Wednesday 26 January 2022

Bible Book:
2 Samuel

But the man said to Joab, 'Even if I felt in my hand the weight of a thousand pieces of silver, I would not raise my hand against the king’s son; for in our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, saying: For my sake protect the young man Absalom!' (v. 12)

2 Samuel 18:9-15 Wednesday 26 January 2022

Psalm  65


Absalom was the son of King David, God’s chosen king who ruled over the Middle Eastern kingdoms of Israel and Judah. But Absalom was power hungry: he wanted his father’s crown and led a rebellion against him. A civil war ensued – son against father, Hebrew against Hebrew. Despite Absalom’s treachery, David loved his son and even watched over his well-being, interceding for him and pleading with the commanders of his army, Joab, Abishani and Ittai, not to harm Absalom if he were caught.

But Joab, along with his armour bearers, dealt Absalom the final death blow when he was caught in an oak tree. He was fiercely loyal to David and was also his cousin. Unfortunately, earlier scriptures in the Old Testament recount that it was not the first time he had got rid of someone who seemed to threaten the reign of David.

There is a sharp contrast between the response of the man who first spotted Absalom in the oak tree and Joab’s. The other man heeded David’s commandment to save Absalom’s life. Joab, on the other hand, finished Absalom off with three fatal spear thrusts to the heart, killing a man and breaking the heart of his king.

What can we make of Joab’s violent response? In the New Testament, we read about God’s response to a rebellious world through Jesus interceding for us as he hung on the cross, pleading with God: “…Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing…” (Luke 23:34, NRSV). Centuries before, King David pleaded for his son. Perhaps he thought that there was a glimmer of hope for reconciliation between them. But while Joab’s response to catching Absalom was to condemn him, sentence him and execute judgement, Jesus said this of himself: “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17 NRSV).


To Ponder:

  • As we read about the broken relationship between Absalom and David, it is clear that this brokenness in families leads to devastation and destruction. To what extent can you bring healing and reconciliation to any broken relationships in your life?
  • What do you make of the contrast between Joab’s response to Absalom, a rebellious son, and Jesus’ response to a rebellious world?
  • Jesus talks about coming to save the world. How can you contribute to God’s work of healing and reconciliation in the wider world? 


 Lord, we give you thanks for coming to the world to save it and not to condemn it. We pray for healing and reconciliation in any broken relationships in our lives. Help us be peacemakers in our personal lives and in the wider world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Previous Page Tuesday 25 January 2022
Next Page Thursday 27 January 2022