Saturday, November 10, 2012

David-Joab Kills Absalom

By Mary Vee
II Samuel 18

From the Journals of a Servant

courtesy of
The battle waged in the woods for hours. We, the army of David, fought the army of Absalom who came to attack us.

The causalities were great. Over twenty thousand lay dead in the woods. Absalom road a mule toward the front, his long, thick black hair flowing in the wind. His horse took him under branches of a terebinth tree that reached down to the height of his head. His hair tangled in the limbs, holding his body captive. The mule kept moving forward leaving Absalom dangling in the air.

I stood beside one of David's three captains, Joab when one of a soldiers came and reported the news.  Joab was furious and yelled, "Why didn't you kill him? I would have given you ten shekels and a belt?"

The soldier stood firm and didn't not falter when he replied. "You could have offered me one thousand shekels and I still wouldn't have raised a hand against the king's son. I heard the king say to you and the other two captains, 'Beware, if anyone touches Absalom.' To do what you said would be to risk my own life. Nothing is held secret from the king. You, yourself would have come after me."

Joab huffed. "I can't waste my time being near you." He grabbed three spears and with his ten armor bearers went to the place where Absalom dangled. I followed to report the events. Absalom thrashed, trying to free himself from branches he couldn't reach. The more he moved the more his hair tangled.

He begged Joab not to kill him, he offered him the captain position. "Too late, Joab yelled. You had your chance to choose me and didn't take it." Joab plunged all three spears into Absalom's heart. His ten armor bearers joined him by beating and finishing the kill. 

Joab blew the trumpet, signaling victory to David's army. The soldiers stopped their fighting and came to Joab's position. The men took Absalom's body and threw it in a pit in the woods covering it with a big rock.

Once the body had been buried the men ran back to the camp and hid in their tents. I am witness to these events should David ask, and he will. He won't be happy with Joab for disobeying his orders.

Here is a Psalm we sing. You call it Psalm 10:

Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?
Why do You hide in times of trouble?
 The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor;
Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.
 For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire;
He blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord.
 The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God;
God is in none of his thoughts.
 His ways are always prospering;
Your judgments are far above, out of his sight;
As for all his enemies, he sneers at them.
 He has said in his heart, “I shall not be moved;
I shall never be in adversity.”
 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression;
Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity.
 He sits in the lurking places of the villages;
In the secret places he murders the innocent;
His eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless.
 He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den;
He lies in wait to catch the poor;
He catches the poor when he draws him into his net.
 So he crouches, he lies low,
That the helpless may fall by his strength.
 He has said in his heart,
“God has forgotten;
He hides His face;
He will never see.”
 Arise, O Lord!
O God, lift up Your hand!
Do not forget the humble.
 Why do the wicked renounce God?
He has said in his heart,
“You will not require an account.
 But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief,
To repay it by Your hand.
The helpless commits himself to You;
You are the helper of the fatherless.
 Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man;
Seek out his wickedness until You find none.
 The Lord is King forever and ever;
The nations have perished out of His land.
 Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear,
 To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
That the man of the earth may oppress no more.

1. What did the soldier under Joab's command report?
2. Who side was Joab on, David or Absalom's?
3. What happened to Absalom?
4. Why did Joab yell at the soldier?
5. What did Joab and his ten armor bearers do?
6. What and who's rule did Joab violate?
7. Afterwards, Joab blew the trumpet to call all the army. What did they do?
8. Since they went back and hid in their tents can we say the soldiers knew the did right or wrong?

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We like to read what you learned about the story today. Remember, God loves you very much!