Wednesday, October 3, 2012

David-Joab's Sneaky Plan

By Mary Vee

II Samuel 14

From Joab's Journal

photo courtesy of
King David hardly spoke today. Ever since his son Absalom murdered Amnon, another son, he lost his desire to laugh and have fun. I knew he wouldn't say the words, but his heart painted the picture clearly. He missed Absalom. 

David loved all his children. He mourned terribly when one baby became ill and died. He still mourned for Amnon.  But those two were dead. It couldn't be changed. Absalom was alive, despite his sin. David needed a way to see Absalom without violating his duties as king.

I spent the last week thinking, working out a plan to bring Absalom back to David's presence without causing a problem. Absalom had fled to Geshur after murdering Amnon and was hiding there. He dared not return without king David's permission.

Then an idea came to me. As king, David held the responsibility to maintain order. He couldn't ask Absalom to come back. And it would also be wrong for him to grant permission to the captain of his army, which is me, to bring Absalom back. But...

What if the people asked for Absalom back? Yes. If I could persuade a man or woman to go before the king and plead for Absalom's return, he would then have a reason to say yes, despite the murder charges. Oh, I like this plan. 

I went out to the village of Tekoa and met a woman who showed great wisdom. She invited me into her home and gave me food and drink. 

During my visit I talked about the king's problem and asked for her help. "Go before the king and pretend you are mourning for a loved one. Dress in mourning clothes and don't dress in fancy cosmetics or lotions. Act like a woman who has gone through many days grieving for a dead loved one. Say the words I tell you."

"Why do you want me to do this?"

I stood and paced the room. Yes. She needed a reason to do a convincing job. "I want your help because the king loves his son."

"I see. For this reason I will gladly do as you ask. Absalom is a handsome man and the king is kind hearted. I will prepare tomorrow and go before the king on the next day."

I walked to the door. "Thank you. You will be helping the king."

I left her home satisfied knowing Absalom would returned to the palace in a few days. 

I may have done this for the king, but really, in truth, one day Absalom will be king. He'll remember what I did today and make me his captain. Sometimes a captain must take control of problem situations and solve them to earn what should be his in the future.

Do you see a problem with Joab's thinking? Was it his job to bring Absalom home? Think about a child sitting in time out. The child did something wrong and the parent gave them the time out punishment. Now if a neighbor came to the house and begged the parent to let the child out of the corner early would that be right? What would the child learn? 

This story continues next time. We'll see what happens when the woman goes before the king.
This psalm seemed fitting for today's story:

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.

He shall be like a tree

    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

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