2 Samuel 10:11–12: “Then he said, ‘If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the people of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the LORD do what is good in His sight.’”

March 17th, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

When the king of the Ammonites died, King David sent some of his servants to comfort and show kindness to the king’s son, Hanun. But the princes of Ammon were skeptical of David’s intentions and convinced Hanun to abuse David’s servants. Then, because they were afraid David would retaliate, they enlisted the Syrians to join them in an attack on Jerusalem. Joab, David’s general, saw that the Ammonites and Syrians had surrounded them, and sent his brother to lead the people against the Ammonites, while he led another group against the Syrians.

They seemed caught between a rock and a hard place. But because every battle in life—physical, mental, or spiritual—ultimately depends on God, Joab wisely said, “may the Lord do what seems good to Him.” Joab understood that Israel was not facing this conflict because of any fault on their part, but rather the Ammonites and the Syrians were forcing it on them. And because they were not at fault, they could expect God’s blessing in the battle. The Ammonites also lived in a specific area that had already been promised to them as Abraham’s descendants. So Joab knew that God was on their side. He knew that if they did the possible (their best), then God would do the impossible (defeat two armies). To the best of his ability, Joab prepared for the battle and worked hard for the victory, all the while understanding that the outcome was ultimately up to God.

We need to do the possible and commit the rest to the Lord for His final ruling. We can think of lots and lots of possible things we could do for God; but as believers, we must be careful to place all our plans before the Lord for His ruling. We also need to remember that whatever kind of battle we are facing, God is in control. Pastor Bruce Larson, in Wind & Fire: Living Out the Book of Acts wrote:

A few years ago I almost drowned in a storm at sea in the Gulf of Mexico when I found myself swimming far from shore, having tried to reach my drifting boat. I got into that predicament through my own stupidity, something not unusual at all. I can remember saying, “Well, this is it.” The waves were 7 or 8 feet high, and the sky was dark with gale force winds and lightning. I was drifting out to sea when the Word of the Lord came to me and saved my life. What I thought He said was, “I’m here, Larson, and you’re not coming home as soon as you think. Can you tread water?” Somehow that had never occurred to me. Had I continued my frantic effort to swim back to shore, I would have exhausted my strength and gone down.

It is easy to make our lives more complicated with frantic efforts to save ourselves when God is saying, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

“LORD, help us to remain quiet before You as we walk with you today.”