…One of Joab’s men stood near Amasa, and said, “Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David–follow Joab!” 2 Samuel 20:11
Sheba’s Rebellion: 19:9-20:26. The civil war is not ended. The loyal men of Judah are furious with Israelite tribes. And the northerners are ashamed, desperately eager to demonstrate their loyalty. On the way back to Jerusalem, they quarrel over the honor of escorting David to his throne. When a “troublemaker” named Sheba shouts, in effect, “Let’s go home!” the Israelites desert David again! It takes no civil war to reestablish David now. Joab, his military commander, simply follows Sheba and sees to it he is killed.
The kingdom has been preserved. But the uneasy antagonism and exists between the north and south has been intensified. In another generation that antagonism will harden into permanent enmity.
20:4 Amasa who had commanded Absalom’s army had been offered Joab’s position as commander-in-chief of David’s army. He accepted the offer and was commissioned to put down Sheba’s rebellion.
20:5 But he delayed: Amasa’s delay in carrying out David’s order to gather forces against Sheba’s rebellion could have resulted in a disaster like that of Absalom’s revolt. Abishai, Joab’s older brother was enlisted to take command of the soldiers of Judah and putdown Sheba’s revolt. David knew that Sheba’s revolt was potentially more dangerous than Absalom’s, since Sheba’s rebellion was based on long-standing tribal animosity between Israel and Judah.
–> Amasa disobeyed with his delay. But, David did not order him to be killed. It seems that Joab had a tendency to act on his own while calling out King David’s name — he killed Abner, Absalom and Amasa without the king’s permission. Did he kill Amasa because his position of commander-in-chief was given to Amasa? We need to be careful not to act on our own and justify our actions by calling out God’s name.