Archive for September 11th, 2012

2 Samuel 20

2 Samuel 20 records the story of a guy named Sheba, whom the Bible refers to as “a worthless man”.  That’s quite an introduction.  Sheba was from the tribe of Benjamin, son of Bichri.  He “blew the trumpet and said ‘we have no portion in David, and we have no inheritance’”.  So all the men heard him cry out and decided to follow him rather than David the king.  They bought into his lies and stopped following the king.  The reality is that people sometimes follow a leader blindly, and in this case, it turns out poorly.

David hears about the situation and decides to send Amasa who is now leading the army, after Sheba.  Amasa is slow to get things organized and launched, but heads out with the army under David’s orders.  “Take your lord’s servants and pursue him, lest he get himself to fortified cities and escape from us”.  David sees things spiraling out of control again, and decides to take a proactive approach and bring down the uprising early this time.

It is important to remember what has just happened.  Joab has been removed as the leader of the army, at least on the org chart.  But scripture says it this way: “And there went out after him Joab’s men and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men”.  These guys were not loyal to Amasa, who was just put in charge.  They were loyal to Joab and David.  Joab takes the situation in his own hand and “Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. But Amasa did not observe the sword that was in Joab’s hand. So Joab struck him with it in the stomach and spilled his entrails to the ground without striking a second blow, and he died”.  A pretty grueling death to Amasa who didn’t serve long in the role David placed him.

Joab takes off with the army to chase down Sheba.  Amasa is left lying in his own blood right in the middle of the road for all to see.  That sent a pretty strong signal to the men in the army about who was in charge.  They chase Sheba into Abel where he holds up behind the walls.  Abel was a city where people would come to get counsel and settle things.  One of the “peaceable and faithful in Israel” – a judge who provided counsel – called Joab to find out why he was holding the city in siege.  Joab says he wants Sheba dead.  This counselor – a woman of wisdom – took the request to the city leaders and they beheaded Sheba and sent Joab away with no further damage.  They threw Sheba’s head over the wall and the army departed and went home as they had done their job.

David’s org chart is revealed as this chapter closes.  He has a list of key leaders that were doing the key tasks in the kingdom.  It is important to note that, while even as king, David knew he needed to be surrounded by good and competent people to get things done.

  • Joab was in command of all the army of      Israel
  • Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the      Cherethites and the Pelethites
  • Adoram was in charge of the forced labor
  • Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder
  • Sheva was secretary
  • Zadok and Abiathar were priests
  • Ira the Jairite was also David’s priest

Quite a list of folks who carried the load along with David.  Sometimes we miss these details and think that David just did it alone, or with his mighty men.  But he has a team that surrounded him and helped him rule the kingdom.  It is how things get done!

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