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Wise Words

Read 2 Samuel 20:1-26

“How are you, my cousin?” Joab said and took him by the beard with his right hand as though to kiss him. Amasa didn’t notice the dagger in his left hand, and Joab stabbed him in the stomach with it so that his insides gushed out onto the ground. Joab did not need to strike again, and Amasa soon died. Joab and his brother Abishai left him lying there and continued after Sheba. . . .

Meanwhile, Sheba traveled through all the tribes of Israel and eventually came to the town of Abel-beth-maacah. All the members of his own clan, the Bicrites, assembled for battle and followed him into the town. When Joab’s forces arrived, they attacked Abel-beth-maacah. They built a siege ramp against the town’s fortifications and began battering down the wall. But a wise woman in the town called out to Joab, “Listen to me, Joab. Come over here so I can talk to you.”
(2 Samuel 20:9-16)


During this time, Joab murdered Amasa, the former commander of Absalom’s army. David had appointed Amasa to be the commander of his army after Joab conspired to murder David’s son Absalom. Once again Joab’s murderous act went unpunished, just as it did when he killed Abner, the commander of Saul’s army (2 Samuel 3:26-27). Sadly Joab used an affectionate greeting to get closer—just as Judas did later with Jesus (Luke 22:48). Eventually, however, justice caught up with him (1 Kings 2:28-35).

Joab’s men attacked the city, and it looked as if it would be destroyed. Though women in that society were usually quiet in public, the wise woman spoke out. She stopped Joab’s attack, not with weapons, but with wise words and a plan of action.


Often the courage to speak a few sensible words can prevent great disaster as in the case of this wise woman. Has God given you a message for someone? Pray for the courage to speak God’s words of truth.

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