They thought he would be pleased. What were they thinking?
Two leaders of raiding parties from Saul’s sons went into Ish-Bosheth’s house pretending to get wheat from the inner room. They stabbed him in the stomach and killed him. Not only that but they beheaded him and took his head to David.
David, who had spent his life on the run from Saul, could have easily killed Saul on several occasions. But he didn’t because Saul was the Lord’s anointed. When a messenger came to tell him that he, at Saul’s request, had finished Saul off, David killed him because he touched the Lord’s anointed. Instead of getting the great financial reward he expected, he met his death.
Now these two raiders had brought the head of Ish-Bosheth, Saul’s son to David thinking he would be pleased. After all Ish-bosheth had tried to set up his own kingdom instead of accepting David’s leadership. But David was furious.
“…when the person told me, ‘Look, Saul id dead,’ he thought he was a bearer of good news, but I seized him and put him to death at Ziklag. That was my reward to him for his news! How much more when wicked men kill a righteous man in his own house on his own bed! So now, should I not require his blood from your hands and wipe you off the earth” (2 Sam 4:11).
David was without a doubt a man of blood. God would bring judgment on him for that later on and not allow him to build the temple. But one thing David had going for him was that he honored the Lord’s anointed, and he honored righteousness. He had no tolerance for anything else and when someone did evil, he dealt with it. This was in total contrast with Saul.
Furthermore when loyalties were shuffling around, David stayed loyal to his covenant with Jonathon. We have here how Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth became a cripple when he was on the run when he was a boy (2 Sam 4:4). David stayed loyal to him and cared for him all the days of his life.
In a world of political intrigue, time and again we see David who could have justified wrong-doing did the right thing anyway. And because of that, God established him as king.