Sheba was a traitor, deserving to be punished by death. Complete details of Sheba’s treachery are given in 2 Sam 20, and from that reading we can know that such things were as common then as they are in the world today. Not only do these things happen in governments, but also happen in the church.
After Absalom had failed in his attempt to usurp the throne from David, Sheba must have felt that the “time was ripe” to gather the revolutionaries to himself. He thought to do what Absalom had failed to do. He must have reasoned that David was unfit to rule and that the majority of the people would want a new king, but his reasoning was flawed at best.
However, there was a wise woman of Abel, a city to which Sheba had fled, who saved her people. Joab and the men of David had begun to fight against this town because the people there were harboring a criminal (2 Sam. 20:15). A certain wise woman made an appeal to Joab (2 Sam 20:16-17), which showed good diplomacy as well as loyalty to the kingdom of Israel (2 Sam 20:18-19).
Joab’s reply to her was that their only interest in burning the city and killing its inhabitants was to bring the traitor harbored there to justice (2 Sam 20:20, 21). At that point she promised to throw down Sheba’s head as proof of their loyalty (2 Sam 20:21). Notice what she did in her wisdom, and notice Joab’s response (2 Sam 20:22). Much bloodshed was avoided because this woman was brave enough to stand alone and be counted.
We would do well to follow her behavior in revealing the “traitors” in the church today. There are those who would destroy us from within and who would “take the kingdom” from the people of God. Can we save our “city?” Should we stand idly by while the traitors destroy the people of God?