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May 7 Today’s Reading: 1 Chronicles 18-21
“Let us behave ourselves valiantly.”
1 Chronicles 19:13
The Ammonites had come against Israel with a very great army. Even to Joab, a man of great military skill and experience, things looked bad. But he encouraged himself and his brother, Abishai, with these words: — “Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the Lord do that which is good in his sight.” In this time of great difficulty and danger, Joab set before us an example of persevering faithfulness and reverent submission, which should be followed by all who seek the glory of God and serve the interest of his kingdom in this world. May God the Holy Spirit give us grace today and throughout the days of our appointed time in this world to heed this good counsel.
Our lives should be characterized by a persevering faithfulness to our God and to the work he has committed to our hands. I say to you, “Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the church of our God.”
The Lord God has entrusted us with the gospel of his grace. — “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” He has not given us this treasure to hide in a vault, but to spread through all the earth for the salvation of his elect. God has given us the means and the opportunity to proclaim the gospel to this generation; and he has commanded us to do so. We have greater means at our disposal for the preaching of the gospel than any generation in history. Let us be found faithful unto death in the employment of the means he has given us for the furtherance of the gospel of Christ. This is the point of our responsibility. We do not know what God has decreed, but we do know what he has commanded; and what he has commanded we must do. — “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.”
And we must serve the Lord our God with a reverent submission. “Let the Lord do that which is good in his sight.” Joab was saying to Abishai, “If God saves us, we shall be saved. If we perish, we shall perish. That is up to him. But we will serve him valiantly.” This is our work. We must preach the gospel to all men, as God gives us opportunity. If he is pleased to save men, we shall rejoice and preach the gospel. If God is pleased to harden men, we shall still rejoice and preach the gospel. He is God. We are his servants. Let him do with us what he will. “Let the Lord do that which is good in his sight.”
Blessed Holy Spirit, grant grace to your church and your preachers in this day, grant grace to this worthless, dirty instrument, by which you may be pleased to spread forth your Word, that I may ever be found faithful to God my Savior and submissive to his will in all things, for the glory of Christ.