Today’s Reading: 1 Chronicles 17-20
Today’s Reflection: 1 Chronicles 19:12-13
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.”
When Israel sought to punish the Ammonites for disgracing King David’s peaceful envoys, they teamed up with the Syrians to go to war. Joab, one of Israel’s most honourable, faithful, and brilliant military commanders devised the strategy in today’s text to handle the dual threat. Divide the army between himself and Abishai to battle each threat, but watch each others back and be ready to lend a hand. This isn’t just a great strategy for warfare, it’s a great strategy for life.
The truth is we are all caught up in one giant intergalactic conflict between God and the enemy, but this war plays out in a variety of battles we each face. As we confront the ways that life tries and tests us we have to remember each other and the battles those around us are facing as well. Stay connected to those you know and love. Keep an eye open for strangers in our midst. Be brave enough to lend a helping hand when you see someone struggling. Be humble enough to ask for help when you need it. Remember that both bravery and humility are acts of love because both confess the truth about ourselves and those around us: we all need each other. And living out this truth doesn’t just benefit those directly helped. Just as Joab and Abishai supported one another for the sake of their nation and their people, when we help one another in our times of struggle and need it makes society as a whole more humane and compassionate. Truly, helping or receiving the help of one person makes the world a better place.
There will be times when each of us is in need, and times when each of us can fulfill the need of another. This is why God put us together and designed us to live as families and in communities with one another. Even divisions of nationality, race, ethnicity, politics and economics do not diminish this divine responsibility, for God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35). So while you study, pray, and seek to increase in your knowledge and understanding of God, don’t get so caught up in theology and doctrines that you fail to be there to support your family, friends and neighbors, and don’t fail to receive the support these people can offer to you.
2 Corinthians 8:13-15 – 13) For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14) your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15) As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”