Thursday, December 21, 2017

Man Up

The Old Testament is full of accounts of courage and manly valor. Men strengthened by the Lord, risking life and limb for His glory. One such tale of heroism is in the book of II Samuel 10. The king of the Ammonites died, and David sent servants to console the newly crowned king, because his departed father was loyal to David. Some of the new king’s advisors said that David’s intentions were impure, and David came to spy on the kingdom after the death his father. In a preemptive strike, they, shaved off half their beards of David’s men, and cut their garments down to their hips. This was a serious act of disrespect, and the men were very ashamed. David advised them to stay in Jericho until their beards grew back. When the Ammonites saw that they had disrespected David and considered the now inevitable consequences, they hired 33,000 mercenaries to go to war with Israel. After David heard that the Ammonites were preparing their march to war, he sent his mighty men of valor, led by Joab, to meet the coming tide of the enemy. The Ammonites engaged Joab from the front and the mercenaries closed in behind, and just like that, Israel was surrounded. II Samuel 10:9-13 says “when Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians: And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother...And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee. 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. And Joab drew nigh, and the people that were with him, unto the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him.” These faithful men of God, stood up, and played the man for their Lord. Christian men, let us play the men for our people, and for our families. Let us not cower at the presence of spiritual enemies, but stand and fight. Men of action and men of prayer, are needed this hour! Urgency, my dear brothers, for we do not have time to sit idly by as others do; knowing the time, “it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Be of good courage, for if God is for us, who can be against us?  What temptation is there that we cannot conqueror with God on our side?  What sin is there that we cannot defeat with our mighty God for us?  We are not conquerors over our enemy; we are MORE than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Arise and to the work our God!

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