Clever but not Wise
(2 Samuel 14)
1. Joab’s Clever Scheme (vv. 1-20)
1 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah knew that the king’s heart went out to Absalom. 2 Samuel 14:1 (ESV)
2 And Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman and said to her, “Pretend to be a mourner and put on mourning garments. Do not anoint yourself with oil, but behave like a woman who has been mourning many days for the dead. 3 Go to the king and speak thus to him.” So Joab put the words in her mouth. 2 Samuel 14:2-3 (ESV)
Stage 1: A Distressing Situation, 2 Samuel 14:6-11
Stage 2: Another Distressing Situation, 2 Samuel 14:12-17
The weakest point in the argument of the woman from Tekoa was likening the forgiveness of Absalom to God’s forgiveness of sinners.
Stage 3: Unmasked
2 Samuel 14:18-20
2. David’s Clever Scheme
2 Samuel 14:21-23
24 And the king said, “Let him dwell apart in his own house; he is not to come into my presence.” So Absalom lived apart in his own house and did not come into the king’s presence. 2 Samuel 14:24 (ESV)
David’s failure to deal with Absalom in accordance with God’s Word only compounded the problem. His clever tactics of ignoring his son after seemingly restoring him sent his son on the road to rebellion, which eventually brought the nation to the point of civil war.
3. Absalom’s Clever Scheme (vv. 25-33)
2 Samuel 14:25-29
Absalom the Determined
30 Then he said to his servants, “See, Joab’s field is next to mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.
31 Then Joab arose and went to Absalom at his house and said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?”
32 Absalom answered Joab, “Behold, I sent word to you, ‘Come here, that I may send you to the king, to ask, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me to be there still.” Now therefore let me go into the presence of the king, and if there is guilt in me, let him put me to death.’” 2 Samuel 14:30-32 (ESV)
Absalom: The Son Who Got His Way
33 Then Joab went to the king and told him, and he summoned Absalom. So he came to the king and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king, and the king kissed Absalom. 2 Samuel 14:33 (ESV)
There are all sorts of scheming, manipulation, cunning, and ingenuity in this narrative, but not true wisdom.
It is possible to have all the signs of wisdom such as plans, strategies, accomplishments, and yet be utterly devoid of it.