You can’t read this account and not wonder why Joab is still free to kill whoever gets in his way. You’ll recall that David replaced Joab with Amasa. What fuels Joab’s anger? Is it jealousy?
In this case, it certainly could be. Amasa had taken his place beside the king. But Amasa was his cousin! Shouldn’t Joab have showed some mercy? Amasa was even on a different mission than Joab. This isn’t the first time Joab acted with such ruthlessness that a life was lost.
If it was jealousy for Joab, we can all relate to what that feels like. I can remember grade school memories of wishing I had pencils like the girl next to me (they were round and colorful as opposed to square-ish yellow with red erasers). How I wished for a metal lunch box like the other kids instead of a plastic one with Barbie on it. As I got a little older, I coveted the horse my friend owned wishing I had one, too. Then came the boys and fancy cars. I never believed that what I had was all that special.
We often don’t realize our own uniqueness. If we do, we probably don’t see it as anything special. As we’ve been growing an online coaching business in our retirement, I’ve learned so much about helping others (and myself) find the hidden gems inside so they can shine. Those gems are exactly what I’m talking about as having something special inside.
We’re still never content. I do know I’ve never killed anyone because of my jealousy. I’m pretty sure you haven’t either. But we can agree that jealousy is a nasty little trick of the evil one. It can really mess with our heads. It obviously messed with Joab’s head causing him to believe that his power was in jeopardy or that he had fallen out of favor with David.
Jealousy is just one of the tools of destruction that Satan uses to get us off track. Lies and deception are probably near the top of that “tool” list. Of course, all of these tools are disguised beautifully to look enticing. We can’t help but believe these untruths and be obliviously deceived.
I’m afraid for family and friends who may be falling into Satan’s snares. I feel a world away from them yet realize I will never be able to convince them or protect them fully from the evil one’s schemes. I can only pray that the Holy Spirit will be at work in them to shine the light on the truth.
Jealousy may seem harmless on the surface. We need to fear what can fester if we leave this state of being alone. Take an inventory of how you are feeling toward others. Is there something that sparks a flicker of jealousy in you?
The antidote for jealousy, or pretty much any of the disgusting lies we choose to believe, is gratitude. It’s a shift of thinking or mindset. We can’t be upset, afraid, jealous, etc. when we are focusing on what we are grateful for. Our brains can’t coordinate that.
We can also arm ourselves with the truth. God’s word is truth. Jesus is truth. In Ephesians 6:13-14, Paul tells us “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.” And from Jesus’ own mouth, in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
What does standing on the truth mean to you? Do you rely on Jesus, the truth, and his counsel alone to be the leader of your life? Reflect on this today.
Let’s pray …
Lord, you are the truth, and I praise you. Thank you for how you are shaping my mind to be focused more on you. Help me stand strong against evil and recognize it when it is deceiving. I long for your wisdom and strength to be faithful as I wait to hear your voice. Direct my feet as you want me to go. In Jesus’ name. Amen.