And when he was come near unto her, the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered, I do hear. Then she spake, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter. I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the LORD? And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy. The matter is not so: but a man of mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David: deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said unto Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall. Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king. (2 Sam. 20:17-22)
Joab once again proved himself to be ruthless and power hungry. He welcomed Amasa with one hand and killed him with the other, all to gain control of David’s army. He pursued Sheba even to the city of Abel and would have destroyed Abel just to get Sheba if the wise woman of the city had not intervened. Her words were challenging to Joab but not overly so in that he could respect her desire to save her city if the city turned over Sheba to him. This woman easily convinced the citizens of Abel to turn over Sheba to Joab to save the city. Sheba was quickly dispatched, and his head thrown over the wall to Joab. Joab had his evidence and left Abel without any more destruction and returned triumphantly into Jerusalem as the head of all the armies of Israel.
The Lord promises wisdom to those who will ask and ask in faith, believing that He will provide it. From His Word, Christians are given instructions in righteousness, the reprove and correction we all too often require through examples such as this, and the Doctrines of our LORD and God. There are no parts of the Scriptures we can cast aside or ignore, just because we do not like them, think they are boring, or feel we do not need to read and study. Joab’s desire for power and authority, even at the expense of his friend and fellow servant, led to murder. For the Christian who seeks to reach the lost, teach the nations, and preach the Word of the Living God, treachery and subtilty have no place in our advancement or promotion. God will promote His people in His time and give more authority to those who wait and are obedient unto Him. Those who are born again by faith in Christ and His finished and perfect work on the Cross of Calvary rest in Him and seek His face not for our glory but for His. The positions He places us in and the responsibility He requires in ministry, missions, and discipleship empowers us to go with the Gospel, and is for our growth in Him as we serve God and one another. We should not seek advancement by our own hand as Joab did, but trust God to accomplish His goals His way that His will may be done.
While we are here, God has sent those of us who are His saints and know Him out into this world to reach the lost that they might be saved from sin. He desires that His people strive to be holy and obedient unto Him that we might minister to those around us who are hurting and in need as He provides. We serve others, equipped with the Word of reconciliation and righteousness, rightly divided and fitly spoken, that they may see Christ in us, the hope of Glory. Our God has commanded us to love one another with an unfeigned love, even as He first loved us, and to disciple one another in the Word of God so that we may all grow in grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Our Lord has commissioned those who are His with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to go where He sends us in the power of the Holy Spirit. As we go, we are to proclaim the Good News of forgiveness through repentance and reconciliation with the Father through faith in His Son, that those who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah of God might have life in His Name.
God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and the knowledge of the Truth. Jesus loves you and wants to establish a covenant relationship with you that is real and personal. Surrender to Him on His terms and He will give you a brand new life of discipleship and fellowship with Him that is abundant and everlasting. God calls you to faith in Christ and His finished and perfect work on the Cross of Calvary to pay your sIn debt. He has provided the only way of reconciliation with God, forgiveness from God, and Salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is God the Son, to give you a new life in Christ. Turn away from yourself and your sIn and turn to Him alone for eternal Life, now and always.