1 Kings 2:1 – Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying,
1 Kings 2:5 – Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet.
1 Kings 2:6 – Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.
1 Kings 2:28 – Then tidings came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the Lord, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.
1 Kings 2:29 – And it was told king Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the Lord; and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him.
Hello readers, new blog today. A simple thought, king David told Solomon his son to deal with Joab. He told Solomon to kill him. Later on in this chapter, we see Solomon carry this out when he cleaned up and strengthened his kingdom. Joab had been a mighty man in David’s army, he was the captain of David’s army, and he did many great things. Yet he was not listed as one of David’s mighty men… and closer examination of his life reveals he was not a mighty man of God, nor a good man. The thought for this blog is “get rid of this guy”, because in life, you will need to purge your life of sin, of ungodly influences, of things or people (no not murdering someone)… but in the sense of dealing with things that will hinder our walk with God personally and before others. If that’s the influence of an ungodly acquaintance, it’d mean terminating that association. Solomon was about to embark on a important mission of building God’s house… and he couldn’t afford to have Joab around… a man who would cause him endless amounts of trouble and opposition, a man strong and deceitful, who knew how to get things done irrespective of the cost or the manner of doing so. Joab would undermine Solomon’s purpose and work, and if you want to build some things for God, and your life be a building of God… you’ll need to do what Solomon had to do at the outset of his reign.
David had many dealings with Joab through his life. And at the conclusion of David’s life, with his son Solomon setting out in his reign as king, David told Solomon that he’d have to sort this guy Joab out, that he’d have to kill him. Why? Because David knew some things about Joab, and he knew that Joab would be endless trouble for Solomon, just as he was for David. And sometimes, it’s necessary as part of being a Christian and wanting to walk with God, that you eliminate some people from your life in terms of their influence, in terms of walking in their way, and that you eliminate sin, error, hindrances, obstacles from your life which will hinder your fellowship with God and testimony to others. One of the first things Proverbs talks about is company, and Psalm 1 also talks about this… because evil communications corrupt good manners… because if you are casting in your lot with evil men, it won’t go well for you. Joab was a strong man, with great influence, and this was in fact a necessary step in Solomon setting up and strengthening his kingdom. He had been given the kingdom by God, yet his older brother, Adonijah had a big claim to it. If not for God’s anointing and empowerment for Solomon, Adonijah would’ve been king. Adonijah felt entitled, and that he would rightfully be king but for God’s intervention, and he wasn’t ready to give up on his kingly aspirations despite God’s anointing of Solomon… and he had many people on his side, and he went to work on trying to work his way to being king through deception… and this time Joab was on the wrong side (he was on Adonijah’s side despite Solomon being God’s choice for king, and despite having chose David’s side when Absalom rebelled), and Adonijah even swept Abiathar the priest up in his attempts to deceitfully usurp Solomon.
Fancy that… Abiathar, who was priest during the days of David, and Joab, captain of David’s army, both caught up on the wrong team. That’s why when you get saved it has to be between you and God, not based on other people. If you were following Abiathar or Joab, you’d also be on the wrong side of God’s word. That’s why you should follow God, believe him, obey him… and not man. People are liars, many people who appear to be Christians truly are not, and many people can get caught up in the wrong things, and in fact fight for the wrong team. Look at Lot, he got caught up in a war he had no business being in and was taken captive, and it took Abram rescuing him. Look at the simple man in Proverbs 5, who got caught up and never escaped the clutches of the strange woman. You can not only end up backsliding on God, you can end up in fact serving the devil and doing the devil’s bidding, that’s how much Satan can overthrow your life and turn you right around. He wanted to show God that Job would curse God to his face… Satan wants you to serve him, even if you are saved, he is still after your life. When you leave God’s word, when you leave truth, you’ll start opposing Jesus Christ in your word and deed, even while thinking you’re a Christian. Jesus said in John 16:2 – …yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. Why did Joab and Abiathar follow Adonijah? Because they had left God’s word. And thus they ended up being on the wrong team and in big trouble.
Back to David’s instructions to Solomon… and this was a wise instruction from a father to his son. And we need wise advice from the fathers today, yet not many father’s have the wise instruction to give. Solomon, you need to deal with Joab. David knew Joab had to be dealt with. Joab was part of David’s sin, David repented, but Joab did not. Joab manipulated. Joab murdered people in cold blood. People defected to David, he killed them. His actions were motivated by self, by jealousy, by envy, by vengeance. And although he did many great exploits, he was not a mighty man of God, rather he was a castaway. It goes to show mighty men are not always saved men, even if they do some good as Joab did. Joab was perhaps the mightiest, yet he didn’t get a mention as even a mighty man of David’s army. Joab had no respect for God ordained authority, for the decisions David made, he had no respect for holy things. Things that other people with a conscience before God couldn’t do, he did. He killed Absalom against the king’s commandment, he scorned the king in the sight of the people, he murdered Abner whom the king had made an agreement with, and he murdered Amasa out of jealousy whom David had put head over his army. Joab tried making David do things his way, and when David made a decision that he didn’t like, he’d make it so that it went his way rather than yielding to the word of the king. That’s not a recipe for pleasing God. The Bible says without faith it is impossible to please God… and that the just shall live by faith. Faith is obeying God’s word, yielding to it… but Joab did the opposite.
There are many Joabs out there at the moment. Mighty men, with great followings… Joab had many followers. Joab was a man to be reckoned with, he was feared by someone like Abner, who was captain of Saul’s army and himself a great man. But it was only when it suited him that Joab ran to “Christianity”, to “religion”. He lived a life separate from having God’s word and will in his heart. He only used God’s word and ways and means as it suited him. At his convenience, he pick and chose good when it aligned with what he wanted to do, and how he thought and lived. When he knew Solomon was going to kill him and that he had chosen the wrong side (he chose Adonijah’s side over Solomon’s)… he went running to the temple to try and use religion, to abuse things like grace and mercy when convenient… things he had not shown to others during his life time. A Joab always runs to Christianity when it suits them, when they need it to advance their self interest and advancement. He didn’t live like it his whole life, and now he’s in the temple holding the horns of the altar. But those horns had no strength for him, his life had been weighed and found wanting. He was destitute of the grace of God in his life, and thus in his death he found no mercy where he could’ve or should’ve had he had a different heart. The people sent to kill him stopped and asked Solomon what to do, and Solomon told them to slay him right there. And so he was slain there… judgement day came in a hurry for Joab.
If you want to start a walk with God, or a ministry, or anything, you must first purge out what needs to be purged. David knew Solomon had some cleaning up to do. Some people needed to be dealt with in his kingdom who would oppose truth, and oppose Solomon. We need to purge out what needs to be purged out of our personal lives in order to proceed with God. This is what Paul said to Timothy. 2 Timothy 2:20,21 – But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. After salvation, it’s sanctification, God separating you unto himself. So on a personal level and on a broader level the principle holds true. In your own life you have to purge out sin, lies, darkness, error… and then around you, the changing of deeds, company, activities, actions as you interact and live in this evil world. This isn’t to BE saved, but part of living the Christian life after you are saved, because you ARE saved. And it’s God doing it, giving you the wisdom and grace to do what needs to be done.
In this story, a man called Joab, a mighty man, who would be endless trouble to Solomon, needed to be dealt with. And killed. It was that serious. Ended. Not put in a prison, not exiled, but put to death. Only that way would he be gone and not be cancerous to Solomon’s authority and reign. He couldn’t undermine or oppose or deceive Solomon when he was dead… and they are the stakes in the Christian life, we do need to put to death things in our life which oppose our walk with God, which would hinder us from obeying him and achieving what he has for us in our life… because lets not forget, Solomon had a wonderful work coming… to build the house of God… and he couldn’t do that till Joab was dealt with. God can’t build anything in your life until things that need to be dealt with are dealt with, whatever they may be. And do it God’s way, Solomon heard and obeyed his father. Joab had endlessly proved during his life who and what he was. He was beyond it… that’s why fleeing the to temple and holding the horns of the altar didn’t save him. Solomon just had to get rid of him.