Obeying in Disobedience
2 Samuel 18:9-13
Verse 10 When one of the men saw what had happened, he told Joab, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree.”
The armies had met and collided in the overgrown woods and now we look across the battle lines and see the prince riding in on his mule. If you remember the prince was a man of great looks and a head of hair with trimmings which weighed 5 pounds at his yearly haircut. It was this prize hairdo which found its way into the branches which had killed more people than were killed by the battle itself.
David’s men were making their way through the thick forest when this man sees Absalom hanging by his hair. The man seems to be at a loss of what to do and so he does what any good soldier would do, he takes the matter to his commander. The problem is Joab seems to have different plans in this battle than the king did.
Joab is instantly upset with the man for not killing the prince. He even tells the soldier if he had done what any real soldier would have done, he would have been rewarded with cash and a hero’s belt. Why would any soldier turn down the opportunity to kill the leader of the opposing army? A good soldier would take out the enemy and may even take pleasure in the feat. And he wouldn’t come to his commander saying he had seen the enemy in trouble and left them to struggle, he would go to his leader bragging he had taken out the enemy and maybe leave out the fact the conquered was already in trouble making the kill an easier one.
The soldier is not afraid to speak the truth and be bold in doing it. He tells Joab he wouldn’t accept payment for something the king had commanded them not to do. Even if the offer of reward was magnified by a thousand times this soldier would not go against his king. This tells us the truth of the man’s character. He didn’t want to kill the prince because he was following the command he had overheard the king give his commanders. He was willing to obey orders not given directly to him.
To top it off the soldier points out to Joab how he knows if he had done it and the king found out, Joab would make it sound like it was all the soldiers idea and let him accept the full anger of the king. This soldier was a wise man and he had David’s best interest at heart. He knew David was the king of God’s choice and he was going to make sure to honor him.
Making It Personal
Have you ever had a person of authority ask you to do something you knew was wrong? Did you do it? What reward comes from obeying God even if it isn’t the popular choice?
Making It Personal Kids
Has anyone ever tried to get you to do something you had been told not to do? Did you do it? What good things come when you do the things which Jesus wants you to do?
Father, Jesus gave us the perfect example of what it means to obey. Give us hearts which desire to obey You in every circumstance. Make Your desires our commands. In Jesus’ name, amen.