1 Chronicles 11:6 (KJV)
And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.
These days I tend to side with David on just about everything. He was not a perfect man and God plainly gives to us an account of his worst failures. But many of those things David is often criticized for have no basis in Biblical fact. The Bible does not call David a poor father. The Bible does not fault David for his faithfulness to Saul, etc. I believe we would be wisest to do the same.
That said, there is something in this passage I think a person can learn from. David’s open offer to give the top spot in the army to the one who first took Jerusalem left him vulnerable to whoever got the job done. Joab won the prize and David honored his promise for the rest of his life. But it cost him dearly. Joab’s skills in leadership and combat served David well. But his lack of true submission brought:
- Pain to David’s family,
- Risk to David’s throne and eventually
- Death to Joab personally
It would surely have been better to promote a man of his own choosing to do the job.
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1 Chronicles 11:6 Who Will Do This?
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