This is another one that doesn’t grab me right away. Or, rather, that there isn’t one specific thing that screams “I’M IMPORTANT.”
See, I like how David accepts Mephibosheth’s explanation, his assertion that he’d never betrayed the man who’d been so kind to him. I like to think that David must have been relieved. With everything that he was grieving, it must have felt good to have that particular grief lifted from him. I wonder if he felt guilty for believing the servant? Either way, he’s made a promise to both of them, so decrees they should just split the land. Bless Mephibosheth, he doesn’t care about it, just that David is well and thinks well of him. At least I know God ultimately judged the servant as he deserved.
I like how David spares his enemies, though this particular time I wonder whether it’s more fatigue than mercy, exactly. Or perhaps more guilt? Again, he could recognize this rebellion as part of his judgment.
He certainly acts against the next rebellion rather differently. He doesn’t hesitate to have Sheba hunted down and executed, his rebellion quelled as quickly as possible. And what a woman to step forward like that to defend her city! Can folks talk about her more? She stood before Joab and questioned his march against her city. And then she convinced the city to execute Sheba themselves. Pretty amazing woman. Pretty respected woman.
(Sidebar: we have one iteration of the church, one culture, one tradition, dominating the world perception of Christianity at the moment. The Conservative American Southern Church. The Bible does not belittle women. The Bible does not demean women, or dismiss them, or infantalize them. Men do that. The Catholic Church has, at times, subjugated, exploited, and manipulated pretty much everyone. The Conservative American Southern Church has vilified and oppressed women. These cultures, these chapters, do not define the Christian Church any more than your worst day defines your entire character.)
I’m curious about the whole Joab situation. Did David replace him for killing Absalom? For challenging him over his grief? Was it all a ploy to get the support of those who still followed Amasa? And I’m not clear on what follows, either. Had Amasa already betrayed David yet again? Was Joab just getting his job back? It all happens so fast…
And then there’s the vengeance for the Gibeonites. Was that really how God wanted them to make peace?
You know what? Let’s focus on the wise woman of Abel. Let’s sit with how awesome she was for just a minute longer. I think she deserves it.