Sometimes all it takes is one woman to stop a war. Could you be that one woman? There are two wise women mentioned in the Older Testament. One is called the wise woman of Tekoa–the other is just given the title “wise woman.”
The name Tekoa means Trumpet. But our story starts out with a different type of trumpet blower, an evil man named Sheba.
“ Now a worthless fellow happened to be there whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite; and he blew the trumpet and said, “We have no portion in David, Nor do we have an inheritance in the son of Jesse; Every man to his tents, O Israel!”
So all the men of Israel withdrew from following David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah remained steadfast to their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem” (2nd Samuel 20:1-2 NASB).
This is a story that is tucked away, hidden even. It’s like a small town you pass through that you miss if not careful. It seems many people in the story wanted the kingdom.
The painted backdrop for this story is relatively long but adventurous. King David has been going through great turmoil. His oldest son Absalom killed his other son Amon over raping his half-sister. Sometime later Absalom decides to take over his father’s kingdom. He sits at the gate and handles matters. He woos the people with his charm and good looks. Absalom also gets advice from many advisors and decides to place a tarp like a tent on top of the palace and sleep with all his father’s concubines in broad day light.
Yes, Nathan had warned David that what he did in secret would be done for all to see. Absalom sways the people with his words. All the people begin siding with Absalom and leave David. After war breaks out, Absalom is killed most mysteriously. It seems his abundantly, thick, long hair, gets caught in some branches of a sturdy oak tree and while he hangs there someone finishes him off–someone named Joab. Now Joab is one of David commanding officers. David, with not much time for mourning over this son, is ready to take back the kingdom. Just when you think he would get a chance to retrieve what’s lost or grieve over his sons, he instead comes up against an evil man named Sheba. This is sort of where our story begins.
There is a lot of drama going on in David’s life. It is far from the prosperity, itching ear teachings we hear today–no, it is real life for a King.
It seems David sends his right-hand man Joab to hunt down Sheba before he destroys the kingdom. Nevertheless, David’s Chief General had already gathered troops and was pursuing after Sheba when Joab decides he wants the title of Chief commander back. His cousin, Amasa, had taken it from him due to his rashness. He thinks to himself, “If I take Amasa out of the equation I’ll be the big Chief again.” I’ll let the Bible explain how gruesomely he murdered his own cousin Amasa. It reminds me of a man named Judas. Yes, a wise woman does show up on the scene, and she creates order out of the chaos.
“When they were at the large stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Now Joab was dressed in his military attire, and over it was a belt with a sword in its sheath fastened at his waist; and as he went forward, it fell out. Joab said to Amasa, “Is it well with you, my brother?” And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him.
Amasa was not on guard against the sword in Joab’s hand, and Joab stabbed him in the stomach with it and spilled his intestines out on the ground. Joab did not stab him again for Amasa was dead. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bichri” 2nd Samuel 20:8-10.
I want to add something–Now David on his deathbed tells his son Solomon this about Joab, “Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner, the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, WHOM HE SLEW, AND SHED THE BLOOD OF WAR IN PEACE, and PUT THE BLOOD OF WAR UPON HIS GIRDLE THAT WAS UPON HIS LOINS, AND IN HIS SHOES THAT WERE ON HIS FEET”( 1st Kings 2:5 KJV).
This man had blood on his girdle and blood in his shoes. The Bible says the girdle of truth is what holds on the rest of our armor. Our feet are to be shod with shoes of peace. This is a tragedy. This knife was placed back in his sheath, and it was covered in blood. Can you picture the blood dripping down onto his uniform girdle about him and then into his shoes? What really grabbed my attention was he shed the blood of war in peace.
Have you ever had someone deal with you as in war when you wanted peace? Let me rephrase that; have you ever felt at peace and had someone decide to make war with you? David wrote the following words,
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe” (Psalms 133:1-2).
David came to the point where he didn’t trust Joab. Joab was his nephew. Joab had used his abilities and skills to gain much power and influence. He had many who were loyal to him. However, David removed him from his lofty position.
This did not sit well with Joab—especially when his cousin Amasa took his place as General and so he murdered him. So much jealousy, hatred, and evil kisses involved in the story.
So Joab and his men have entered the city of Abel where Sheba is hiding. Joab just drags bloody Amasa out of the highway area into a grassy mound to bleed out. No big deal right? He is dead.
They cast up a bank against the city, and it stood in the trench: and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down.
“Then cried a “wise woman” out of the city, Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near, that I may speak with thee.
And when he was come near unto her, the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered, I do hear” (2nd Samuel 20:16-17 KJB).
This woman is gutsy–bold, and not only that, she makes sure she is speaking to the commanding officer before she expresses her mind.
“Then she continued, “There used to be a saying, ‘If you want to settle an argument, ask advice at the town of Abel.’ I am one who is peace loving and faithful in Israel. But you are destroying an important town in Israel. Why do you want to devour what belongs to the Lord?”
And Joab replied, “Believe me, I don’t want to devour or destroy your town! That’s not my purpose. All I want is a man named Sheba son of Bicri from the hill country of Ephraim, who has revolted against King David. If you hand over this one man to me, I will leave the town in peace.”
“All right,” the woman replied, “we will throw his head over the wall to you.” Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off Sheba’s head and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the ram’s horn and called his troops back from the attack. They all returned to their homes, and Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem” 2nd Samuel 20:18-22 NLT.
Can you imagine? That is the problem with some of us; we need to cut off the head. King David was supposed to be the head. We need King Yeshua to be the head of our homes, marriage, and families. One woman cut off the head of wickedness and ended the battle that raged. A great and terrible army of men by the thousands were destroying this woman’s great city, but with a loud trumpet shout, she gave wisdom to a town and to a general who usurped his authority. We all can get caught up in chaos and even have it on our own front porch steps, but we also can cut it off and live in peace.