Throughout the bible we read about many prominent, faithful women like Sarah, Ruth, Esther, and Mary the mother Jesus. But today we discuss another woman that’s known by her resident city.
This faithful woman’s story was set in Abel of Beth Maacah – a city in the northern kingdom of Israel. King David found himself in a fight for his kingdom against Sheba the son of Bichri. On the king’s orders, David’s nephew Joab pursued Sheba. Joab and his men discovered Sheba hiding in the city of Abel of Beth Maacah. As Joab and his men were working on destroying the wall, a woman summoned Joab. ‘Then a wise woman called from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab, ‘Come here, that I may speak to you.’” And he came near her, and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your servant.” And he answered, “I am listening.” Then she said, “They used to say in former times, ‘Let them but ask counsel at Abel,’ and so they settled a matter. I am one of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why will you swallow up the heritage of the Lord?”’ 2 Samuel 20:16-19. Confronting Joab could not have been an easy task for the wise woman because of Joab’s reputation of being a fierce warrior. But the wise woman knew that Joab was also a righteous mans and she emphasized her faith in the Lord to convince Joab to reconsider his attack on the city.
With wisdom and courage, this woman took initiative to protect her home by confronting Joab. In her wisdom, this woman persuaded Joab to reflect on his actions. ‘Joab answered, “Far be it from me, far be it, that I should swallow up or destroy! That is not true. But a man of the hill country of Ephraim, called Sheba the son of Bichri, has lifted up his hand against King David. Give up him alone, and I will withdraw from the city.”’ 2 Samuel 20:20-21.
The woman took the opportunity to protect the city from destruction by advising the city to take action upon Sheba which resulted in cutting off the head of Sheba and throwing to Joab. ‘And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.” Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the trumpet, and they dispersed from the city, every man to his home. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.’ 2 Samuel 20:22-23
Even though this wise woman of Abel of Beth Maacah has a small mention in the scriptures, her actions protected the city from being destroyed as well as eliminated the enemy of King David. She leaned on God and used her wisdom to persuade the aggresive Joab from invading the city and successfully extinguished a deadly situation. Let us all aspire to be wise in our dealings with others.
Until next time