Civil war followed the death of Saul.  Abner, Saul’s General and Joab, David’s general, both led armies that seemed to be spoiling for a fight. The war that would preoccupy all Israel for several years began almost as a game which accelerated into a full-scale war. It was a contest between 12 men from each army. There seems to have been a “bad call” in the game and tempers flared & war pursued.

Many of the conflicts that separate families or churches or lands often begin over manageable differences. When neither side is willing to made concessions, the parties become polarized and all hope for peace is destroyed. The inability to reconcile the problem results in an acceleration of hostility and may end with disastrous results for both sides.

In the spring of 1894, the Baltimore Orioles came to Boston to play a routine baseball game. But what happened that day was anything but routine. The Orioles’ John McGraw got into a fight with the Boston third baseman. Within minutes all the players from both teams had joined in the brawl. The warfare quickly spread to the grandstands. Among the fans the conflict went from bad to worse. Someone set fire to the stands and the entire ballpark burned to the ground. Not only that, but the fire spread to 107 other Boston buildings as well.
Ogilvie writes, “There are few things more destructive than hatred that is nourished within a heart. It can destroy marriages and families, churches and denominations, and even countries.”