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?


“Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me” (Psa 41:9).“I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he” (John 13:18-19).The name “Judas” inspires no one. The other apostles accepted Judas as their equal for three years, and it appears that none of them suspected his wicked heart and actions. Judas Iscariot masqueraded as one of Jesus’ closest friends. He not only posed as a friend but he pretended to be a faithful and zealous disciple and apostle. Jesus honored him by making him a part of the inner circle of twelve, taking him everywhere He went teaching and healing the people when, in fact, Judas was a thief and a traitor. He stole from the bag of money intended to feed the poor, and he will always be remembered as a traitor of the worst kind.

We gain deeper insight into Judas’ heart in Psalms 109. Peter identified the prophecy as Judas Iscariot: “Let his days be few; and let another take his office” (Acts 1:20). We can easily recognize Judas’ heart as he condemned Mary for anointing Jesus’ body for the burial. The Psalmist declared, “Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart” (Psa 109:16). The Lord further revealed Judas’ heart in that he loved to curse! In fact, the Lord testifies that he “clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment…for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually” (Psa 109:18-19). Like the Pharisees, Judas was a great hypocrite!

Judas easily concealed his true nature from the rest of the disciples for the entire three years. He may have incited the other apostles to have evil thoughts at times (Mark 14:4). Immediately after Jesus rebuked Judas, he went straight to the high priest and volunteered to betray his Master! Solomon warned us that if we rebuke a wicked man, we will get ourselves a blot. A root of bitterness can easily arise and defile many. But what was the cause of Judas’ bitterness? Covetousness! He had 300 pence in mind, and Jesus blocked his greed! Furthermore, Judas stole from God himself, but God said vengeance is mine, I will repay. Jesus sorrowfully noted: “Did not I choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil” (John 6:70). I don’t know of even one soul who would want to stand in Judas’ shoes on Judgment Day.

Jesus showed a beautiful attitude toward His self-declared enemy. He knew what Judas was in the very beginning, but said nothing for three years. Only when it was necessary to defend one of God’s children from Judas did He oppose him. To show the apostles that He had the power of God to foretell the future, He warned the apostles about Judas. Only then did He differentiate between Judas and the rest of the apostles: “Ye are clean, but not all,” and “He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me,” (John 13:10, 18), but even then He did not name him. It seemed as if Jesus wished to give Judas every opportunity to repent. Then for the last time, when they sat down to eat, Jesus appealed to him saying, “One of you shall betray me” (Matt 26:21; Mark 14:18; Luke 22:21; John 13:21). And at the end, in answer to His disciples’ questions, He revealed his betrayer, not by name, but by a sign: “He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it” (John 13:26). All of Jesus love seemed to have no effect on Judas. He quickly left the upper room; the opportunity he longed for had come (John 13:30; Matt 26:16). He soon found himself with the high priest, and led the mob to Jesus as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. He dared to betray his Master with a kiss! (Matt 26:47-50; Mark 14:43,44; Luke 22:47; John 18:2-5 ).

Somehow Judas suddenly realized the enormity of his sin. Rather than turn to righteousness, he committed still another wicked act. Matthew testified that “… he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself” (Matt 27:5). His last act on earth was in keeping with the rest of his life. He began, lived, and died in his wickedness! It seems to be very fitting that the chief priest purchased the potter’s field, and called it “the field of blood.” The prophecy (Zech 11:12-14 ) was fulfilled. The last thing we hear about Judas simply states that he “obtained a field with the reward of his iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out” (Acts 1:16-20 vs. 18).

“The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born” (Mark 14:21).