FIGHTING CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA: THE DAVID-JOAB THERAPY
The bible is full of fascinating stories that are rich in instructions, wisdom and counsel. One of my favorites is the Politics of King David, the biblical king of united Israel who on that account, paid dearly for the perpetual greatness of God’s priestly nation.
It’s on record that David the King had only few fears; one of them was Joab, captain of his very own army. But why would a Goliath killing David not simply exterminate this fear, Joab?
After leading the assault on the fortress of Mount Zion, Joab was promoted to the rank of General (1 Chronicles 11:4–6; 27:34). He led the army against Aram, Ammon, Moab and Edom. He also took part in David’s murder of Uriah (2 Samuel 11:14–25). Please take note of this very salient point: Joab was part of the iniquity that facilitated David’s ecstasy, at least, at some point. So why did David subtly (not even directly) order the death of a General of Generals at his death bed? He said “So act according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to Sheol in peace.”
The story goes that Davis’s son Absalom was in bitter rivalry turned rebellion against his father, David. He declared himself king, started a revolt at Hebron, the former capital, and slept with his father’s concubines. The powerful and wise king David was ousted into exile. David was indeed a very sad man but he did two outstanding things, in remarkable wisdom:
He sent Hushai to counter the counsel of Ahithophel: Looks like a good move to buy some time.
He could not bring himself to harm his son, and ordered that none of his men should kill Absalom during the ensuing battle, “Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.”
However, when a man reported that Absalom had been found, alive, caught in a tree, Joab and his men killed him. Joab had sinned against David. Yet David retained Joab in his army. The question is why? Here are some of my takes:
“Whoever strikes the Jebusites first shall be chief and commander.” And Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, so he became chief.” Joab was a powerful trailblazer. He was noticeably strong, ambitious and daring. Every good army needs that, so did David’s, at least for a while.
Joab was busier than David in the battlefield, thus he earned more respect, prominence, influence and authority among the rank and file. This made Joab indispensable during war times.
Joab was part of the messy and murderous scheme that took the life of Uriah, and would have tied the hands of David and sustained a covenant relationship enmeshed in secrecy.
Joab was indeed powerful, to the extent of fearlessly and remorselessly killing the King’s son, and putting up a perfect kingly report, knowing that “nothing will happen”. Yet, David kept him in his government, succeeded at his government, and eventually got rid of Him.
In any dispensation, wisdom is always proven to be better than force. If this present government fails, it will not be lack of forceful goodwill or persons, but due to a stark lack of wisdom. A government that got people power to upturn an incumbent is definitely naturally empowered to succeed. But wisdom is profitable to direct.
David obviously detested Joab but maintained the relationship, for a long time too. Let’s liken David to the leadership of the present day government, and Joab to the corrupt system which have desecrated the Nigeria economy, shamelessly. It is both common sense and instinctive to start the Jail-Court-Bail cycle for the remaining three years left instead of fulfilling campaign promises. Shallowness calls this fighting corruption, but wisdom knows better.
From the reasons stated above why Joab was left to thrive, we can automatically predict what will happen to this government if it refuses to toll the path of wisdom. It will fight, fight and fight, gets worn out, and have to leave the government with little results.
Some facts are so bitter but are steering into our faces:
The most corrupt individuals in the country appear to be the most powerful, just like Joab.
When two powerful elephants fight, the grasses do not only suffer, they die.
Every government administration lasts only 4 years, meaning a fifty-six year old monster would need much more than a fully armed eight-year regime in the boxing ring.
Remember the Joab/David covenant? It explains why in its fiercest forms, corruption battles in Nigeria will never be rid of bias.
Joab died by being routed to the alter, where he was exterminated. It is remarkable that corruption (Joab) knows when real cleansing commences. “And Joab fled to the tent of the LORD and took hold of the horns of the altar. 2nd King 2:29” An Heir (not the king) must be enthroned after the king’s full reign, a priest must be banished (2nd King 2:19–24). These are notable signs to watch out for.
But the King must know that he needs Joab alive now for the Kingdom to be safely established in the hands of the Heir. (1Kings2:46)
May God bless the King with Wisdom.