Do you know someone who has done something similar to what we mentioned in our two examples? Extremely difficult, right? Particularly, when in our time is not customary to write because we have faster means of communication such as telephone or email.
1. An Assassin in the Family
The life of a person who has the task of reconciling or restoring broken relationships is full of events that can be very surprising. Today, we will have the opportunity to meet a man who fought, with all the means at his disposal, to reconcile a father and his son. The names of our characters are mentioned in 2Samuel 14: 1-33. The father is named David and the son is called Absalom.
The situation that has created a chasm between these two people is murder. Absalom had sent to kill his brother Amnon. The reason: he had outraged his sister Tamar and his father David did not punish the rapist. So, for two years Absalom waited for the moment to kill Amnon. (cf- 2Sam.13: 20-22)
Finally, Absalom gives the order for his servants to kill his brother (13: 28-29)
When King David learns great anguish seizes his heart. It is then when Jonadab tells the king "that Amnon has died, because by Absalom's command this had been determined from the day that Amnon forced his sister Tamar" (cf 13: 32-34).
II. Absalom Flee from David
"… Absalom fled and went to take refuge with Talmai son of Amiud, king of Geshur.
And David cried for his son every day. So Absalom fled, went to Gesur and stayed there for three years. And King David wished to see Absalom, for he had already consoled himself for the death of Amnon. "(2Sam.13: 37-39)
The stage is now ready and the reconciler is ready to execute his role in the work. His name is Joab (Jehovah is Father). He is the commander-in-chief of David's army and, somehow, he has realized that the king needs help to be able to reconcile with his son. They have not seen each other for three years but it is almost impossible for David to send for his son.
How will Joab intervene to get these two people reconciled? The answer to this question is extremely important. We will learn and also consider the consequences that can be experienced in the life of someone who has called this function. Let's see.
III. Selecting Correctly
Joab was not a fool. He knew that if he wanted to achieve success in his mission he had to surround himself with the right people. He did not go to the corner and spoke to the first person who passed by him. The Word tells us that,
"Joab, the son of Zeruiah, knew that the king's heart was bowed down to Absalom, so he sent for a cunning woman from Tekoa …" (2Sam.14: 1-2)
Which word is the one that most catches your attention in these verses that we just read?
In my case, the one that caught my attention the most is the word astute?
1. Acute, able to deceive or avoid deception or to achieve with artifice any purpose.
So we can see, clearly, that the first element that Joab used to make the selection of someone who could help was, cunning or wisdom. If we continue our analysis we will discover another very interesting element. Do you suspect what it is? I am going to tell you but first we must look at the following. Who was this woman talking to? Was not it with the king? Therefore, being clear of who she was going to speak with and, on the subject she was going to talk about, should not this woman have some degree of influence and / or credibility so that the king would be willing, not only to listen to it, but also to follow its instructions? So, the second element that Joab took into consideration we just mentioned: influence and / or credibility.
When we know cases where interpersonal relationships have been broken we can be recipients of the desperation that leads us to try to resolve these situations in a hasty manner. That's where we overlook many important things like the ones Joab is teaching us today. Dominated by anxiety we began to tell people who do not know how to attend events like these and what we do is complicate the problem. It is extremely important to keep in mind that if we are going to seek help we do it with wise people and that they have vivo levels of influence on those people we want to help.
IV. The Meeting Between the Woman and the King
The clever or wise woman of Tecoa has received instructions from the producer of the play, Joab. She is the main actress and is ready to perform her role. So,
"So the woman from Tekoa came to the king, and fell on her face to the ground, bowed, and said, Help me, O king!" (14: 4-5)
It is now when she begins to tell you her case (remember that the case is fictional).
This story is recorded in verses 5 through 7. There we find the following: 1. a widowed woman; 2. two children; 3. a fight; 4. a murder and, 5. a family that wants to kill the killer. Joab has sent his "letter" to the king. How will the king respond?
"Then said she: I pray thee, O king, that you remember the Lord, your God, so that the avenger of the blood does not increase the damage and does not destroy my son. He answered: As the Lord lives, not one hair of the head of your son will fall to the ground! (14: 11)
David is about to be confronted for the second time with a personal situation. God, he did it first through the prophet Nathan, when David took the wife from Uriah (see 2Samuel 11-12) And now, he will do it again when he intends to do justice to this woman's son and is not able to to do justice to his own son.
Has not something like this happened to you? How many times have we given advice to people who appear in our path and, when a similar situation reaches our lives, it is almost impossible to be able to attend? We can tell the neighbor or neighbor how you can solve the difficulty you are living with your child but when the time comes to apply that same advice to our lives we can not. And why can not we?
We can not, simply, because we are emotionally linked to the person with whom we are having difficulties and this makes us unable to see our reality clearly.
God knows that this happens to us and therefore uses someone who can see things from "outside". This person is not so emotionally bound to our situation and therefore can help us see our reality with clarity. But, sometimes we do not like this to happen and, we reject God's help thinking that it is simply an intrusion. And we can even get angry to make it impossible to access this person. What a great mistake!
V. Joab, Discovered by the King
King David, somehow, knew that Joab was the one who sent that "letter". And to confirm his suspicions he asked the woman,
"Is not the hand of Joab involved in all these things?" (14:19)
The woman admits that yes, he is the one who sent her to "change the appearance of things" (v.20)
Once the conversation was over, David sent for Joab and granted him what he had asked him to do: "Go and bring back young Absalom." (V.21)
Joab, full of joy, travels to Gezur and brings Absalom to Jerusalem. The Bible tells us that there was no more beautiful man in Israel. That he had three children and a daughter and, that he spent two more years without seeing his father. This situation created a great annoyance that led him to react in the wrong way.
SAW. We Do Not Always Intercede
Absalom was very upset because his father had not received him personally. It had already been two years and these were added to the three years he had lived in Gesur. That is, David and Absalón had not seen each other for the last five years. In his frustration he sends two "letters" to Joab to intercede on his behalf with the king.
"Absalom was for two years in Jerusalem without appearing before the king. Absalom called Joab to send him to the king, but he would not come. Still a second time, but he did not want to come either. "(Vv.28-29)
What had happened in the lives of these two men that now Joab decides that it is not wise to help Absalom? Every person who intercedes must learn when it is God's will that we act as intercessors. We have not been called to intercede for all the time. There will be moments when the instruction will be: do not intercede.
What can be one of the consequences of an instruction like this? Well, let's see what happened to Joab when he did not go to see Absalom.
"Then said he to his servants, Behold, the field of Joab is by mine, and there is barley there; go and set fire to it. And the servants of Absalom set fire to the field. "(V.30)
The "collection letter" to Joab had arrived, precisely from the person he had helped. How much had this "collection letter" cost Joab? It cost him a lot: his barley planting had been destroyed. That sowing means something of great value because it depends on which there is food in your house, both for him and his family. This sowing of barley can represent different things in our lives but all of them of deep value.
Today, we have had the opportunity to see how a mediator performs his function. This person surrounds himself with wise and influential people. Can tell the story from outside so we can become aware of our condition and need. Also, he shows great courage knowing that he can receive a "collection letter" telling him that his "barley planting" has been destroyed.
"For everyone who wants to save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's sake will save it "(Mark 8: 35).
Preached Sermon in the Presbyterian Church in Glenview, Ponce PR
Sunday, 28 of 1999.
Ismael González-Silva, Pastor