Note: Here are some sermon notes from one of the applications drawn from last Sunday morning’s sermon on 2 Samuel 10:
We could meditate with profit on Joab’s charge to his brother Abishai as they were heading into battle against the Ammonites:
“Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good” (2 Samuel 10:12).
The Christian life is indeed often described by the apostles in martial terms. Compare:
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
The question is: What kind of soldier will you be for Christ? When the enemy stands arrayed against you, when you are surrounded on all sides, when you are about to go into battle, how will you respond?
Listen to Joab: Be courageous and let us be courageous! Play the man! Play the man for your people and for the cities of your God—for your family, for your children, for future generations, for your church!
I pray that we and our children will never have to suffer as some of the saints of old did, but if we do may we be found as faithful as they. Two of the old martyrs who died under the Marian persecutions in England were Latimer and Ridley. As they were being burned at the stake, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs famously records that Latimer encouraged his fellow martyr by saying, “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.”
Finally, we also need to mediate on Joab’s final words in v. 12: “And the LORD do that which seemeth him good.” Notice Joab does not say, And the Lord do that which seems good to us. Or, the Lord must give the outcome that we think is best or we will walk away from him. No, this is a serene confidence in the Lord. It is a trust in the Lord to give the outcome that is good to him, that gives him the most glory and man the most blessing. And it confesses that we do not know what this is, because we are not God. This is complete submission to the will of God. Compare the words of the three Hebrew youths to the pagan king who is about to toss them into the burning fiery furnace:
Daniel 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Or the prayer of the prophet Habakkuk:
Habakkuk 3:17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: 18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
Consider that the Lord allowed the greatest evil, the greatest injustice that the world has ever known in order to bring about the greatest good and the greatest mercy the world has ever known. He permitted his beloved Son to be rejected, to be humiliated, to be brutally murdered.
When Jesus was arrested, Peter tried to intervene and fight off those who came to seize him. Jesus replied:
Matthew 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
Jesus was in essence saying, “And the LORD do that which seemeth him good.”
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle
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