Joab doesn’t have much compassion for David’s mournful spirit. In his abrupt fashion, Joab reminds David that business must go on. David was almost rudely plucked from his grieving to get on with being a king. Had he thought how his behavior would be making his army and throng of supporters feel? Minimized to be sure.
Sometimes we need that advisor or friend in our lives to shake us up a bit. Especially when we find ourselves wallowing in a non-beneficial pool of muck. Sometimes we are comfortable in our agony. Sometimes we just want to shut out the world and have some quiet time.
Unfortunately, we are often not allowed the luxury of being able to take the time we need to work through our own life’s struggles. I don’t know about you, but I have found myself, on more than one occasion, rushed back to the reality of work and putting on a happy face – just like David.
I remember in the “good old days” I had only six, excruciatingly short weeks for maternity leave. Going back to work was one of the hardest things I ever did. I’ve now heard that dads can get paternity leave for longer than that, and new moms are enjoying three plus months off to bond with their newborn. They don’t know how lucky they are!
But David was king. The ultimate authority lies with him (apart from God, of course), and the people needed to see their leader. Joab did have a point, and David knew it. David, the father, had to set aside his own agony and return to his role as king. A visible role indeed.
This narrative places David’s grief in the lime light. We can see behind the curtain at a very tender moment. Surely others were also grieving that day. Grieving the loss of their own child to a war that should never have been – a war between father and son. Joab may have been a bit harsh in how he handled the encounter with David. But he did what he needed to do.
Sometimes we are the messenger being used to help another get back on track. It’s a great responsibility to do so with compassion and grace. Joab’s grace is a bit “like a bull in a china shop.” But it gets the job done. Joab knew David would need a firm shake-up to get himself back to work. I admit I felt a little sad for how poorly the army must have felt. It wasn’t a war they were proud of to be sure.
We’ll see now how God restores the order. For now, David is just showing up. He’s not making an eloquent speech. He’s not decreeing any new laws. He simply showed up and sat in his chair at the city gate. The people came. And the losers of the battle, unsure of their own fate at this point, fled. It is a new day. Not quite “business as usual,” but that will come.
Is it time that you stepped out of your comfort zone and found your way back into the world? Certainly, with a worldwide pandemic crippling our world in so many ways over the past year plus, we are ready to get back to work. We want business to go on.
We yearn for normal. But what’s normal anymore? It seems this world has shifted somehow. While I’m seeing some really amazing new growth happening, I’m also witnessing devastating loss. Toss in all the natural disasters that are plaguing different areas of the world, there are times when escaping sounds like the best idea of all.
Why can’t we just all take a moment to reflect on what truly lights us up. You know that one thing that you would do all day long if you had the ability and freedom to so do. Think about that. Thank God for that desire or dream he has given you. Ask him to help you make that thought become a reality. New business. New normal. Everlasting God.
Let’s pray …
Lord, I thank you for the ability to take a pause to work through some tough stuff. I realize some people don’t have that luxury. Yet, Lord, don’t let me linger too long in this place. I want to serve you and be alive and well in this world. What does that look like, God? Use me to make a difference. In Jesus’ name. Amen.