Joab was David’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, except that he was more like an Eisenhower on D-Day or a Schwarzkopf in Desert Storm. As head of the Israeli army he was actually engaged in the field with the battle. David sent him and the army to take care of the Ammonite problem. But the Ammonites had hired the Syrians to come and help them fight against David’s army. They had separated into two camps so that Joab’s men were confronted front and back. So Joab split the army in two and gave his brother Abishai commanded of one of the forces.
Listen to Joab’s instruction to Abishai, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will help you. 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.” What amazing faith and submission to the will of God is demonstrated in that statement.
Joab knew he had to fight and he knew that the situation could go either way. What he did not know was what the outcome would be. But he did have faith that God was in charge of the outcome and he also was willing to surrender himself to what God purposed to happen.
You and I can learn from Joab. We are to fight the good fight of faith in our lives before the Lord and we must stand strong and do all that we can in the power of the Lord. But we must also surrender the outcome to the Lord. He doesn’t have to do things the way we want them done. Remember Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Father, not my will but thine be done.”
Prayer: Father, you are holy and sovereign in all things. I praise you that this is true. I’m so thankful, Lord, that we are not left to our own ends but that you as the holy, righteous, loving, merciful, gracious God of all are overseeing the course of history to your purposes and your ends. Help me to surrender my will to yours and to be content with your ways.