Joab's Messengers

19th February, 2002

The Lord instructed me last month to "shut myself within my house" for a short season to be alone with Him and to seek Him. As I was praying and fasting, the Lord began to speak to me about messengers. His Spirit impressed upon me to read the account in 2 Samuel 18 of two messengers by the name of Ahimaaz and Cushi.

(Since this portion of Scripture is rather lengthy, if it is at all possible, I would recommend reading 2 Samuel 18 before proceeding any further with this article. For those who are unable to immediately read this chapter, I'll try to very briefly condense the details of this chapter.)

David's son, Absalom, had just revolted against David to overthrow him as king. David's armies went out to battle against Absalom and those who had sided with Absalom against David. As David's armies were leaving for the battle, David instructed them to not kill Absalom for his sake (verse 5).

However, Joab (one of the three captains of the host) and ten of his armor bearers found Absalom hanging in a tree by the hair of his head, and they killed him in spite of King David's orders not to (verses 9-15).

In verses 19 through 32, two messengers are sent from Joab to King David to deliver to him news of the battle. One young man, Ahimaaz, requests Joab to send him even though he has no message to deliver (verses 19-23).

Joab gives the message of Absalom's death to a messenger by the name of Cushi (verse 21).

I read 2 Samuel 18 repeatedly, pondering the reason the Lord had impressed this chapter upon my heart. Finally, after days of prayer and fasting, the Lord began to reveal to me why He had impressed this chapter upon my heart.

"There are very many today who come into My presence," the Lord said to me. "They hear Me begin to speak to them, and they immediately begin to run with what they are hearing. They don't realize, however, that they have only received a small portion of the whole message. Instead of remaining in My presence to receive the full message, they take what little bit they have received, and run to share it with others.

"There are also those who run with no message at all.

"Such were the messengers of Joab," the Lord said to me.

"One of Joab's messengers ran with no message at all. He had seen some of the battle, knew something momentous had occurred, and wanted to run with that little bit of knowledge that he had. That knowledge, though, was unprofitable and misleading. By running with an unprofitable and misleading message, he brought confusion and false hope and peace to the hearts of those he ran to.

"Joab's other messenger brought back a true report, yet he had no thought of that message's impact upon his hearers. What he perceived to be a message of victory was instead received as a message of heartbreak and grief.

"I have called aside a group of messengers who will linger long in My presence," the Lord said to me. "They will not run with a message until they have also felt My heartbeat behind that message. I am opening their understanding to the impact of each word and each message they deliver to others through My Name. They will not run just to run.

"When I have released them to run with a message from Me, they will know not just the message, but My heart and My intent in regard to the message. They will also know the heart of the person or group of people they are being sent to. They will not needlessly or heedlessly drop a word or message from Me onto anyone to that person's or group of people's needless heartbreak. They will tremble with a reverent fear and respect when I put My words and messages into their hearts and mouths.

"Joab's messengers caused heartbreak to those to whom they delivered their message. Joab was demoted as a result of this message that he had sent to David. Those who run when I have not said to run, or speak when I have not said to speak, will lose their place before Me and I will set them aside as an unclean and unprofitable vessel."

"Where are these messengers right now?" I asked the Lord.

"I have hidden them," the Lord replied.

"Where?" I asked the Lord.

"They are before Jordan and in Sidon," the Lord replied. "They are in a place of famine for My word. They cry out and are groaning to hear My voice speaking to them. At this time, many of them are being fed spiritually with what was once perceived to be unclean. I am capable of taking that which is considered unclean and abominable and creating it to become nourishment to those for whom it is intended.

"I used unclean ravens to feed Elijah when he was hidden before Jordan during a famine. Even so am I doing in this time for My messengers. And as I also provided meal and oil for Elijah during this same famine, even so is there yet a little meal and oil to sustain My messengers. I will sustain them by what is on hand.

"I have a company of Obadiah's who have been protecting My messengers," the Lord continued. "These Obadiah's are not of the same spirit as was Joab. My company of Obadiah's stand in the presence of the King, and are in the household of the King. They are being sent forth to proclaim the coming of the messengers.

"When these messengers come forth, they will at first not be welcomed. They will endure misunderstanding. They will have accusations cast at them. Their faces will be set as a flint, though, against all that will come against them. They will boldly speak forth My word and My message. They will gather the people together to expose sin and to exhort them to return unto Me. They will repair those things in My house that have been broken down. They will set up an altar with acceptable sacrifices placed upon it. And they will do so with great care. For they will have learned to hear and discern not only My voice and My message, but also My heartbeat and My will and My purpose behind the message. They will not handle My word deceitfully or according to their own motives.

"I am giving them a heart to know Me. Because of the great discouragement and weariness of many of these as yet hidden messengers have I allowed this message of comfort and encouragement to go forth. It is to strengthen and sustain them. Tell them that in a little while, they will hear Me again with purified hearts and ears. I am still with them. I have not forsaken them."

In Him,

~~ Hollie L. Moody