, and David had the murderers slain because of their crime. From today's reading we again see the results of the planning of men, rather than man following God's plan. Too often in our lives we do not wait on the Lord, but move in our own wisdom. More often than not the end results of such moves are tragic. God's Word tells us, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Our daily prayer should be, "Teach me, Lord, teach me, Lord, to wait." Mistakes of man can be prevented by following God's leadership.