Dying Like A Fool – 4/2/17 AM


Dying Like A Fool

2 Samuel 3:33  And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth?


Introduction:  This has always been a sad verse to me.  After reading the life of Abner, I found out some very interesting things.

Taking the meaning of his name, and the situation surrounding the end of his life and his death, we are going to make an application and use Abner as the type of a believer.  Notice the similarities as we make this analogy:

  1. Abner’s Condition– I Samuel 17:55 – he is servant to the enemy of David; (a sinner)
  2. Abner’s Confrontation– I Samuel 26:16 – here he is told by David that he deserved to die
  3. Abner’s Conviction – II Sam. 3:7-11 – this would be his ‘conversion’; a change of heart
  4. Of Ishbosheth’s Desire – II Sam. 3:7 – realized his master’s son was cruel and hurtful
  5. Of God’s Desire – II Sam. 3:9 – he knew God’s will all along; been fighting God’s will
  6. Abner’s Commitment – II Sam. 3:21 that they might make a league with thee
  7. Abner’s Communion – II Sam. 3:20 a great feast with the king
  8. Abner’s Carelessness – II Sam. 3:27 his fatal mistake – he was “saved” for less than a day!

David said of Abner’s death, Died Abner as a fool dieth? Notice the IRONY here:

  • Fool – Hebrew ‘nabal’ means stupid, foolish, senseless
  • Abner – my father is a lamp; enlightened

Contrast Abner, which means ‘the enlightened’ with Abner; the ‘fool’.

Why Abner died like a fool – (a picture of a new convert that falls to Satan’s devices)


I. He was Foolish about his Value – vs. 21

A. He was Proud

  • vs. 10 – to translate the kingdom…. to set up a throne of David
  • vs. 12 – make a league with me???  What about can I make a league with you??
  • vs. 12 – and my hand shall be with thee to bring about all Israel unto thee

B. He was Pushy – vs. 17, 18 – communication with the elders of Israel – instead of David

He was a new convert; trying to be the leader and tell everybody what to do instead of LEARN!

He went all over and tried to recruit the other tribes before meeting with David and getting orders.

C. He was Presumptuous – vs. 21 – I will arise and go and gather all of Israel

He failed to realize that he needed David A LOT worse than David needed him!

He was going to take 20 men and gather all of Israel unto David?


II. He was Foolish about his Vulnerability – vs. 21 he left in ‘peace’

A. Notice his Problem

He had left Ishbosheth, and had pledged his commitment to David. His place was with David! (Notice vs. 10)

  • Application:  Just as Peter answered the Lord, Where will we go? – we should realize that we need to stay with God.  Will ye also go away?  I’m determined to stay!  I need God!!

We could blame David for sending him away, but Naomi also tried to send Ruth away, but she refused.

  • Ruth 1:16  And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

She was committed to Naomi and she had no place else to go.

Elijah tried to send Elisha away 3 or 4 times in II Kings 2, but he refused to leave him.

Abner wasn’t committed to David because he left.  He had his 20 friends, and figured he didn’t need David.

He was mistaken!! There is no peace apart from God!

If you are going to attempt something for the king – TAKE HIM WITH YOU!!!

B. Notice his Protection – vs. 20 he was in Hebron- and he left!

We learn in Joshua 20:7 that Hebron was one of the seven cities of refuge.

Hebron also means “fellowship”.

He should have known where he belonged, considering his circumstances and his vulnerability.

The safest place that Abner could have been was in Hebron, and he left!

  • Application: He left the security of other believers. (type of the church).  When you get saved, stay in the fellowship!!!  Don’t leave.  Don’t wander off!  Don’t look around.  God put you there, now stay!

C. Notice his Path – vs. 26

By the way, he was found at the well of Sirah. Sireh means: “the turning”.

It comes from the Hebrew word CUWR (pronounced soor – it means: to cause to turn aside, cause to depart, remove, take away, put away, depose)


It makes interesting consideration when you realize that the well of Sirah was only 2 ½ miles from Hebron.  They departed in vs. 21, and by the time Joab had returned, delivered all the spoil, had an audience with David, made his plans and sent his messengers, Abner and his men were only 2 ½ miles away!

They had no purpose, no concern, no awareness of the impending danger.

They were taking it easy, relaxing, enjoying the rewards of their feast with David and their new found treaty.

They had no sense of urgency; no passion to help David.

He left the SUPPER with the king and ended up drinking out of the SEWER of the world!!

He had just left a feast; why was he even at the well in the first place?  Didn’t they have canteens?


III. He was Foolish about his Vigilance – vs. 26


A. Of People

He failed to recognize the enemy. He felt safe and secure and was not in the least concerned about his welfare.  When we saw these men, he trusted them and believed them.  He was gullible, and showed a huge lack of discernment, considering his former position as a captain of Saul’s army.  Here he is acting like a complete idiot. He didn’t question anybody or double check anything.  He just went.

  • Psalms 55:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.
  • Application:  Abner made the fatal mistake of trusting Joab because they were both on the same team!  Just because somebody says they love God and serve God and are a Christian, that doesn’t mean they are concerned for your well being!  They may have deadly intentions.  BEWARE!

B. Of his Past – vs. 27

He apparently forgot his previous trouble with Joab.  In II Sam. 2:22, he realized that when he killed Asahel, he would never be able to face Joab again.  But for some reason, he didn’t fear Joab anymore.  He failed to realize that because of his past, he was vulnerable and couldn’t be around certain people and go certain places.  Just because he had made an agreement with David, that didn’t erase his past!!

  • Application: Just because you’re saved doesn’t mean that you can do what you want to and go where you want to and hang around anybody you want to.  Your past makes you vulnerable!! If you had trouble with booze, stay away from it!  If you had problems with lusts, stay away from anything that will feed that lust! Beware!!!

C. Of his Position – vs. 27 he was INCHES away from safety when he died

You don’t walk up to your worst enemy and share secrets in the gate of the city of refuge!!  He failed to realize his vulnerability.  He wasn’t prepared for Joab’s knife.  So close, but so far away.  No armor, no discernment, no caution, no protection.  He had walked away from all the protection a person could desire, but it did him no good.

  • Application:  Satan is out to destroy you.  No doubt about it.  If you don’t wake up, and realize the seriousness of the situation, you will die as a fool dieth!

Conclusion:  David wept and lamented Abner’s foolishness.  Then he further elaborated on why it was so foolish!  It had been his own choice!  Nobody was to blame but himself.  He was a fool.

  • 2 Samuel 3:34  Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: as a man falleth before wicked men, so fellest thou. And all the people wept again over him.

Will the people of God weep over your foolish decision?  Will you die like a fool?