Is it worth DYING like a FOOL?And the king sang a lament over Abner and said: "Should Abner die as a fool dies? Your hands were not bound nor your feet put into fetters; as a man falls before wicked men, so you fell." Then all the people wept over him again. (2 Sam 3:33-34)
This brief eulogy from King David was an outpouring of indignation as much as of sorrow. David was willing to make a covenant with Abner (2 Sam 3:13), having already feasted with him (v. 20) and had sent him away in peace (v. 21) so that he could gather all the Israelites in order to make a covenant and make David the king of Israel. David’s army commander Joab was not happy with this arrangement, and had an old score to settle with Abner for killing his brother Asahel. Through deceit, Joab called Abner back to Hebron and cunningly stabbed him in the stomach while making pretence of speaking with him privately (v. 26-27).
The question is – how did Abner die like a fool? The answer lies in the context of how Abner was killed. 1 Sam 3:37 clarifies that Abner died at the gate of the city called Hebron. Hebron was a city of the tribe of Judah, south of Jerusalem, and was designated as a city of refuge for the Israelites in Canaan (Josh 20:7; 21:11, 13). If Abner had stayed within the gates of Hebron, Joab would not have been able to kill Abner by Israelite law until Abner was tried and convicted publicly. Abner ventured out of the gates of the city of refuge, and was murdered in cold blood by his enemy in deceit. If only Abner had stayed within Hebron! That is why King David laments about Abner - why he died as a fool since his hands were not bound nor his feet put into fetters! Just a few steps inside the city of refuge and Abner would have been safe!
There is a spiritual lesson for us through this incident. Hebron, the city of refuge symbolizes our Lord Jesus Christ. If we believe in Christ and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we have eternal life. The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." (Psalms 14:1). If our life is only focused in amassing riches and achieving worldly success, we will die a fool’s death like the rich fool mentioned in Luke 12:16-20. But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?' So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:20-21). For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? (Matt 16:26).
Tillotson has made the following statement that is so relevant even today- “He who provides for this life, but takes no care for eternity is wise for a moment, but a fool forever”. Let us focus on eternal values and live a life hidden in Jesus Christ who is our City of Refuge! It is not worth dying like a FOOL…!!!