Throw the head over the wall

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Brutal, wily Joab, King David's grizzled veteran commander, observed his army's battering rams as they pounded the walls of Abel-beth-maacah. The walls would soon be breached and the rebel leader Sheba, who'd taken refuge in the city, would be destroyed along with many of the city's inhabitants.

Then the steely-eyed warrior's gaze caught the figure silhouetted upon the wall. Surely his eyes deceived him, but no, a woman stood -- jiggling a baby in her arm, children hanging onto her skirt -- calling down to his men.

Joab turned to his messenger, "What's she want?"

"She says she wants to see you, sir."

Joab trotted his mule a safe distance from where she stood.

"Are you Joab?" she called.

"I am."

She shifted the baby to her hip.

"I am one of the peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city which is a mother in Israel. Why will you swallow up the inheritance of the Lord?"

Joab, who'd spent his life hamstringing whole herds of defeated foes' horses, spearing men and attacking attackers, muttered, "Far be it, far be it from me that I should swallow up or destroy! Sheba is an enemy of King David. Deliver him only, and I'll leave the city."

"Watch," she promised, "his head will be thrown to you over the wall."

II Samuel 20:16 says, "Then the woman in her wisdom went to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. Then he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his own home."

It didn't take an army to save the city. It took a woman. It didn't take a SWAT unit or even a Daisy air rifle. It just took one determined lady who made up her mind to save her city's babies because she understood that "children are a heritage from the Lord," Psalm 127:3.

Job 31:15 asks, "Did not He who made me in the womb make my servant? And did not One fashion us both in the womb?" And King David in Psalm 139:13 answers, "For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother's womb."

Shucks, if that "wise woman" were living today, I'd like to throw a black robe on her and seat her on the Supreme Court. She'd have enough spunk to try to save the babies of our land. She'd cut off the rebellious head of abortion and throw it over the wall.

But the Bible doesn't record that the "wise woman" got out her butcher knife and hacked off Sheba's head. "In her wisdom [she] went to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba."

It will probably take more than one determined person to stop abortion in America. The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was finally signed into law to stop partial birth abortions, but Americans are still killing unborn babies year after murderous year. No, a law or court decisions are not the quick-fix to a moral problem, but I think they are part of the solution.

We also have to work in our families, churches, and communities to teach each generation to take responsibility for their actions and to protect those who are weak and helpless. I don't even pretend to know all the hows. There are bunches of books on the subject, and I've talked to teens and women who've had abortions or considered having one. I don't have simple solutions to a complex problem, but I know, as Christians, we need to fight to cut off the head of abortion and throw it over the wall. All of us. Together.

June Seabaugh is a member of Christ Church of the Heartland in Cape Girardeau.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: