Verse 1: “Joab son of Zeruiah saw that the king’s heart was set on Absalom, so he went to Tekoah and fetched a wise woman.”
Knowing the importance of restoration between King David and his son Absalom as “the king’s heart was set on Absalom,” Joab devised a plan to help David open and invite Absalom’s return. Joab “fetched a wise woman” and sent her to the king with a story that helped David see the negative repercussions of Absalom’s exile. In response, David had Joab retrieve Absalom.
If we consider this Scripture symbolically, we repeatedly see the negative consequences of not facing and dealing with the aspects of ourselves symbolized by the characters.
Psychologically, we must welcome back parts of ourselves even if they have grieved us or caused us pain. Disowned or dissociated aspects of our selves are usually tied to desires, longings, emotions, and feelings that we judge as wrong or experience as repulsive. We deny these feelings or harbor them secretly in shame.
The following events lead up to this Scripture passage: Amnon desired his half-sister Tamar. Instead of dealing with this desire openly and asking for her in marriage, he devised a plan to rape her. This plan led to his death by order of his half-brother and Tamar’s full-brother Absalom, who has then exiled.
King David’s “heart was set on Absalom,” yet Absalom remained in exile because of the murder. Joab intervened to help David honor the desires of his heart and invite restoration.
The energy symbolized by Joab lives within us. A part of our psyche acts on our behalf and sends a “wise woman” to help us see where we need reconnecting to our instincts, sensations, emotions, feelings, desires, thoughts, etc.
The wise woman usually shows up as “a still small voice,” an intuition, a gut knowing. She may come in a dream that gives guidance. Sometimes, she appears in the synchronistic appearance of an animal or an unbidden exchange with someone. We, with our egos, are given a chance to see what we are doing and its consequences for us and others with a larger and more life-giving view. We are led to reunion with what our heart desires.
What do you desire that you fear facing openly? What or whom do you love that you cannot bear to move towards honorably? In what ways do you take what you want in secrecy and through manipulation? Take a few minutes to consider where the drama symbolized in the story is playing out inside you. Watch for and receive the “wise woman” who helps you reconnect with your heart’s desires.