Be strong, and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.” (1 Chronicles 19:13 ESV)
Joab, the general of David’s army says this to his brother Abishai when he sends him with half the troops to battle two armies that are coming at them from either side. This difficult spot brings out this great statement. This is one of those verses you could wake up and say as you start each day. Look at what it does:
1. It commits to be strong and tackle the day with the best of your ability. We are not to do things half-baked, just to get by, but to do our best. This develops the habit of excellence.
2. It reminds us that our energy isn’t to be poured into building things that serve ourselves but things that serve God and His people. We are part of a body and we cannot forget that. The Lord’s prayers reminds us of this in the first couple of petitions, “Our Father, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come…”
3. Finally, it recognizes the sovereignty of God and rests on that. This is what allows them to face the desperate situation with courage. Even should they not win the battle, their efforts will not be in vain because God is in charge. They know that ultimately God will determine the outcome and that outcome will be the one that serves best His people. What an amazingly freeing view of life!
Joab wasn’t always the best of guys, but he sure got this right!