2 Samuel 20:14-22
Verse 14 Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel Beth Maakah and through the entire region of the Bikrites, who gathered together and followed him.
With Amasa out of the picture the army of David continued after Sheba to take down the man who had started the latest revolt against the king. They continued on foot looking for the man who had at least a three day head start. They figured he would stop at some point and likely be in a walled city so he would have the added protection of fortification.
Sheba was hoping to be a leader and that required him to gain the ultimate confidence of his men. He didn’t want to lose the first battle he faced especially against the one he had drawn the men away from. After making his way through much of Israel he arrived at Abel Beth Maakah which was a little over 100 miles north of Jerusalem. This tells us the events of this passage took more than a day as it is unlikely he was able to travel that far in a day and the army of David had left three days later.
David hadn’t wanted to wait longer than the three days he had given Amasa to gather the troops and be back because he didn’t want Sheba finding his way to a city which was fortified giving the rebel an upper hand. They needed to find him fast, be on guard and remove him as a threat. The men who were looking for him searched in every possible place until they got to Abel Beth Maakah. There they built a ramp to take the city and expose Sheba’s hiding place.
The narrative changes slightly here making it sound like Joab was once again in charge of David’s army. He was well known among the army and that is evident by the lady inside knowing his name. Notice it says she was a wise woman. She wanted to talk to Joab and seemed confident he would talk with her. Maybe he thought she would have some information as to the portion of the city where Sheba was staying, however that wasn’t the case. She wanted him to know this was a place of peace and she didn’t want it to become a place of war, so she asked him not to ruin their city. Upon hearing this Joab makes it clear they are just looking for a man named Sheba who had gone against the king.
She is happy to help him and being known for her wisdom she easily convinces the people in the town to help her by killing Sheba and giving her his head so she can throw it over to Joab. True to his word as soon as the head came flying over the wall, Joab called over the troops and sent them home. Then he went back to the king.
Making It Personal
What problems in your life have you ran and tried to hide from? Why did the problem scare you so much? Was it a problem you could have avoided in the first place?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever been so scared you have found a safe place to hide? What scared you so badly? Who could help you be less afraid?
Father, thank You for guiding us. Give us wisdom to know why we feel like hiding and give us the courage to know how to stand in truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.