The removal of Abiathar from the office of high priest and the execution of Joab quenched the last faint hopes of the house of Saul. In the case of Abiathar, note the remarkable fulfillment of the divine prediction, 1Sa 2:31-35. God does not fail to keep His word, whether of threatening or of promise.
Joab fled to the altar. Men who, throughout their life, have disregarded or despised religion will often turn to it in their extremity. Those who blaspheme when the seas are smooth, will be the first to cry for mercy when the storm-winds lash the waters into foam.
Joab’s attempt to find mercy through the altar was futile; but no sinner ever flees to the Cross in vain. If he fulfills the conditions of repentance and faith, the sword of the avenger cannot touch him there. If we confess and forsake our sins, and humbly trust in the mercy of the Redeemer, no weapon that is formed against us can prosper, and every tongue that rises in judgment is condemned. “This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,” Isa 54:17.