Then the woman in her wisdom went to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. Then he blew a trumpet, and they withdrew from the city, every man to his tent. So Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.
II Samuel 20:22 NKJV
If one is unfamiliar with this story, it seems harsh and gruesome.
The backstory is where we find out this wise woman who acted quickly, saved many lives.
King David’s son, Absalom, took matters into his own hands.
First, he planned the assassination of his brother Amnon. (2 Samuel 13:23-36)
Amnon deserved severe punishment, but it wasn’t Absalom’s place to meet it out. (2 Samuel 13:1-22)
After having his brother killed Absalom fled to another country. (2 Samuel 13:37-38)
Through the work of Joab, King David allowed him to return to the country, but obviously Absalom’s heart was far from repentant, for he began to steal the hearts of the people for himself by slandering his own father. (2 Samuel 15:1-6)
Then he lied to his father the king and went to Hebron to be anointed as king, where he then turned around to return and wipe out his father and all who supported King David. (2 Samuel 15:7-12)
2 Samuel 15-18 records who supported King David and how Absalom was defeated.
It also records the tribe of Judah escorting the king and his people back across the Jordan.
Just then all the men of Israel came to the king, and said to the king, “Why have our brethren, the men of Judah, stolen you away and brought the king, his household, and all David’s men with him across the Jordan?”
II Samuel 19:41 NKJV
An argument between the people of Judah and the people of the other tribes of Israel begin shouting at one another over who has more right to escort the king back to Jerusalem.
Which is where Sheba comes on the scene.
And there happened to be there a rebel, whose name was Sheba the son of Bichri, a Benjamite. And he blew a trumpet, and said: “We have no share in David, Nor do we have inheritance in the son of Jesse; Every man to his tents, O Israel!”
II Samuel 20:1 NKJV
The people of Israel leave:
So every man of Israel deserted David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem, remained loyal to their king.
II Samuel 20:2 NKJV
King David returns to Jerusalem to put all things in order.
He sent the army out to deal with Sheba.
This wise woman knew the stakes were high.
The kingdom had just gone through a civil war brought on by a young man who had no regards for what was right.
Absalom did as he thought best and suffered the consequences.
Sheba comes on the heels of this painful and splintered time, and by all accounts his treachery could further splinter and shatter the kingdom.
But for this wise woman.
She saw danger.
She found the source of the sin.
She acted in quick response to what would deal with it quickly.
Unfortunately, Sheba had signed his own death warrant by his actions.
But there is so much to learn from this story.
Sin causes pain, violence, and destruction.
It needs to be dealt with, quickly and completely.
There is no record of King David punishing Amnon for his sin against Tamar.
King David’s own son, Absalom, was a murderer and yet the king did not punish him.
We will never know what would have been different if the king had dealt with the sins of his sons.
But he didn’t let Sheba’s sin slide and neither did this wise woman.
Evidently the king had learned much from his previous error and the results are far different.
In this case only the one who committed the sin paid for it, Sheba.
Because of Jesus’s payment for sin we no longer have to die eternal death to pay for our sins, but we still must be wise.
The New Testament tells believers to put away sin.
2 Timothy 2:22 KJV — Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
No one is immune to sin, therefore the Word of God gives us instruction.
James 5:16 NKJV — Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
1 John 1:9 NKJV — If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
As this year comes to a close and a new year begins, let us be honest about the sin within our walls and deal with it as the wise woman did.
For Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness!
Praise the Lord!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the example we see in scripture. Please Lord Jesus, do not allow any sin to hide inside my heart, but reveal it that it might be dealt with completely. Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness in continually showing me the way I should walk daily. Please continue to shine Your truth into my heart and mind. Lord, You alone have all that I need and Your Word is my guide. Please continue to hone my heart. Thank You. Amen.