20 Now a worthless man happened to be there whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite; and he blew the trumpet and said,
“We have no share in David,
Nor do we have an inheritance in the son of Jesse;
Every man to his tents, Israel!”
2 So all the men of Israel [a]withdrew from following David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah [b]remained loyal to their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem.
3 Then David came to his house in Jerusalem, and the king took the ten women, the concubines whom he had left behind to take care of the house, and put them in custody and provided them with food, but did not [c]have relations with them. So they were locked up until the day of their death, living as widows.
4 Now the king said to Amasa, “Summon the men of Judah for me within three days, and be present here yourself.” 5 So Amasa went to summon the men of Judah, but he was delayed longer than the set time which he had designated for him. 6 And David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom; take your lord’s servants and pursue him, so that he does not find for himself fortified cities and escape from our sight.” 7 So Joab’s men went out after him, along with the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and all the warriors; and they left Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. 8 When they were at the large stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came [d]to meet them. Now Joab was dressed in his military attire, and over it he had a belt with a sword in its sheath strapped on at his waist; and as he went forward, it fell out. 9 And Joab said to Amasa, “Is it going well for you, my brother?” And Joab took hold of Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him.
10 But Amasa was not on guard against the sword which was in Joab’s hand, so he struck him in the belly with it and spilled out his intestines on the ground, and did not strike him again, and he died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 Now one of Joab’s young men stood by him and said, “Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David, follow Joab!” 12 But Amasa was wallowing in his own blood in the middle of the road. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he removed Amasa from the road to the field and threw a garment over him when he saw that everyone who came by him stood still.
Though we haven’t seen the full result yet, here is just the beginning of the Israelites dispute over the king being “abducted” by the men of Judah. While they said they weren’t satisfied to have been left out of bringing David back, it may have been nothing more than a cover to bring forth yet another usurper.
Even Joab wasn’t happy with the results of recent events, as Amasa had been put in charge of the army. It’s possible David was just tired of his antics and his short temper, and wanted someone a bit more level-headed. Unfortunately, instead of going to the king and pleading his cause, Joab took matters into his own hands.
When we take things into our hands, instead of trusting our King, our God & Savior, it can start to go sideways quickly. We need to learn to trust God’s plan. But before that, we need to learn to seek God’s plan in all we do. Then trust Him for the results, and be content with those results.
So many times, strife is born out of discontentment, which is like a burr in our boots. If we can be content, wherever we might be, we can find joy and peace with God much more easily.