Joab: David's Weak Strong-Man

Scripture: Proverbs 21:2, 2 Samuel 2:17-23, 2 Samuel 11:15-25
Date: 11/20/2010 
Lesson: 8
Joab shows weakness by supporting David's sin rather than standing up for righteousness.
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Good morning and a very, very Happy Sabbath to those of you who are joining us this morning from across the country and around the world, welcome. If you are listening on the radio this morning, watching live on our website at, or watching on the various television networks, you are part of our Sabbath school family here at central. And of course if you tune in every week, you know that we sing favorite songs. If this is your first time, well then you're in for a surprise, a treat. We love to sing hymns here at central church.

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And father we just pray that we will surrender our evil, wicked hearts to you, and that we will be filled with your spirit today, so that we can share your love with a lost and dying world. We thank you so much for saving us, for giving us the gift of eternal life. And I pray that none of us will reject it and that each and every day will be a new and fresh experience with you. We thank you so much for this beautiful Sabbath you have blessed us with, even though it's raining outside, it's beautiful because your sunshine, your love is in our hearts. And we thank you in Jesus' Name, amen.

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We'll send that free offer to you just for asking. Today we're in lesson number 8. Last year we talked--or last week we talked about abiathar the priest, and today we're going to be talking about joab: David's weak strong man," lesson number 8, "joab: David's weak strong man." A lot of what we're going to deal with is in 2 Samuel and 1 Kings, a little bit in 1 Chronicles. We have a memory verse, the memory verse is from Proverbs 21:2, Proverbs 21:2. In my notes here I'm doing it out of the--i guess it's both the lesson and me, it's coming from the new international version.

Why don't you say that with me? "All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart." "All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart." Now joab is an interesting character. I actually did a sermon on joab, and so I borrowed from some of my old notes, kind of handy when you've been in one place for about 17 years, and if you save your sermons on your computer, every now and then I'm able to go back into the pastoral archives and I find some notes. And so I was able to do that a little bit this time. Joab is a very interesting study. He's interesting for a number of reasons.

One: you find the name, joab, this character, the general of David, you find his name more than John. I mean you hear everyone talk about John in the new testament, joab's name is mentioned 138 times in the Bible. That's quite a bit. And his name means, "yahweh is father." Some of you know in the new testament Paul talks about we address God as abba. Abba means father.

When you see the word, "ab," in the Bible, you've heard of barabbas. And that means, "son of The Father." Joab is yahweh, yah-abba. And so it's "jehovah is father," is what his name means. He kind of grew into the position of being David's general, but he was also David's kin. Now this is an interesting study.

Joab--and you can read this in 1 Chronicles 2, I'll read verse 16-17. "Now their sisters--" talking about the brothers of--or the sisters of David's brothers. Their sisters "were zeruiah and abigail. And The Sons of zeruiah were abishai, joab, and asahel, three. Abigail bore amasa; and The Father of amasa was jether the ishmaelite.

" Now you're going to find it's interesting that evidently jesse, he had these seven sons. One time it says eight. And we're not sure whether they're counting one of them from joab's--I'm sorry, jesse's wife outlived jesse. You remember reading jesse was an ancient man. David ended up with a stepfather who then had a couple of sisters.

And that was zeruiah and abigail. So these are David's nephews by the stepfather. So just trying to give you the family tree. I know that gets a little bit confusing. Anyway, they're David's nephews.

They are from the same tribe. The other interesting thing is all three of these boys, the three nephews of David, became part of his mighty men. When he was running from Saul, and he was in the cave, they joined him. So you have joab and asahel and abishai. It may be that abishai was the oldest; we're not sure.

And they start appearing more and more on the scenes of action. Matter of fact, now might be a good time to read you about David's mighty men. And turn in your Bibles to 1 Chronicles 11. You got your Bibles, you might turn 1 Chronicles 11. If you've ever read some of the exploits of David's mighty men, it almost seems they're superhuman.

You read about some of the things they do, you know, one man killing 300. It goes on and then tells you about, you know, some of them, they were giant-killers or they killed lions. And just did amazing things. But they became part of David's sort of elite honor guard. Something you'll notice as it goes through the list of David's mighty men, and it seems like over the 40 years that David ruled, the list changed a little bit.

He had the initial mighty men from when he was running from Saul, and then a little later it seems he had another three mighty men. Some of them died off maybe in battle and they were replaced. But just go to 1 Chronicles 11, and if you look for instance in verse 6, well I'll read verse 5. They wanted to conquer Jerusalem. When David became king, Jerusalem was still held by the jebusites.

It was a stronghold. There was already a fortress there at that time. David knew it was situated where it was a--and he grew up in Bethlehem not very far from Jerusalem. At one time melchizedek had that city. It was called salem.

Later they built a wall around salem and called it jeru-salem, city of peace. And it was a great situation. It had a spring by the city. It had a great lookout. It was sort of on a hill.

It wasn't necessarily the highest hill. You had the mount of olives right there. But a great place by situation for a fortress. David said that's where I want my capital. But the jebusites occupied it.

And they were taunting David. "Then the inhabitants of jebus said to David, 'you'll not come in here!' Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David--" also known as Mount Zion. "Now David said," to his generals, or to his mighty men, "whoever attacks the jebusites first shall be," captain, "shall be chief and captain." He'll be my general. "And joab The Son of zeruiah went up first, and became chief." Now you read in another passage in the Bible, evidently there was a secret aqueduct that had been built to bring water into Jerusalem from a spring. And it was very narrow.

Hezekiah later widened it as the city was also expanded. And it's still there today. It's called hezekiah's aqueduct. But there was some kind of a tunnel that brought water into the city and went up a well. And some night, joab said, "I will go into the city.

He snuck into the city through this conduit and it was probably very tight and very scary, very dark, went up the well, chanced that he could get past the guards and open the gates and let the men in. And they took the city that way. By the way, you know the story of the trojan horse. A similar story, they managed to get some men in the city so they could open the gate and let the army in. And so joab did that and he was made general.

But now you read through the exploits of David's mighty men. And I don't have time to read it all. Oh, reread verse 17, "and David said with longing voice--" he's living in a cave, hiding from Saul-- "oh, that someone would give me a drink of water from the well of Bethlehem, that is by the gate!" At that time the philistines had occupied Bethlehem. And it says that, "so the three," mighty men of David, "broke through the camp of the philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, took it and brought it to David." They fought their way into the city, past the garrison of the philistines, just to bring their commander a drink of water from his well. The water in the cave of adulem was sulfur water.

It was--it's stunketh. And he was longing for the water of Bethlehem. David wouldn't drink it. He poured it on the ground. Anyway, you read right after that, it says, "now," verse 20, "now abishai the brother of joab was chief of another three.

" That implies that joab was part of the first three. You see what I'm saying? That's why I'm reading all this to you. "He had lifted up his spear against three-hundred men and killed them." Wow, abishai became one of David's generals as well, the brother of joab. Just a little bit about abishai. If you're going to study joab, how many of you remember when David went down into the camp of Saul and he took Saul's water bottle and his spear to prove that he had an opportunity to kill him, but he wouldn't kill him.

Someone went with David. That was abishai. And abishai said, "let me pin him to the ground. I won't hit him twice. Once will be enough.

" And David said, "no, don't do it." You know they're whispering 'cause they're all asleep. Abishai said, "I'll kill 'em." Another time when David's fleeing from absalom, and shimei comes out to curse David, and abishai, he's always there by David's side, he says, "I'll go cut off this dog. How can he curse the King?" David said, "abishai, calm down. Let him alone." And then Saul came into a cave one time to relieve himself, the Bible says, and he didn't know David and all his men were in the cave. And somebody said to David, "let me kill him!" Who do you think that was? It's abishai.

So abishai was a real gung-ho marine. He just always wanted to charge off into battle. And you know, he was a pretty good soldier, because it says one time when David had a battle with the ammonites, abishai and his men killed 18,000 of the edomites--sorry, the edomites. And he really got the credit for that victory. So this was the brother of joab.

And then you keep on reading through the mighty men, verse 26, "also the mighty warriors were asahel the brother of--" there he is again-- "joab." You read later about asahel, that he was as fleet of foot as a gazelle. So they were all very talented and devoted men, very devoted to David. Now the interesting thing is you do hear about when joab dies. And you do hear about when asahel dies, but it never mentions the death of abishai. He's a character I want to find out more about when I go to heaven.

He seemed like he was kind of David's personal bodyguard and a general as well, but joab was the general-general of the nation of Israel. And he got that position. And he fought tenaciously to keep it. There were a couple of times David wanted to replace him, and joab prevented that from happening. Alright, so let's move on here in the study of joab as a character, this weak strong man.

The Bible talks about Samson. Was he a strong man? Did he also have some weakness? Yeah, it's not uncommon. Oh, by the way, 2 Samuel 2:18, "now the three sons of zeruiah were there: joab, abishai and asahel. And asahel was as fleet of foot as a wild gazelle." He could flat-out fun. He would have been an olympic contender.

And abishai, the brother of joab was chief of another three. I already read you that. Now you go to 2 Samuel, it talks about how--oh, this is the verse I mentioned earlier how joab became general. "And David said on that day, 'whoever climbs up the way of the water shaft and defeats the jebusites, he will be chief and captain.'" So joab sort of won the position by successfully conquering the city of Jerusalem. Alright, let's go, let's go ahead here and--oh, by the way, the time when joab lived, we're not sure, he was a little younger than David probably, probably died at about 65.

He lived from about 1053 to about 1012 b.c. Under the section talking about the "cost of sin," in 2 Samuel 11:11, you can see how loyal joab's men were to him. One of joab's chief generals was someone by the name of uriah. Do you remember that name? And when David tried to get uriah to sleep with his wife, 'cause David had gotten his wife pregnant while uriah was out of town fighting his battles, and uriah was one of David's mighty men, listen to what uriah says. The ark-- "the ark and Israel and judah are dwelling in tents, and my Lord joab and the servants of my Lord are encamped in the open field.

" They had--the soldiers had tremendous respect for joab the general. Now what's terrible about this story is joab, he loved the Lord to some extent. He had a certain amount of faith in God. You can see that when he goes off into battle. They often say, you know, we're gonna fight and pray that God gives us victory.

But at the same time, he almost was more loyal to David than he was to God. Because you read in 2 Samuel 11, "in the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to joab, and he sent it by the hand of uriah. And he wrote on the letter saying, 'set uriah at the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him that he might be struck down and die." Now if I was joab, even though David was the King, and I've got a general and he's a faithful general and he's a good man and he loves the Lord, I would not commit that man to the front lines to be killed without sending back some message to David saying, "now, what's all this all about? You want me to send him on a suicide mission so he's deliberately killed?" I would question that order. Wouldn't you? But he didn't. He did it.

And it was, "so it was, that while joab besieged the city, that he assigned uriah to a place where he knew there was valiant men. And the men of the city came out and fought with joab." And evidently joab's backup troops retreated and kind of left joab--or uriah and his men there. "And some of the people of the servants of David fell; and uriah the hittite was dead also." You ever heard folks say, "you just obey the boss because it's an order?" During world war ii they had these military trials, and a number of the nazi leaders that were in the death camps that were exterminating the jews, when they were tried, you know what their defense was? We were obeying orders. And do you know what the court ruled? Orders like that should be disobeyed and you're guilty. And they were executed.

Some of them were executed; some were not as culpable. They just were given life in prison or different terms. But when they were obeying orders to kill civilian men, women and children, no soldier was responsible, according to the geneva convention, to fulfill those kind of orders. And so joab was at fault for doing this, taking a perfectly innocent man, sending him on a fruitless suicide mission just because he got the pentagon telling him to do it. Alright, go to 2 Samuel 2:19.

We're still kind of getting background in him. This leads to a study in why joab had a problem with forgiveness. Now after David became king, king Saul died. For a little while after Saul died he killed himself basically in battle with the philistines. There was a slow transition period.

The people of judah made David king in hebron. But the people of Israel and Benjamin, they said, "no, we want to keep The Son of Saul, ishbosheth, we want him to be king." And abner, Saul's general, who had been general for many years during the time of Saul, he realized that the only surviving son of Saul, Saul's first sons that should have been king: jonathan and melchishua and I forget the third one's name. They all died in battle with the philistines. And this weak son, ishbosheth, was made king. And abner realized he's not fit to be king.

"I ought to tell David you should be king of the whole empire." And so he makes a truce with David. He says, "I will bring the other tribes over to you so we'll have a united kingdom once again, because ishbosheth is not fit to be king." By the way, he was also slain. He was executed by some of his own men. During that process, David has a counsel with abner. And they strike up terms of peace.

Joab was so concerned about two things. One is that abner would have his position. And he says, "we're not having someone who is Saul's general that was chasing us and trying to kill us before be the new general. I'm not going to stand for that. Furthermore, he killed my brother.

" Now here's the story. There was a battle during the time when Saul's men and David's men were still at war with each other. This is 2 Samuel 2:19. And during this skirmish asahel decided, "I'm going to take out abner, and then we'll get the Kingdom. And I'll get the credit.

Asahel is the younger brother, the one who's real fast on his feet. It mentions that because abner can't get away from him. And abner's running from him. And I don't know if he's in his chariot, or running on foot. So "asahel pursued abner, and in going he did not turn to the right hand or to the left from following him.

" He was focused. He says, "I'm going to get the general, and then the Kingdom will be won. "And abner looked behind and said, 'are you asahel?'" They're carrying on a conversation during the pursuit. "He answered, 'I am.' And abner said, 'turn aside to your right hand and your left, and lay hold on one of the young men and take his armor.'" They were retreating from the men of David. And he said, "look, if you want some booty of war, if you're trying to get a new sword or some armor," he says, "you better take it from someone else.

Don't come after me." He says, "I know you're joab's brother, and it's going to be hard for me to kill joab's brother." And so he's warning him. And abner also knew someday they might want terms of peace, and it just--you know, they had these clan rivalries between the tribes. And he warned 'em. You can tell that abner must have also had a lot of respect for asahel because he knew he could take out the men that were on the right and left and take their armor. But abner was--you don't get to be general by being a weakling.

And so this was going to be a tight fight. He said, "turn aside your right and left. Take the armor from one of the young men." "But asahel would not turn aside from following him. So abner said again to asahel--" they're conversating while-- I made that word up, but I'm hoping it's in the dictionary someday. Conversating? You know what it means.

They're talking in the middle of this battle. "Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I face your brother joab?" "However, he refused to turn aside. Therefore abner struck him in the stomach with the blunt end of the spear." He took his spear while he was running and ran it through him. And it says, "therefore abner struck him in the stomach with the blunt end of the spear, so that the spear came out of his back.

" Must have hit him pretty hard. "And he fell--" now they actually had--they had a sharp end on the other side of the spear as well. "And he fell down, and he died on the spot." Now with that in mind, you've got this history. A few months later, abner comes into Jerusalem and he tells David--or he comes to hebron, and he tells David, "look, ishbosheth is dead. The other sons of Saul are too young or too weak.

Why don't we just unite the Kingdom. Here are the terms. We'll make peace. We forgive all the old offenses." David says, "you got a deal." He shakes hands. And as abner leaves, and they've made a deal to unite the Kingdom, joab comes back from some mission and he sees abner going.

And he says to everybody, "what's abner doing here?" And they said, "well, I guess David struck terms of peace with him." And he sends messengers after abner and says, "come on back, there's one more important thing we need to talk about." So abner turns around and he comes back. And it says in verse-- in 2 Samuel--matter of fact, before I read that I want to get someone ready to read a verse for me. Leviticus 19:18. Did somebody get that verse? Right there. Leviticus 19:18, sounds like a year of world war I doesn't it? Get ready to read that, andrew.

And while you're getting that set up, I want to read to you first 2 Samuel 3:27. I'll read maybe through verse 30. "Now when abner returned to hebron, joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him privately." Now he's there. They got the white flag out. These are terms of peace.

Listen to what joab does. "And he stabbed him in the stomach, so that he died for the blood of asahel his brother. Afterward, when David heard it, he said, 'my kingdom and I are guiltless before the Lord forever of the blood of abner The Son of ner. Let it rest on the head of joab and on all his Father's house; and let there never fail to be in the house of joab--" and David pronounces a curse on joab. "Let there never fail to be in the house of joab one who has a discharge or one who is a leper, or leans on his staff or falls by the sword, or lacks bread.

" "So joab and abishai his brother killed abner." So evidently abishai was somewhat culpable in this. He killed--they "killed abner because he had killed his brother asahel at gibeon in the battle." So he's got a problem with forgiveness, doesn't he? Now can you really blame abner? Did he try not to kill asahel? He wouldn't listen. It was a battle. Alright, go ahead and read for us, andrew, Leviticus 19:18. "Thou shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord.

" What does the Bible say about vengeance? It says, "vengeance is mine." Have you ever had bitterness in your heart because somebody really hurt you? Or maybe they hurt somebody very close to you, and you just prayed and wanted bad things to happen to them. And the other thing you got to keep in mind, there was a good chance that David was going to make abner general. So joab had two things. One, he was clamoring for his position. He was going to cut down somebody else because he might be promoted over him.

Now you'd never do that. There might be someone in the office that could get promoted before you even though they were once your competitor. I mean that's how really it was. And so you try to destroy their--assassinate their character or put them down because you don't want them to have your position. That's not the Spirit of Christ, but that sometimes even happens among his followers.

Or that spirit of vengeance, or wishing something bad will happen. That always ends up reacting on us. That's pretty heavy when someone kills your brother to be able to forgive that. But you know, with the help of the Lord, you can just let the Lord--it doesn't say that people aren't guilty. You let the Lord take care of those things.

When we feel like we've got to take it upon ourselves to exact vengeance on people or to tarnish their reputation, it ends up backfiring somehow. A curse felt--and by the way, was David a prophet? Was David a prophet? When you read David--Psalms and the other things that David wrote, he was--he was a prophet. So when David pronounced a curse on joab's family--you know, there's no record of anybody in joab that had leprosy or had a discharge or leaned on his staff. But was that curse just on joab's family? Or was David pronouncing more a broad curse on those who have unforgiveness and bitterness? I really think that it's even broader than that. Then you got "joab the politician," as we study on in this character.

2 Samuel 3:39, I think we gave that to somebody, right here, 2 Samuel 3:39. When joab killed abner, why didn't David just, you know, have him arrested by the fbi and take him to the supreme court and tried for military crimes? Got a couple of problems. One is he's his nephew. That makes it difficult to be objective. The other is he's related to his mighty men.

All of his soldiers look to him as general. You know, whenever there's a coup and the government is overthrown, one of the first things you need is the military on your side. It's pretty hard if you just have the politicians on your side; you need the military on your side. And David, it's hard to fight against the general. So go ahead and read that for us, that verse, 2 Samuel 3:39.

"And I am weak today, though anointed king; and these men, The Sons of zeruiah, are too hard for me. the Lord shall repay the evildoer according to his wickedness." David basically said, "I'm in a political conundrum here." He says, "what they did was wrong, but there's just-- they have so much authority. I can't hold them accountable now." But David made a note of that that he never forgot. Because on his deathbed, evidently abishai had already died from sickness or battle at this point, but joab was still very much alive and general. On his deathbed, David gives instruction to Solomon.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Now joab, he wasn't all bad. I mean I don't want you to think the guy was all bad. There's some traits that he was very bright. And he didn't just go on the battlefield all the time.

He was involved in the politics in the palace. For instance, because of David's problems with bathsheba, there was a curse that fell on David's family. And he didn't take care of his sons the way he should of. Amnon, we talked about this, amnon, David's son, raped tamar, the sister of absalom. Absalom then took vengeance on amnon, waited 2 years.

They were very patient. And then killed amnon. But then absalom had to leave. But David loved absalom, and David was pining every day for absalom. So joab thought, "look, I've got to figure out a way for David to come to terms with it's okay to forgive absalom and bring him back now.

" So what he did is he hired a very wise woman from tekoa. 2 Samuel 14:2, "and joab sent to tekoa and he brought from there a wise woman, and he said to her, 'please pretend to be a mourner, and put on mourning apparel; and do not anoint yourself with oil, but act like a woman who has been in mourning for a long time for the dead.' And go to the King and speak to him in this manner.' So joab put the words in her mouth." And basically what joab told her to say, and we don't have time to read it all, but joab said--she manufactured this story that she was a widow with two sons, and her sons got into a fight. And one killed the other. And now the people in the community said you need to hand over your surviving son, that he can be executed. And she said, "they're going to extinguish my light.

I have no husband. I have no grandchildren. And what will happen to me? And that's all I've got left is my son." And she's weeping before the King, and the King has mercy on her. And he says--and he thinks about his boys that fought, and absalom that's left. And so it really gets right to the King's heart.

And he says, "oh no problem, he'll be forgiven. Alright, I declared." And she keeps talking, and pretty soon she reveals, "why doesn't the King bring back his banished son, absalom?" And so joab manipulates this whole scenario. So it's not beyond him to use deception, to get David to finally tell absalom he can come home. Now that ends up backfiring, doesn't it? Absalom comes home and he's never forgiven his father. He now wants to be king.

But joab played the whole role in orchestrating this. But you know there's something interesting that this woman said. The woman of tekoa, when she's talking to David, she makes this one statement that's really brilliant. She said, "for we will all die. We are as water that is spilled upon the ground that cannot be gathered up again.

But God has devised a means where his banished ones shall not be separated from him. Verse 14? What's the whole verse? Is it 2 Samuel? 2 Samuel, what chapter? 2 Samuel 14:14. That's a beautiful verse. 2 Samuel 14:14. It's basically the Gospel.

So when you read this whole story and this whole thing about the woman of tekoa and trying to get absalom to come back home again, right in that story is a kernel of the Gospel. the Lord has-- we're gonna all die. And we'll be like water spilled on the ground. But God has devised a means by which his banished ones should not be separated from him, that we could be restored. That's the Gospel.

God has devised a plan by which we can be restored, otherwise we're going to die. And so I think that's the most I think important part of that whole story. Anyway, then after joab goes to all that trouble to get absalom back into town, absalom tries to see his father. His father says, "look, I've let you come back to town, but you and I can't see each other. You've killed my son, your brother.

" And absalom thinks, "well, what good is it that I don't have full restoration? Why did I bother coming back?" And he goes, calls joab, he says, "look, you got me to come back. Get the King to forgive me completely so I can come into his presence." And he kept talking to joab, and joab ignored him. So you know what absalom did? He has his servant set joab's field on fire to get his attention. Spoiled boy. So finally joab, he gets his attention, and he goes to the King, he says, "look, why don't you let him come in.

" David forgives absalom. They come, and they embrace each other. And then the first thing he does is he tries to take the Kingdom. And absalom rebels. And now absalom raises an army, doesn't tell joab what he's doing.

After all that joab does, he leaves joab out. He raises an army to overthrow his father to make himself king. Now joab says, "I have had enough of absalom." I did all this to get him into the palace, and he now tries to take the Kingdom, and he doesn't even ask me to be his general. He doesn't confide in me. He went and takes another one of David's nephews, by David's sister, abigail, not zeruiah, named amasa.

He says, "I'll make you general." Absalom makes amasa general of this new army to overthrow David. This is very interesting. You still with me? So finally David's chased from the Kingdom. Joab is loyal to David. He goes with David as does abishai.

And they flee. Eventually there's a battle between the soldiers of joab and abishai and absalom's forces led by amasa. And in the battle, before they go out to battle, you can read in 2 Samuel 18:5. Matter of fact, I'll have someone read that for me, 2 Samuel 18:5. Go ahead, bring a microphone, pancho.

As these soldiers are getting ready to go out and they're going to engage this small army of David's, but they are well experienced. They are proven crack troops. They're going to go out and they're going to engage the forces of absalom that are just kind of the masses of the people, the citizens. They got their pitchforks and who knows what. David gives command to his soldiers as they're going out the gate.

And this is what he says. What did I say? 2 Samuel 18:5. "And the King commanded joab, and abishai, and ittai, saying, 'deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with absalom.' And all the people heard when the King gave all the captains charge concerning absalom." Alright, so they're all going out to basically defend the King, his right to the throne. And the King is saying, "don't be too hard on my boy." Can you tell that David, while a strong soldier, was a pretty weak father? He didn't know how to discipline his sons. I mean, you know, execution is pretty severe discipline.

But he had just taken it so far. It's pretty hard to tell your soldiers they're getting ready to lay their lives down to save you. "Now don't be too hard on 'em." And they're trying to kill them. It's like sometimes we send our forces into foreign fields and we say, "now no matter what, don't fire back." And you know, we don't tell our troops they can defend themselves. Alright, so they get into the battle.

And during the battle absalom is running, and his head gets caught in an oak tree. The horse, the mule actually, runs out and he's on a big white mule, runs out from underneath him, leaves him hanging, probably got stuck by all his long flowing black hair he was so proud of. And leaves him hanging by his head. Now there's a whole story here I wish I could take time on, the fact that you've got The Son of David hanging from a tree suspended between heaven and earth, this beautiful son of David. And the soldiers, they don't want to hurt absalom 'cause David's giving this order.

And everyone heard him say, "be gentle with absalom. Take him alive if you can." And so when absalom gets word from one of his soldiers, this is 2 Samuel 18:14--I'm sorry--joab gets word from soldiers that absalom's stuck in a tree, he said, "I cannot linger with you." "And he took three spears--" how many--? "Three spears in his hand and he thrust them through the heart of absalom, while he was still alive in the midst of the oak tree." He's pierced with three in the heart. Christ was pierced, they say, with three nails, legend has it. One in the--crucifixion was often one for each hand and one for both feet. And I thought just that's interesting, The Son of David.

So he's a type of that. Christ became sin for us. Now, word finally reaches David that absalom's dead. And he just broken hearted, you know, he's blaming himself for the bad behavior of the kids. He goes up on the wall and the watchtower and everybody could hear the King echoing from the stone walls inside this staircase going up to the watchtower.

And he's crying, "oh absalom, my son, oh absalom, my son, my son, would God I had died for thee." And you know what joab does. All the troops when they come back victorious, normally the King is there to greet them, and to celebrate their victory. They've saved the Kingdom. It's like winning, you know, the civil war. There was a civil war.

They won. The nation's going to be united. David will still have his throne. He should have been out there to welcome them back. Instead as they come in the city victorious, all they hear--and it was a resounding victory.

I mean they just totally trounced the soldiers. It says that all they can hear is David going, "oh absalom! Oh absalom!" And instead of coming in victorious, they all hung their heads. Joab was fed up. He went stomping up the stairs and he told David, he said, "you get out there and you welcome your troops back." He says, "you are telling them that you love your enemies more than your loyal soldiers, and that you wish that we were all dead and absalom was alive." He said, "if you don't go back in and welcome the soldiers back in the city, this is going to be the longest night of your life, 'cause no one is going to be with you." And you know what? Joab was right. That time he was right.

So it just gives you a piece of insight into the relationship they had. Now, you know what happens? David is now mad because joab killed absalom. So you know what David does? He says, "well, I'm going to make amasa, absalom's general, my new general," instead of joab. The one who had led the rebel forces, he says, "I'm going to make him general instead. And there might have been some political reason for that, because he thought, "well look, all these people were following absalom, maybe if I'll make absalom's general, it'll create some sense of unity.

I'll take someone from absalom's cabinet, and I'll make him part of my cabinet." What do you think joab thought of that idea? Someone else replace him as general? Is he going to stand for that? He did the same thing. He calls this--this is 2 Samuel 20:9-10, he greets amasa when amasa comes in the Kingdom. And he's going to get his medals and his new honor as general. I would have been real careful I was amasa shaking hands with joab. "And he said to amasa, 'are you in health, my brother?'" They're cousins.

"And joab took amasa by the beard--" now in the orient, you never take a person by the beard unless it's in term of respect. And he took him by the beard, and usually meant, you know, you would kiss them or something. He takes him by the beard so he can't fight, and he pulls him in, and he takes a knife, and he kills him. Again, the man wasn't armed. He wasn't fighting.

It's not like they had met at high noon on the streets and it was, you know, fair game. And he killed amasa, stabbed him in the stomach. Did joab have problems with forgiveness? Did joab have problems maybe with pride? He wanted to be on the top. Well, you know, there's a statement, it says, "if you live by the sword, you die by the sword." By the way, Jesus said that, didn't he? Remember when Peter took up the sword to defend Christ. If the sword represents the Word of God, that's still true too, isn't it? If you live by the word, you'll die by the word? We are crucified with Christ.

Now there's another verse, I just want you to notice the bravery. 2 Samuel 10:11. Someone want to read that? I gave that out, 2 Samuel. Upfront here, go ahead. Just to tell you that joab-- as we end the study of joab, I want you to know that I think that he and his brothers, they did have faith in God, that God was often with them.

And here's one battle that sort of shows us this. They were totally outnumbered by the syrians. And go ahead, jeannie, read for us 2 Samuel 10:11-12. "Then he said, 'if the syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the people of ammon are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God.

And may the Lord do what is good in his sight.'" You know, you have to admit that someone like joab that's survived just countless battles, life and death battles and hand-to-hand combat, the Lord had to be with him, watching over him. And so I don't want you to think that there wasn't a good side of him, or that he didn't have any devotion or trust in God. They often went into battle. They prayed. They looked to the priest.

They trusted God. And the Lord blessed. You know, this was always an interesting story to me, because here you've got joab's brother, abishai. He's going to fight against the assyrians, I believe. The assyrians had been purchased as mercenaries by the ammonites.

And they're being--they're in a battle fighting on two fronts which is not good. Joab never goes up with the option, he says, "if the assyrians are too strong for you, well we'll all help you. And if the ammonites are too strong for me, well then you help me." And I thought well what if they're both too strong for both of you? And who's helping who? And so he was being optimistic that day. But they did, they had another resounding victory. And let me see here.

David made a mistake in numbering Israel. Joab knew the Lord did not want that to happen. He did it. He didn't do all of it, because it was abhorrent to him. He knew David was getting proud.

He said I want to count the people, see how big my army is. And joab said, "don't do this thing. Why would you want to do this thing?" David pressed it. Joab was obedient. He did it.

So he's probably right there too. And finally he makes his big mistake. As David is on his death bed, the youngest son of David, Solomon, is chosen by the Lord and David to be king. Joab doesn't like the idea anymore than abiathar did that Solomon would be king, because Solomon is the result of bathsheba, David's big scandal. Furthermore, he's young.

He's a bookworm. And beyond that, there's this strong younger brother of absalom that joab always got along with that didn't rebel. And he thought adonijah ought to be king. So joab makes the mistake of siding with adonijah, trying to enthrone himself, instead of going with David. This is the one time he turns away from following David.

Well, David then tells joab--tells Solomon when he became king, 1 Kings 2:5, "moreover," he's talking to Solomon, "you know what joab The Son of zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two commanders of the army of Israel, to abner The Son of ner and to amasa The Son of jether, whom he killed. And he shed the blood of war in peacetime, and he put the blood of war on his belt that was all round him, and on his waist and on his sandals that were on his feet. Therefore do according to him, according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to the grave in peace." He was obviously older at that time. He had gray hair. Well, when Solomon became king, after his father died, adonijah tried one more time to pull something, and Solomon said, "enough is enough.

" He had adonijah killed, and when joab heard about it, you know what he did? He went into the temple, and he took hold of the horns of the altar. And Solomon sent his soldier, benaiah, who was going to be the new general to replace him. He sent him and he said, "go strike him down." It says, "joab fled to the tabernacle of the Lord." And benaiah said, "and he's by the altar, clinging to the horns of the altar." "Solomon said to benaiah," and this is 1 Kings 2:28, "The Son of jehoiada, saying, 'go, strike him down.' So benaiah went to the tabernacle of the Lord, and said to him, 'thus says the King, 'come out!' He says, 'no, but I will die here.' And he didn't know what to do. But the King said, "do it." "And the King said, 'do as he has said, and strike him down and bury him, that you may take away from me and from the house the innocent blood that joab shed." Now why did he do that? If you read in Exodus 21:14, it says, "if a man acts with premeditation against his neighbor, to kill him by treachery, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die." There's an exact verse to deal with what joab was doing. "Take him from my altar," if he deals with premeditation and treachery to kill another.

" Joab premeditatedly killed abner and amasa, his own people, when they were willing to make peace. "Take him away from my altar." He was clinging to the altar. Whether he'll be forgiven or not, we don't know. The thief on the cross still died for his sins, didn't he? But he was forgiven. It could be that joab was pleading for mercy from God for his sins, but he still had to die for his sins.

You see what I'm saying? So it'll be interesting when we get to the Kingdom to see if joab is there. Interesting study in David's prime general. And hope you got a blessing today. Listening friends, if you have not already heard, we have a free offer. It's called, "the surrender of self.

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