2 Samuel 20:10 Amasa was not on guard against the sword in Joab’s hand, and Joab stabbed him in the stomach with it and spilled his intestines out on the ground. Joab did not stab him again for Amasa was dead. Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bichri.
He may have been dead, but he sure didn’t look like it. Verse 12 says he was “writhing in his blood” in the middle of the road. I imagine he was also hollering a few choice words about Joab or maybe uselessly pleading for help. One man finally drug him out of the middle of the road he was such a distraction.
So why does scripture say Amasa was dead? Because he was mortally wounded. There was no saving Amasa. Even if he could have gathered all his bowel together and stitched that which needed stitched, infection would eventually set in, sepsis and then death. Amasa was a dead man and Joab knew it. Apart from a physician with a new medical bag of tricks, it was hopeless.
So it is today. People live on with deep injuries caused by horrific abuse, neglect and trauma; injuries that have given way to an infection of despair and poverty to which the soul will eventually succumb. Those people are in our city, sometimes our own neighbors, writhing in pain and anguish, mortally wounded with no hope. How do we handle it? Unfortunately, too often like they handled Amasa, searching for ways to remove the unsightly distraction from our visual field, from our road through life. Before Christ, I understand why the passerby might have simply tossed alms to the sick and impoverished man to quiet him or maybe provide some short-lived relief before he perishes. But today? We have a new physician with a medical bag full of hope, healing and abundant life.
Had an ambulance and advanced medical care been available for Amasa, I’m sure someone would have made the call for help. Today, the mortally wounded on our road through life aren’t human distractions. They’re resurrection opportunities. Don’t pass them by. Rather consider that in this era of Christ’s promise and power, there may be no reason to consider “mortally wounded” anything but an oxymoron.