Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Joab and Military Power (2) Wisdom

Joab was a wise man. On several occasions, Joab’s wisdom prevented David from making serious mistakes.

  • When David’s relationship with his son Absolam had broken down, Joab tried to make peace between them, but without much success (2 Sam 14). During the process, Absolam burned Joab’s field wheat (2 Sam 14:30).

    Absalom wanted to reconcile with his father, but he was forced to remain in exile. He was left in a situation of being forgiven, but not accepted, so he eventually rebelled against David.

  • Joab and Abishai went into exile with David, when Absolam seized the throne. They had the wisdom to back David, even though it appeared that he was finished (2 Sam 16:9).

  • When Absolam died, David put his grieve ahead of the men who had supported him. Joab warned him that he risked offending the soldiers who had supported him. Joab said to the king,

    Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines (2 Sam 19:5).
    David wanted to be the nice guy, but he did not realise that a king has to be ruthless to remain in power. Joab protected David’s kingdom at a time when it was fragile.

  • Joab developed a wise strategy for dealing with a joint attack by the Arameans an Ammonites (2 Sam 10:9-10).

  • When Satan incited David to take a census of fighting-age men, Joab tried to talk him out of it.

    But Joab replied, “May the LORD multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord’s subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?” The king’s word, however, overruled Joab; so Joab left and went throughout Israel (1 Chron 21:3-4).
    This was real wisdom, but it was ignored. Joab was loyal, so he carried out David’s instructions even though he did not agree with them.

Unfortunately, Joab’s wisdom was corrupted by the brutal and violent spirit that that got hold of him. This is what happens to those who gain military power. The hatred and fear of war opens the way for bad spirits to enter. They make a home for violence and force.

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