Friday, April 15, 2016

Peace Loving and Faithful

O. T. #735  "Peace Loving and Faithful"
April 15, 2916
2 Samuel 20-Part2
I am one who is peace loving and argument, asking advice at the town of Abel.  2 Samuel 20:18 NLT


We encounter a peace loving and faithful woman in Israel in our reading today. Can we describe our self with those words? (Grant it, there are times we must take a stand against sin and wrong.) Are we peacemakers, trying to settle disputes before they get blown out of proportion? Jesus said as part of the beatitudes, "Blessed are the peacemakers."

David didn't even make it back home before another revolt occurred. Sheba the troublemaker persuaded the men of Israel to return home, deserting David. Then David arrived at his palace and he took charge:
  • He sent Amasa to assemble the men of Judah to him within 3 days, and be there himself. (verse 4). Amasa has been a former general in Absalom's army. He was appointed by David as his commander as a conciliatory move. 
  • Scripture says that Amasa took longer than the appointed time. (verse 5) Time was of the essence in order to resolve another civil war, but Amasa must not have grasped that. Anyway, this incompetent military man wasn't up for the job.
  • David was tire of waiting on Amasa and spoke to Abishai, Joab's brother, saying that Sheba was going to hurt them more than Absalom did. He told Abishai to take his personal guard   and chase after him before Sheba gets into a fortified town where they can't reach him. (verse 6)
Tribal jealousies were threatening the stability of David's reign by giving Sheba an opportunity to rebel. (Life Application Study Bible)

How sad it is when people cannot get along due to jealousy. Why can't we recognize it as Satan's ploy to divide us? Before a civil war breaks out in our situation, we need to try to resolve differences before they become blown out of proportion. Seeking Jesus' solution can help us in this department.


What happens next?
  • Abishai and Joab's men, with the king's bodyguards (the Kerethites and Perlethites), and all the mighty warriors set out after Sheba. (verse 7)
  • Amasa and his troops met up with Abishai and Joab with their men at Gibeon. Joab was not in charge, although he was wearing his military tunic with a dagger strapped to his belt.
  • When Joab stepped forward to greet Amasa with a traditional kiss on the cheek, and grabbed his beard, his dagger fell to the ground. Now this may have been a plot of Joab's to commit murder again. (Referring to Absalom)
  • Amasa didn't notice Joab's dagger in his left hand and Joab stabbed him in the stomach.
  • The men left Amasa there in his pool of blood with insides gushing out. (Sorry for the gory details) Joab saw men stopping to stare so he pulled Amasa off the road into a field and threw a cloak over him.
  • Everyone then went to pursued after Sheba.
  • Sheba was prepared for the battle-his own clan gathered for battle with Sheba at a certain town.
  • Joab's forces built a siege ramp against the town's fortifications and began battering down the wall.
Then, a wise woman, probably a judge, from the town of  Abel had a talk with Joab. Scripture describes her as a peace loving and faithful one in Israel. She offered peace instead of war and a solution to this battle instead of destruction of her town. Joab told her he didn't want to destroy her town, but he wanted Sheba, who revolted against King David. If she handed over this man, they would leave in peace. The woman promised to throw Sheba's head over the wall to Joab.
Yes, you read it right. When this wise woman told her people of her advice, they cut off Sheba's head and threw it out to Joab.

It was over, finished. Joab blew his horn and all the troops stopped attacking and returned home. Joab returned to King David. Joab was then made commander of the army of Israel.


Be a peace loving and faithful person.

Be a peacemaker, helping others settle disputes.

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