I was reading through 1 Chronicles 18 and 19 this morning and the Holy Spirit illumined (as he tends to do) a portion of scripture for me. A bit of context first. David had secured Jerusalem and had been informed he would not be the king to build the temple. This news had to come as a bit of a shock considering the success he had experienced and the purity of his intentions. However, he was told it was to be one of his sons. The subsequent actions are a testament to David’s sense of surrender.
As God gave him victory over the Philistines, the Syrians and various other people groups, he began to gather trophies and riches mostly in the form of precious metals and gems. The passage details most if not all of them were eventually used in the construction of the temple. These would have had to been set aside as David did not know how long it would take until one of his sons would begin construction of the temple. I Chronicles 18:13 then says, “… And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went.” (ESV).
The Ammonites defiled some of Israel’s messengers and then intended war on Israel with the assistance of the Syrians (currently paying tribute to Israel because of their recent defeat). In response, David sends Joab (commander of his army) out to meet them. Joab splits his forces in order to better face the two foes and places his brother in charge of the portion intended to engage the Ammonites. Joab’s instruction to the men just prior to battle reads:
12 And he said, “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.13 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 (ESV).
Here’s the revelation for me this morning. Often times, I’ve experienced and watched other Christians enter into “analysis paralysis” when faced with major decisions. This passage of scripture provides great insight. Joab had seen God’s provision, David’s submission and the continued blessing that followed. His mode of action when faced with trial was to lay out a plan using the resources and talents God had provided (willing to both give and receive assistance) knowing the outcome completely belongs to Him. It seems like a very simple recipe and easy enough to follow but it provides a real example of the confidence we can have when we’ve secured our relationship and act in obedience.