Fire in my Bones Youth for Jesus

How far will you go? | Pst. J.O. Lawal | September 21, 2022 | Youth for Jesus | Vol. 5, No. 19

“And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my own flesh and blood? May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if from now on you are not the commander of my army in place of Joab.’” (2Sam 19:13NIV)

Those were David’s words to Amasa, his nephew, when he was labouring to bring all Israel back to him after the rebellion of Absalom had been squashed. And did he fulfil this promise or not? He did, for we are later told in the bible, “Then the king said to Amasa, “Summon the men of Judah to come to me within three days, and be here yourself.”” (2Sam 20:4NIV)

That means David actually made Amasa the commander of his entire army in place of Joab. And was Joab happy with that? No! Truly, judging by some standards, Amasa was not as competent as Joab in leading Israel’s army. For example, he was late in carrying out the very first task he was given by the king (2Sam 20:5). And if he were to be judged by that, he would cease being Israel’s army commander from that time on.

But then, David did not make him the commander of the army because he was more competent than Joab. Rather, he made him the commander because he wanted to end the bloodshed that the rebellion of Absalom had started and make peace with everyone. As we are shown in the bible, Amasa was the commander of the army of Absalom. And his army was larger than the one David had with him. So, it was only wise of David to bring someone like him on board and use his influence to unite the divided armies of the nation. (Cf. 2Sam 17:25)

However, because Joab was not happy with the fact that this man, who had been on the side of rebellious Absalom, was taking over his place, he made a move in disguise to kill him. Look at how the account is rendered in the bible:

“While they were at the great rock in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Joab was wearing his military tunic, and strapped over it at his waist was a belt with a dagger in its sheath. As he stepped forward, it dropped out of its sheath. Joab said to Amasa, “How are you, my brother?” Then Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. Amasa was not on his guard against the dagger in Joab’s hand, and Joab plunged it into his belly, and his intestines spilled out on the ground. Without being stabbed again, Amasa died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bicri.” (2Sam 20:8-10NIV)

Did you see what Joab did in order to maintain his position as Israel’s general? He killed an innocent man. He killed a man that took him as a brother and who had not offended him in any way. And Amasa was indeed his relative. He was his cousin, the son of his mother’s sister. Yet he did not mind killing him in a very cruel and diabolical way. (Cf. 2Sam 17:25)

Well, that is to show us how far some people will go in order to have what they want. They are willing to sacrifice even their own family members or relatives in order to realise their ambitions. And every day we hear news of people sacrificing their families or friends for money, blackmailing their colleagues at work for positions or selling their neighbours to wicked and unreasonable people in order to take over their wealth. We even hear news of people using parts of their own bodies for rituals in order to gain wealth or some earthly positions.

Now I may not know how far you are willing to go in order to realise certain ambitions of yours. And I may not know how much you are willing to sacrifice in order to satisfy your desires. But I do know that God is watching every one of us and looking at the steps we are taking to realise our dreams or ambitions. And someday, He will judge us accordingly.

Joab was not judged by David for his ruthless killing of innocent men, men better than him. But Solomon, who became king after David, did not hesitate at all to judge him. He saw to it that he paid with his blood for all his crimes. So, even if the society you now live in or the government of your place will not judge you today for ruthlessly destroying others in order to satisfy your cravings, it does not mean that God won’t find someone else who will judge you tomorrow. (Cf. 2Kings 2:28-35)

By the way, apart from the fact that God will judge all people on the day He has set at the end of this age, He is daily judging people for their works (Zeph 3:5). It is just that it is not every time that people can tell that certain problems they are facing in life are symptoms of God’s judgment on their lives. So, you cannot escape God’s judgment for whatever you are doing, good or bad. And if you are going too far, going beyond what is righteous in realising your dreams, He will at the right time make sure you duly pay for your excesses.

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