Revolt Put Down
13 As soon as he was removed from the road, all the men went on after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.
14 Now he went on through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, that is, Beth-maacah, and all the Berites; and they assembled and went after him as well. 15 And they came and besieged him in Abel Beth-maacah, and they [e]built up an assault ramp against the city, and it stood against the outer rampart; and all the people who were with Joab were wreaking destruction in order to topple the wall. 16 Then a wise woman called out from the city, “Listen, listen! Please tell Joab, ‘Come here that I may speak with you.’” 17 So he approached her, and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” And he answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your slave.” And he said, “I am listening.” 18 Then she spoke, saying, “In the past they used to say, ‘They will undoubtedly ask advice at Abel,’ and that is how they ended a dispute. 19 I am one of those who are ready for peace and faithful in Israel. You are trying to destroy a city, even a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up the inheritance of the Lord?” 20 Joab replied, “Far be it, far be it from me that I would consume or destroy! 21 Such is not the case. But a man from the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has raised his hand against King David. Only turn him over, and I will depart from the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.” 22 Then the woman wisely came to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it to Joab. So he blew the trumpet, and they were dispersed from the city, each to his tent. Joab also returned to the king at Jerusalem.
23 Now Joab was in command of the entire army of Israel, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; 24 and Adoram was over the forced labor, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the secretary; 25 and Sheva was scribe, and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 Ira the Jairite also was a priest to David.
While this story has a good ending, it doesn’t reach that end very nicely with the beheading of Bichri. That’s how it is sometimes in our lives though. We want happy endings, but we’re not willing to go through the discomfort to get there.
As always, we want to have our cake and eat it too–and who wouldn’t 🙂 But God doesn’t often call us to “a life of ease”. More often, He calls us to endure challenges to reach the goal. Which is that we might become more like Him, and see God face to face one day.
Just as it was for Adam and Eve, our flesh doesn’t often crave the path that would lead us nearer to God. While our spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. We should not disdain discomfort, nor shy away from getting our hands dirty if it will bring us near to our Savior.
“Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you.”