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The Judas of the Old Testament

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: 1 Kings 2:5-6

In 1 Kings 2, David is coming to the end of his reign. Before relinquishing the throne to his son, Solomon, David proclaims judgment on his right-hand man, Joab.

By all appearances, Joab was devoutly loyal to his king. He was David’s nephew who believed the right things about him. He knew David was the savior of Israel and a sovereign king. He even believed David was a sufficient leader, risking his life for his king on the battlefield.

But in spite of his loyalty, there was still something missing: he never really gave his heart to David.

Adrian Rogers says, “Joab was a man who loved the kingdom without loving the king. He loved the power, but he didn’t love the person. He loved the glory, but he did not love the glorious one who was God’s anointed.”

There are some Christians who will profess their loyalty to Christ, yet remain lost like Joab, the Judas of the Old Testament.

Joab represents those who claim to know and love the Lord, and yet don’t have the mind of Christ. They can’t deal properly with those whom Jesus has forgiven, because they don’t understand it—and they don’t understand it because they haven’t experienced it.

Joab did not have the heart of David. David’s son, Absalom, had rebelled against his father, trying to usurp the throne. But David loved his rebel son and instructed Joab to deal gently with him. Instead, Joab killed Absalom the moment he got the chance.

Nor did Joab have the will of David; it was David’s will that Solomon be king, but Joab sought out other candidates.

There are many like Joab in our churches who will claim to fight in the name of their king, but they don’t have the heart of the king. They don’t deal with other people as Jesus would, or forgive as Jesus forgives.

They don’t seek rebels as Jesus seeks rebels, therefore, they don’t share in His sovereign will. Joab’s tragic story shows our loyalty doesn’t matter if we are still lost. We must consider our own hearts, minds, and wills, and be sure they are like Jesus.

Apply it to your life

Do you have the heart and mind of Christ, thinking what He thinks, loving whom He loves? Don’t let a Joab or a Judas or any other hypocrite keep you from loving Jesus and serving in your church.


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This message is a part of this audio series.