5 Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants

Between Joab and David there was no affinity. David was a man of God. Joab was not. No greater gulf could separate two men than that. They lived in different worlds. David repeatedly struggled and fell, but from beginning to end he was a man of God, intensely loyal and devoted.

Joab was a man of the world. Wiser at times than David, and strangely enough, sometimes his perception rose higher than David's, but to the deeper currents of divine communion which were the basis of David's life, Joab was a stranger.

In his reaction to David's grief for Absalom, Joab is practical and wise. But David could see many things to which Joab was utterly blind. David could see that day many years earlier when the prophet Nathan had stood before him and had solemnly spoken of the great anger of God and the consequences he would have to suffer.

David could now see the humiliation of Tamar and the murder of Amnon, his firstborn. He could see that now another wayward son had been taken, leaving behind an ignoble memory of treachery and dishonour, all the consequences of his own folly and sin. And he would wonder where and when the next blow would fall.

But Joab's rough counsel would sharply remind him that his pilgrimage was not yet ended. Those terrible words would always be before his mind --

"Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from thine house,"

and he would see dimly, stretching into the future, a continuation of that trail of wickedness and bloodshed which he had set in motion. And so, aroused once again by Joab's brusque prodding, he concealed his grief that no one would understand, and carried on.

Bro Growcott - The sword shall never depart