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"Abneric" People

Have you met what I call "Abneric" people? You know Abner, of course? He was King Saul's army general and bodyguard. If he were your army commander and bodyguard, having all that power and authority, you should beware of him. And yet, in some ways, you can also count on him. He is the type of guy who'd often prioritize personal interest to loyalty and the general good and yet appear trustworthy. Sometimes, there are Abneric church people. And pastors should be wise dealing with them.

Doubtful Loyalty

When Saul died Abner made it his duty to install Ishbosheth (Saul's son) to power, even if Saul was no longer around. He could have wrestled power from Ishbosheth, but Abner opted to stay loyal to his master's family. But it probably felt terrible having someone like Abner place you in position. Scripture says Ishbosheth feared Abner that he sometimes just played along with Abner's plans [2Sam.3.11]. It probably felt like Judas Iscariot kissed and elected you to be youth president or church pastor. How's that? Beware of Abneric people in church who put you in position or make you pastor. They have plans for you and for everyone. They probably think they're God. They seem okay but they have something else in their minds.

Ulterior Positioning 

Yes, he installed Ishbosheth in power, but he also had been "strongly positioning himself in Saul's house" [2Sam.3.6]. And I've seen church people like that especially in denominations. I've seen American missionaries do that so they can control the native church. They put you in power because they can use you. In the end, you do their will which they make you believe is God's will (because they put bible verses in their manuals or denominational policies). In the end, you never get to do God's will all your life. And I wonder what that will make you of come Judgment Day.

Never play puppet to them. These Abneric people (lots of churches have plenty of them) put fear in pastor's hearts. If the pastor does not succumb to their pressures he may lose his job. Abneric people position themselves in church so they can throw their weights around and easily kick out anyone, even their own pastors. Some of them have the skill to appear low-profile and "meek" and yet inside they're wicked serpents. They work behind the scenes and make it look like it was God who did their machinations. And then naive people praise God for the work he has done. That's the making of a Satan synagogue.

"Joabic" People and the Demon of Self Conceit

Then Abneric people can start trouble, and when it becomes worse they can put the blame on you. It was Abner who started the silly challenge in 2.14--having the young soldiers duel to death. That started a riot among Joab's men and his men. Joab, though a veteran fighter and army general, was naive enough to bite the bait, probably spurred on by pride. Sometimes, aside from fear, self conceit makes people easily victimized by Abneric people. You see the spirits at work here? Once the demon of fear or self conceit gets the better of you (or rides on your back and controls you like a horse), you're easy target for the Abneric demon. The result is spiritual blood bath. Asahel fell dead in this skirmish. This trouble will start a never-ending division in church--Abneric people versus Joabic people.

You see, after the needless blood bath, Joab ended up being blamed for everything Abner had caused. When defeated and being pursued by Joab and his men, Abner self-righteously called out: "Are we going to continue butchering each other with our swords? Do you see how this bitterness would never end? Would you go on killing your brothers?"

WOW! The butchering was his idea and now he sounded like a righteous preacher. And Joab was touched--he stopped pursuit. Yes, Joabic people may sometimes win the battles but they're victimized and fooled around by Abneric people nonetheless. In the end, no one really wins. They all end up dead. And you know what King David said? "Though God anointed me king, Zeruiah's sons (Joab and Abishai who master minded Abner's muirder) are too strong for me." Imagine even the Lord's anointed saying that! Beware the Abneric people and the Joabic spirit.

David lamented for Abner and called him a prince of Israel. Abneric people can do great things in church, accomplishments that will be cited and awarded. Anointed leaders may even honor them out of their reverence for God. But be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. You should have a sharp spirit to discern who are Abneric people and who have the Joabic spirit.

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