Friday, May 16, 2008

Its Very, Very Messy

Good morning my friends,

The question is did Joab do good or evil toward the king?

In today's reading we find Absalom setting up his household in Jerusalem. He would have solidified his power by killing his father but king David's spy managed to give bad advice to protect the king. When Absalom finally mounted an attack against his father David had enough time to rally a good size army to defend himself.

Now David was a kind and compassionate man, most of the time. He disliked bloodshed even though his life was filled with it. Here he was facing his son, his eldest son whom he loved dearly. Perhaps that is hard for some people to understand but it is amazing the capacity parents have to forgive the worse actions of a child. Parents always hope that children will change and live up to their potential. So it is not unreasonable that David would tell his army to protect his enemy for his enemy was his son.

Joab had a much different character than David. I believe that Joab loved king David and part of the reason for what he did was to protect him. But he was also arrogant. He thought he knew better than David so he ignored the order of the king and he personally killed the king's son. Why would he do this? Was there any personal gain in it? Remember that Joab tended to see things in a way that would benefit him. As long as David was kept from his throne Joab would also be kept from his position of power. Absalom was a continuing threat to David. He rebelled against him once so who's to say that he would not do it a second time. As long as Absalom was a threat to David he was also a threat to Joab. So, did Joab kill Absalom for the preservation of David or himself?

Regardless, Joab went against the king but David was so grief stricken that he could not deal with Joab. I also think that David feared Joab. Did David's compassionate heart strengthen him or weaken him as king? Was it a good part of his character or did it lead to problems? We all have our ideas of what a good leader is and what character he should possess. However, aspects of our character can be like a double-edged sword. In one instant it can make us a good leader and in another it can bring us harm. It is wisdom and discernment that allows us to know when and how to use different aspects of our character. We need the guidance of the Spirit because it is not always simple.

In the case of David and Absalom it is clear that David loved Absalom. However David put this love above his responsibility toward his people. He put a family matter ahead of the kingdom he was given to govern. He made it clear to Joab that he would continue to make mistakes as far as Absalom was concerned. This was wrong of David. It is not to say that he should have killed Absalom but David needed to show greater strength and resolve to take the matter in hand and deal with Absalom. In some ways he left Joab no choice, even though I disagree with the actions of Joab.

This is life. Life is not always so cut and dry. Life is messy. We are so desperate for the direction and support of the Spirit, especially in matters of the heart. We can try it on our own but there will always be decisions that we make that will bring more harm than good. Sometimes we may wonder about this even when we are directed by the Spirit. Yet with the Spirit we can be assured that God is working it all out to be good. It comes down to the fact that life is to complicated to try it without God. It really comes down to one question: do you believe this or not? Are you willing to allow the Spirit to be your guide and counselor or are you going to try to go it alone?

11 comments:

Noah said...

yes um people especially kings fight for gain and power witch is sad.

Brandon said...

I think Joab did the right thing because he was protecting the king. But killing him was bad. If we need help to know what to do the Spirit always points us in the right direction

Niki said...

I disagree with Brandon. Joab went against an order by the King, most likely just to save his powerful position. So Joab thought he was saving the King... but it was still an order that he went against. King David was wrong at the beginning, and this is what came out of it. But it still doesn't mean that you kill your kids because of it. Would you like it if your parents killed you because you did something wrong?

jessika said...

All of us really need the guidance of the Spirit in order to do the right thing

Naomi S. said...

Sure, Joab WAS trying to protect the king (and himslf obviously, and possibly more so), but Im sure he could have done it some other way, one that didn't involve killing David's son. To bad he was to busy thinking of a way to protect himself and his power. That often is what drives people to making mistakes like that. They think they are doing whats right and trying to protect someone, when really in the end all they are doing is trying to save their own rear ends.

audrey said...

oh no! i wouldnt like my parents to kill me if i did something bad!! i think i would of been dead... like at least a million times.. haha!!

Olivia said...

Lol...Audrey's right...well, maybe less than a million. but I think what Joab did was wrong, no matter who he was doing it for.

Ray said...

It is another situation that King David COULD have avoided, if had done the right before this even happened... like while raising Absalom.... and even if Joab did what he did for the king and not himself, it was the wrong thing to do.... help the king by disobeying his orders and killing someone?? I don't think so....

Kendall said...

I'm not sure but didn't Joab after lose his life as well? i cant remember. David should have been stronger than that.

WarriorPrincess said...

raising kids is not a cut and dry thing either. we all make mistakes in that. but we do try to get our kids to understand that going around grabbing everything just because you want it is not acceptable. David missed out on teaching that to more than one of his sons, and a lot of misery came from it. Joab had already proved that he was not much of a man of honor when he killed Abner, now he continues in the same manner by killing Absalom. i am wondering why David did not rid himself of Joab... and i wonder what the Spirit did tell David to do... but through all this wondering i know that i know that i know that i am not good enough at listening to the Spirit myself (not by a long shot).

sasha said...

The only thing that can grad us on the right way is the only spirt , we should stay in is timing and do every thing thats needed to do ( thing that are in God's rules). ***