Therefore, notice how Yahweh’s name appears in these chapters. Some try to use it to bless and advance their political desires: “Here is the head of Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life. The LORD has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring” (2 Samuel 4:8). Others, like Abner, are ready to recognize Yahweh when it is convenient: “Then Abner was very angry… and said, ‘God do so to Abner and more also, if I do not accomplish for David what the LORD has sworn to him, to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beersheba’” (2 Samuel 3:8, 9-10; see also 2 Samuel 3:17-18).
But the part of David the anointed is to reign in concert with Yahweh’s just dominion. Therefore, we see David make reference to His name in striking acts of justice: “How is it that you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?” (2 Samuel 1:14). “May you be blessed by the LORD, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord and buried him” (2 Samuel 2:5; instead of punishing the men of Jabesh-gilead for burying his “enemy”, which many thought he was). “I and my kingdom are forever guiltless before the LORD for the blood of Abner the son of Ner. May it fall upon the head of Joab and upon all his father’s house” (2 Samuel 3:28-29). “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life out of every adversity, when one told me, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news. How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed?” (2 Samuel 4:9-11) In the midst of so much instability and violence, David looks for the security that can only come through submission to Yahweh’s just dominion.