“Joab came to the king inside and said, “Today you have humiliated all your servants who have saved your life today, not to mention the lives of your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your secondary wives, by loving those who hate you and hating those who love you! Today you have announced that the commanders and their soldiers are nothing to you, because I know that if Absalom were alive today and the rest of us dead, that would be perfectly fine with you! Now get up! Go out and encourage your followers! I swear to the LORD that if you don’t go out there, not one man will stick with you tonight—and that will be more trouble for you than all the trouble that you’ve faced from your youth until now.””

2 Samuel 19:5-7 (CEB)

Sometimes we can unknowingly give up on a whole group of people when the source is one person. Rick Warren said there is normally no more than five people that can make a pastor leave his church. Sometimes people will leave a marriage for the 30% that’s wrong with their spouse and overlook the 70% that’s good.

As we mature in our faith we have to recognize that our problem isn’t with the 70%, it’s with the inability to address or call out the 30%.

Joab was King David’s General over his army. David gave him specific instructions to bring his rebellious son Absalom home alive. Instead while they were at civil war Joab was told that Absalom was hanging in a tree by his hair. He took three spears and stuck them in the King’s son’s chest.

When David got news that his son was dead he wept bitterly. When the soldiers heard how devastated their king was they came back into the city with their heads hanging as if they had been defeated or ran away in fear instead of walking in victorious.

David wasn’t disappointed in the men. He was disappointed in just one man. His commanding officer disobeyed the king’s direct order. This defiance caused David grief that was misdirected to his most loyal people. David stood the risk of losing the loyalty of the majority of his people because of the dysfunction of one leader.

When we don’t deal with the source of our dysfunction the effects spread throughout the entire body and contaminate our culture.

  1. We end up hating those who love us and loving those who hate us. David’s inability to deal with the real issue caused him to drift from the people who really loved him. He abdicated his power to Joab who misrepresented the king’s interest by acting on his own self interest. David had a chance to win back Absalom way before this war. David is grieving his son who led a revolt against him and the people feel like they let him down.
  2. You run the risk of making the people feel like they are nothing to you. David had always been the “people’s champion.” But somewhere along the way in abdicating his power to the wrong people he had become disconnected from them. We can’t abandon the ones who really love us simply because we are disappointed in a few we gave power. Go deal with Joab but don’t abandon the people! Go deal with the real issues in your marriage without prematurely divorcing. Deal with the rotten apples on your team instead of throwing away the whole barrel.
  3. Encourage the people before you lose them totally. Don’t isolate yourself from the people. Show the people who’ve held you down consistently that you really do love and appreciate them. When leaders are not in a healthy place emotionally we can unknowingly transfer feelings of unappreciation because of our frustration.

You are a great leader. You have some great people who love you but there is somebody in your camp that has misrepresented you. Instead of dealing with that person you took it out on them. Today, go deal with your Joab before you lose the very people you fought for and who fought with you for what you have accomplished for God. Don’t abandon the many because of the misaligned expectations of the one.

Dear God,

Thank you for opening my eyes to see that there are more with me than there are against me. Forgive me for abdicating my power to people who did not have my best interest at heart. I grieve the fact that at one point they did, but through my own inability to deal with my heart I drifted and so did they. Today I choose to address Joab and reconnect to those who love me. I’m going back to love on those who loved on me. 

In Jesus’ Name,