I am one who is peace-loving and faithful in Israel. But you are destroying an important town in Israel.[z] Why do you want to devour what belongs to the Lord? – 2 Samuel 20:19
Sheba had rebelled against the king and was looking to do what Absalom had done. Joab the commander of Israel’s army set out to capture the dissident and either kill him or return him to the king. The army chased him all the way from Jerusalem to his hometown. When they reached his hometown, they built a siege ramp to tear down the city wall and capture the fugitive. Instead a wise, old lady from the city approached Joab telling him that the town was known for its wisdom and said that she was a peace-loving, faithful woman in Israel. She could and would do what was necessary to spare the town if Joab would tell her what they had to do. He said they wanted only Sheba, and she agreed to give Joab the head of Sheba, which he agreed to and received after she talked the town into handing over the fugitive, dead, in order to spare the city.
Jesus taught us in the sermon on the mountain that blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. We all should do our very best to strive to be peace lovers but more importantly be peace makers. It is not an easy task to create peace in a chaotic situation. Today we often refer to peace making as conflict resolution. It takes great skill to mediate peace because there are two warring factions trying to claim what the other party has. Are you, and I, known to others as was this lady from Abel as being peace-loving and faithful and wise? Or, are we known as troublemakers and rebel-rousers? To be a peacemaker we have to be 1) humble, 2) wise, and 3) a good listener.
The key for the old woman was that she knew not only the right words to ask Joab as how to settle the situation but to also listen to what he had to say. He didn’t want much and would settle the matter once he had what he wanted. The other key factor was that the woman possessed wisdom from God. In a conflict both parties usually state that they are right and not the opposing party, hence the conflict in the first place. The mediator has to listen to both sides and weigh the evidence in the light and balance of God’s word. Then and only then can a proper and just conclusion be reached that will bring peace to the room and solve the problem. When a person is a peacemaker, it’s no wonder why Jesus said they’d be the children of God. Peace is one part listed in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It isn’t by power or might that settles the issue but the Spirit of God, who give us peace beyond comprehension. Let God the Holy Spirit guide us in his wisdom and see the peace that all are looking for. There can be no real peace unless it comes from God.
Father, thank you for teaching us that peace settles an issue. There is a peace that you give that can’t be described by human words nor understood in human terms. For when we are in the middle of terrible situation, our knowing and trusting in you causes us to be calm and steady during the situation. We don’t have to overreact and make life miserable. We can just turn the situation over to you and let you work it out for us. Then there are times that you give us the wisdom we need to work the situation and be a peacemaker, especially if it can resolve and issue between us or between others. May I be a peacemaker because I am a child of God and want to be called such by others for bringing peace to a chaotic world. May your will be done, not mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.