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Click here to read 2 Samuel 20 on BibleGateway.com

badguy_snidelywhiplashIf you had one word to describe yourself, what would it be? Is it possible to sum up a person with one adjective? For instance, if a friend of yours was describing you to someone else, what would they say? “She’s that friendly girl who works at the bank.” “He’s that tall guy at the gym.” “She’s that grouchy lady at church.” “He’s that obnoxious guy at the office.” Almost makes a man paranoid.

In today’s chapter, we meet two people, both of whom are described with one word. one is “a troublemaker named Sheba son of Bikri.” What a great reputation. Not “a man named..” Not “a soldier named…” Is there a worse way to describe someone?

The second is simply called “a wise woman.” It’s interesting that she is not given a name. She is just the “wise woman of Abel.”


Notice the results of these two people. Sheba gets people riled up and in defiance of authority; people like Amasa. Poor Amasa. He gets all fired up from Sheba, and then gets his daily dose of iron in the form of a dagger in the intestines. On the other hand, the wise woman saves all the people of her village by talking Joab out of his agression.

At the risk of restating the obvious, the Bible is clear in I Corinthians 15 that hanging around bad people will corrupt our own character. Who knows, maybe if poor Amasa had been hanging around the wise woman instead of a troublemaker, maybe he would have come to a less pointy end.


We need to be careful about who we choose to hang around with. If we choose to date a non-Christian, is it more likely that our character will improve them, or that theirs will deprove us? (yes, there is the rare occassion when it turns out well, but how often?) If we hang around business men that have “iffy” practices, how long will it be before we pick up on them? If we constantly listen to music that has non-Godly messages, how long will it be before our actions and thoughts start to reflect those messages?

Today the challenge is take a moment and look at who we are spending our time with. If you had to choose one word to describe them, what would it be? Do you want that word to describe you?

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