When would you put your life on the line?

by Rev. Jack Richards on March 10, 2023


When would you put your life on the line? 


A wise woman called from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab to come here so I can speak to him.”  2 Samuel 20:16 NIV   


Nobody knows her name but what history records is that a wise woman from the city of Abel saved her people from death and her city from destruction.  You can read her story in 2 Samuel 20:14-22. There was a man named Sheba who was a traitor. He and his cronies had rebelled against David and fled to the city of Abel. Joab, who was David’s top commander, had pursued him and was pummeling the city wall in order to apprehend Sheba. A wise, unnamed woman stepped forward, when no one else did, and appealed to Joab to reconsider his tactics of destroying innocent people and a city for just one man. She asked him why he was demolishing something that belonged to God. [2 Samuel 20:19]  Where were the men of the city? We are not told. Why didn’t the city leaders do something? We do not know. However, this woman did!  

Surprisingly, she gained Joab’s attention and favor. There was so much against her winning an audience with him yet alone successfully negotiate a peaceful compromise.  Joab promised to take his military might and leave if she handed Sheba over to him. The wisdom of this woman is remarkable. She presented to her people this alternative to dying. Again, she won favor. They proceeded to behead Sheba and throw his head over the wall to Joab, who then departed.  

The day was saved because of one wise, unknown, courageous woman who used her skills to negotiate a peaceful alternative rather than experience the shedding of innocent blood. She knew what was right and was convinced somebody had to stand for what was right. If it was not going to be some man, then she decided it had to be her. Just like Queen Esther knew that she had to put her life on the line by going before the king in order to appeal for the safety of the Jewish people, so this woman knew she had to at least try something to save her people.  

God is looking for courageously, wise people, like yourself, who will try to bring peace to stormy situations. It may be in your family or work situation. You do not have to have title, authority, money or education. Neither do you have to study the art of negotiating. What you need is Godly courage and wisdom. God longs for believers, like yourself, to stand for what is right and true. Will you become a courageous peacemaker as Jesus Christ challenged people to do when He preached the Sermon on the Mount?  Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” [Matthew 5:9]  You will receive a tremendous blessing. The Bible promises “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”  [James 3:18]  

Please note the 4 things this Godly, courageous, wise woman did when might was about to overpower right. Will you live out her 4 steps to uphold what is right and true? 

  1. SIT UP …see the problem realistically…be wise…don’t ignore it…don’t look the other way…God gives you a sense of what is right and wrong along with a sense of what is true and false…you have this understanding because you have a personal relationship with the living God who is all wise and truthful…the Bible says, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?”  [Micah 6:8 NIV] 
  2. STAND UP…take action…do something about the problem…if not you, then who?...you cannot wish it away…to correct the problem you must do something…take the initiative… don’t be passive…do not leave the problem for the other guy to take care of…God gives you courage to stand for Godliness…the Bible says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your god will be with you wherever you go.”  [Joshua 1:9  NIV] 
  3. SPEAK UP…logically present a case for what is right…make an appeal…be tactful when choosing your words…be persuasive…use Godly wisdom rather than just human thought… God promises you His wisdom…the Bible says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” [James 1:5 NIV]                                                                       
  4. SETTLE UP…fulfill your responsibility…carry through with what you said you would do… fulfill the terms you agreed upon…a Godly, courageous person is honest and reliable just like His God. 

WILL YOU BECOME COURAGEOUSLY WISE? A tiny little wasp or bee will attack and sting a human being who is thousands of times larger and stronger. They “stand up for what they believe.” These tiny creatures have no fear of taking on humans because they feel threatened. What makes them appear to be aggressive and hostile is really a defensive behavior. They use what they have as a protective mechanism to convince humans to leave them alone. They want their environment to change so that they can peacefully live. They do not think about their size. Become like the wasp. You are given Godly courage and wisdom to bring peace. Use what you have. Stand for what is right, true, and Godly. 


  1. What areas in life should you take a stand for truth and righteousness?  
  2. You need both courage and wisdom. You can be courageous but lack wisdom. You can be wise but lack courage. Together, courage and wisdom make a person extremely influential. God wants to bless you with both. What steps can you take to receive this blessing? 


Heavenly Father, fill me with courage and wisdom so that I may take a stand for what is right and true. I desire to honor You by trying to bring peace to difficult situations. AMEN! 

Tags: old, testament, wise, courageous

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