Read 2 Samuel 20 – No sooner is Israel united than Sheba starts a revolt. “So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba son of Bicri.”(20:2)
Meanwhile, David is at home, dealing with his defiled concubines. He couldn’t return to them after Absalom raped them publicly. He placed them in seclusion, providing for their needs, yet condemning them to live out their lives like widows… this unfair fate should serve as an example of how our personal sin often ripples onto the lives of others.
Back to the Sheba situation. David tells Amasa to mobilize the men and they set out after Sheba. Joab meets up with Amasa, goes in for a brotherly greeting (they were cousins), but instead, plunges a dagger into Amasa, spilling his insides to the ground! He does this right in the path of the soldiers. This slows them down, so Joab’s man drags him to the field and covers him, and the men march on after Joab.
They find Sheba in a town and begin breaking down the city wall. A wise woman comes on scene, addresses Joab directly and resolves the matter quickly and without harm to the city. I wish we knew her name. Her intervention saved so much destruction and bloodshed.
I read that Sheba can be considered a symbol of our sin. Bible commentator, John Trapp explains, “Every man’s breast is a city enclosed. Every sin is a traitor that lurketh within those walls. God calleth for Sheba’s head, neither hath he any quarrel to us for our person, but for our sin. If we love the head of our traitor above the life of our soul, we shall justly perish in the vengeance.”