Asahel pursued Abner, and as he went, he turned neither to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner. 2 Samuel 2:19
Asahel was a gifted runner and he could catch Abner. But what would happen when he did? Abner was a skilled warrior. He knew what he was doing on the field of battle, and when he discovered that young Asahel was coming after him, he tried to put him off.
Picture these two men, several hundred yards apart. They both stop for a breather, and Abner shouts back to Asahel, “Turn aside…and seize one of the young men and take his spoil” (2:21). In other words, “Go after someone else!” But Asahel would not turn aside from following him.
Abner again says to Asahel, “Why should I strike you to the ground?” (2:22). He was saying, “Please don’t put me in the position of having to kill you in self-defense. Don’t make me do something that I don’t want to do!” But Asahel still refused to turn aside.
When Asahel finally caught up with Abner, the old warrior stopped in his tracks. He thrust his spear backward, and Asahel ran onto the spear (2:23). It was the speed of his own running that killed him.
Asahel was a gifted runner. Think what he could have done with that gift. He could have been the king’s swiftest messenger of grace, but he wasted his gift on his pointless pursuit of Abner!
Asahel just couldn’t let Abner go. He felt that he had to destroy him. Pursuing Abner became an obsession with him, and in his attempt to destroy Abner, Asahel destroyed himself. Those who become obsessed with destroying others end up destroying themselves.
Are you harboring a destructive obsession you need to let go of?