2 Samual 15- 1 Kings 1- God knows the heart!

I have to be honest, I paused a long time contemplating Joab last week! 

I liked Joab!  He was so loyal to David....or so I thought.....😞

I guess the old saying rings true, you can't judge a book by it's cover!

I tried hard to follow all the names that were listed in the chapters related to Joab.  It turns out, he was David's nephew! (1 Chronicles 2:13-17) Remember, David was the youngest of 7 brothers? He also had two sisters. If you take the time to draw out the family tree, you will see a lot of relationships between David and his warriors. Joab, the son of David's sister may have been close in age to David if David's sister was older than those 7 brothers. So, it makes sense that David would have loyal family members helping him, and have them in high positions. 

As I read, I did think it was strange and even bad that Joab did some killing of close family members (Absalom, Abner and  Amasa).  But, I thought he was doing it to secure King David's position!  

But then.... I started to see that maybe Joab's loyalty wasn't completely for his Uncle, the King, but for his own position.  That 'kinda became clear when he jumped camp (from Team David to Team Adonijah - his cousin) before David had died or decided who would become the next king. 

I started to see a different side to Joab when it seemed like he was "kissing up" to the one he thought would be the next likely king, in order to ensure his position. I was bummed that his true colors started to show, because I thought he was a "good guy".  After all he gave wise counsel regarding the census David did (2 Sam 24).  If David had listened, 70,000 lives could have been spared!

However, this weeks reading was a good reminder not to make assumptions about peoples hearts and motives.  You never really know.  God is the only one who knows the hearts of others.

Today I am reading chapter 1 Kings 3:6 that says, David was faithful to God, righteous and upright in heart.  I need to remember that David knew Joab's intentions better than my assessment of Joab.

Both Joab and David did mistakes in their lives.  The difference between the two is that Joab was living for himself and his position, David was living to please the Lord.  There are Joab's everywhere around us that look like they are "loyal to the king" but have alterer motives. This account of his life is a good illustration that God knows the heart.  We may fool others, but we can't fool God.  The true motives will eventually show themselves. 

David knew an old proverb used back in his day (he said it to Saul) and it held true for Joab, "From evildoers come evil deeds." (1 Sam. 24:13). Eventually all will see the heart bent toward evil. It took me a little longer to see the evil side of Joab then it took David to see it.

Was anyone else taken a'back when reading that after nearly 40 years of loyal service to David, David instructs Solomon to kill him! (1 Kings 2:4)😳?

That reminds me of something Paul said to Timothy, "The sins of some people are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sin of others trail behind them." (1 Tim. 5:24)

What a good reminder for us when we think we can get away with something!!  The truth always shows up eventually! 



Melanie said…
I love seeing your take on Joab. I was glad when he killed Absalom, who was a real snake in the grass to David! As I do for many parents, I felt so sorry for David, who loved Absalom to the end; 2 Sam. 18:33. We are a race that cannot see our children objectively. Is God always pleased with love poured on evil?
The one I feel sorry for is Abishag. I was hoping she would show up with Solomon. But maybe she had an independent, quiet and undisturbed life far from the fray!?
As far as Abishag, I don't think she would ever have been able to "show up with Solomon". That wouldn't look right in the eyes of the Israelites. I believe that is based on Leviticus 18:8. Even though David was never intimate with Abishag she would still be considered like a concubine, which is as binding to the man as marriage.

That is why it was so bad that Absalom did what he did with his father's concubines. (2 Sam. 16:21). Absalom was told that the action would make him "obnoxious" to his father, and that is exactly what Absalom wanted to accomplish! That didn't go well for him!
That is also why Solomon got mad at his ½ brother, Adonijah, for trying to set up the same type of thing (using Bathsheba as his messenger). Perhaps Bathsheba wasn't paying attention to Torah reading, when it was offered, but Solomon did! Soloman knew dishonoring one's father was worthy of death. (Lev. 20:9)

As to your question, "Is God always pleased with love poured out on evil?" I thought that was an interesting question in light of our Ecclesiastes reading we did this week. Verse 8 in ch. 3 stood out to me. "There is a time for everything....a time to love and a time to hate."
Boy! You don't hear that in our culture these days!! There IS a time to hate?! ......but.... what are we supposed to hate? The Bible is VERY clear on that! We are to hate evil!! (Prov. 8:13, Psalm 97:10, Amos 5:15, Romans 12:9 to name a few!).
We are not to tolerate or accept evil and we are supposed to flee from it!

As far as how parents should deal with their way ward child practicing evil....well, that is when each parent confronted with that issue needs to fall on their knees, seek God in prayer and in scripture to hear what God would have them do in their unique situation.
David, fortunately, listened to wise council and stopped his public grieving.

Yes, we may not be able to "see our children objectively", but I think that is a God given gift! We can learn more about God because of our unobjective love for our children. God made us that way so that we can understand better, his love for us!! God doesn't look at us objectively! He sees us as his wonderful creation that he wants to live with forever! Yet, his Word is objective and true. I praise the Lord that He is a just God that could objectively give us the punishment we deserve, but loved us so much that he gave us a way out instead! The parent/child love helps us understand why Jesus went to the cross.

Such good lessons to learn from 2 Samual!!! Thanks for leaving your comments, Melanie!!

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