Joab is a mixed bag. On the one hand he is, and has been, a loyal and able fighter, leader and confidant for the king for years, probably decades. On the other, he is a hot head with a violent murderous streak. More than once David has had to distinguish himself from some of Joab’s killings.
In today’s reading, Joab has the pulse of the fighting men and likely saves David’s kingdom with his strong and pointed advice (1-8).
David is consumed with guilt over Absalom’s death. His guilt and mourning has blinded him and he is making bad decisions. As a result his men, who just saved David’s life, are sulking away feeling ashamed. Joab gets in David’s face and rebukes him and gives him perspective. David immediately changes and acts as Joab directs and his men begin to rally around David once again.
Can I take advice from others? Will I consider comments and feedback from others, and like David, even from others who have a mixed track record, others I don’t necessarily fully respect? David did.
David had the uncanny ability to realize and receive good advice. Some leaders take the ‘my way or the highway’ approach, advisors are ‘yes’ voices who don’t provide honest feedback and reflection.
David was not like that. His ability to accept good advice was one of his great attributes as a leader and he did so while maintaining his integrity and without compromising his authority.
When someone has a bone to pick with me or a criticism of me or something I did or a position I hold, can I hear truth in the comments even if much of what is spoken to me is from a heart that may not be seeking my best?
David had to lay aside much, regarding Joab, in order to hear the wise word he was speaking this day. Can I do that???
I don’t know…
I don’t know, Lord. Can I? Am I man enough to admit when I am wrong, even when an ‘enemy’ points this out?
Oh, Lord, maturity is needed in so many aspects of life… spiritual understanding, personal living, interpersonal interactions and the use of the tongue.
Lord, I pray that I am open to wisdom, which is ultimately from You, no matter the source through which You send it. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.