Christian Living

Don’t Be a Troublemaker

Sheba Leads a Rebellion Against David

After Absalom’s coup attempt to take over his father’s throne is squelched, a troublemaker tries to lead a rebellion against David. Here’s what happens:

When Absalom takes David’s throne, David and his entourage flee the city. Safely away, his army fights against Absalom’s army. When Joab kills Absalom, his short-lived coup ends.

It’s time for David to return home and retake his throne.

David’s people—the tribe of Judah—take the lead in returning him to Jerusalem. The rest of Israel, however, takes offense that they couldn’t be part of his reunion.

That’s when Sheba tries to rally their support to follow him instead of David. The Bible calls him a troublemaker.

This is the only account of Sheba in the Bible. We know nothing more about him except that he’s from the tribe of Benjamin. His chief characteristic—the singular trait he is known for—is as a troublemaker.


A troublemaker is someone who stirs up trouble or causes strife between people. This stands as an apt description of what Sheba does in this passage.

We’re left to wonder if his life is one of being a troublemaker.

Though Sheba could have been an instrument to bring about unity between the people, he chooses to bring about division by trying to divide the nation.

He may have done so to seize power and rule the ten tribes in place of David. But the Bible gives him no such motivation. It simply calls him a troublemaker.

We may know people who delight in stirring up trouble, causing strife between people. They’re a troublemaker. Conflict and division follow them.

We need to avoid being around such people lest we get sucked into their divisiveness.


More importantly, however, is that we must take every effort to not be a troublemaker ourselves. We should look for opportunities to promote unity and bring about reconciliation between people.

Then we can be known as being a unifier and not a troublemaker.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is 2 Samuel 19-21 and today’s post is on 2 Samuel 20:1.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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