The Wise Woman of Abel

As I continued to read through the Bible yesterday, I came to a passage in 2 Samuel 20: 14-22 about the heroic actions of a wise woman from the city of Abel Beth-Maacah. In this account, a man named Sheba had lead a rebellion against King David and subsequently had to flee from David’s warrior-general, Joab. Sheba barricaded himself in the fortified city of Abel where Joab launched a powerful siege, battering the wall of Abel with the intent of waging war to capture Sheba. Then, seemingly from nowhere came the wise woman of Abel, who began to authoritatively negotiate an agreement with Joab to deliver the people of her city from certain destruction. During a time in which women were generally held in low regard, a lone woman boldly and courageously stepped forward:

Amazingly, the leader of David’s army—Joab—heeded her words and formulated an agreement that if Sheba would be delivered to him, the city would be spared. The wise woman immediately replied, “His head shall be thrown to thee over the wall” (2 Samuel 20:21).[!]

Sometimes we might ask ourselves whether we can make a difference—whether any one person can use their voice to intervene in a crisis. While there is power in numbers, the Bible attests to the power of the individual who dares to act in wisdom and courage: Ecclesiastes 7:19, “Wisdom strengthens a wise person more than ten rulers who are in a city.” Therefore, with this in mind, we are well equipped as followers of Christ to be that person, if the Lord so leads:

It is my prayer for you: