Text: 2 Samuel 10: 1- 19
We are confronted daily with battles; spiritual warfare or physical battles. These include battles for health, for our finances and businesses, battles for our families; for our wives, husbands and children, battles for our careers, battles over academic pursuit, battles for our faith, battles for our communities and the nation, etc. No single day goes by without a battle. In fact, we battle to get to our destinations safely.
Israel as a nation was birthed through a struggle (battle Gen. 25:22) between him and his brother Esau. Up to this moment Israel has not seize to battle; her survival is based on battles.
This is the month of July and you know what that means; it’s a month we all must confront the common enemy headlong to retain the victory of the cross.
I have, therefore, titled this message Take Your Position, Be Strong and Fight
We all must take our positions this month, be strong and fight.
This month might be the only opportunity someone here might have to get things straight in life, family, business or career. Esther said, “If I perish, I perish.” Samson said, “Sovereign LORD, please remember me; please, God, give me my strength just this one time more, so that with this one blow I can get even with the Philistines for putting out my two eyes.” Judges 16:28
A simple kind gesture by David led to a full blown battle between Israel and Ammon with her allies.
Instead the King of Ammon to simply apologize to King David for his act of foolishness, he chose rather to hire soldiers of other countries to wage war against Israel. In all, Hanun, King of Ammon hired 33, 000 soldiers to fight Israel.
Please note these:
- Ammon and her allies took up positions against Israel
- When Joab saw that the enemy had taken their positions and would attack; he chose the best of Israel’s soldiers and put them in position against Syria
- He placed the rest of the soldiers against the Ammonites under the command of Abishai his brother
Read 2 Samuel 10: 11 – 12 GNB
- Then, Joab said to his brother Abishai, “If you see that the Syrians are defeating me, come and help me, and if the Ammonites are defeating you, I will go and help you.” Vs 11 GNB
- “Be strong and courageous! Let’s fight hard for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the LORD’s will be done!” vs 12 GNB
Verse 11 & 12 are fundamental to this message.
To Joab, this was the battle of his life. To him, it was either he completely defeated this age long enmity Israel had with Syria and Ammon and put a stop to it or nothing else. To Joab, it was either they killed him there and then or he kills.
As the General of Israel’s army;
- he took his position
- drew his brother to his side with encouraging words,
- Presented to him a well spelt out united front… a winning formula; their action plan for victory … and they marched out to war with a common purpose…as one man going out to war
Read verses 11-12 again:
“Joab said to him, ‘If you see that the Syrians are defeating me, come and help me, and if the Ammonites are defeating you, I will go and help you. Be strong and courageous! Let’s fight hard for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the LORD’s will be done!’ ” 12 GNB
I wish to bring to our understanding to 3 Laws as contained in Joab’s battle strategy against Israel’s enemy
- The Law of Unity: “We win when we fight as one”
Then, Joab said to his brother Abishai, “If you see that the Syrians are defeating me, come and help me, and if the Ammonites are defeating you, I will go and help you.” Vs 11 GNB. Needless to say, there was unity; an agreement a common front between these 2 commanders of Israel army. For Israel to win this war they had to be one, they gave no room to division between the commanders and the foot soldiers. For us as a people to reap the fruits of these 31 days fast, we must work as one people; there must be no division, no camps, and no quarrels.
Amo 3:3 says, “Two people will not walk together unless they have agreed to do so.” ERV
Gen. 11: 1-9 says, “The LORD said, “These people all speak the same language. And I see that they are joined together to do this work. This is only the beginning of what they can do. Soon they will be able to do anything they want.” Vs 6 ERV
Though this event was recorded in the negative sense, it however, shows there’s power in oneness (unity). We must speak the same language, we must all join together to wait on the Lord now and always and as we do, nothing will stop us
- The Law of Cover: “Give support and watch over”
“If you see that the Syrians are defeating me, come and help me, and if the Ammonites are defeating you, I will go and help you.”
We must cover each other; the strong should strengthen the weak. It’s time to pray and encourage each other if we are to win this battle.
Joshua defeated the Amalekites in the battle of Rephidim not solely because of his military might but more because he had cover; Moses, Aaron and Hur gave him spiritual cover (support) from the mountain. Read Exodus 17:10 – 13).
Conversely, Uriah died in battle not because he was a weak or ineffective soldier; rather, there was an instruction from the King to the soldiers in battle not to cover him in battle. He was to be neglected in the midst of attacks and allowed to die.
“He wrote: Put Uriah in the front line, where the fighting is heaviest, then retreat and let him be killed.” 2 Samuel 11:15
Let’s not be negligent to our call to duty but let’s arise to give cover to our leaders and members in prayers and with all kinds of support. When we become negligent like the armies of Israel, we expose and leave our members at the mercies of the enemy.
- The Law of Purpose: “What is at Stake?”
“Be strong and courageous! Let’s fight hard for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the LORD’s will be done!’ ”
Purpose answers the question, why? The purpose of this battle from Joab’s perspective was the interest of Israel; their safety and wellbeing.
Our purpose for this July fast isn’t different…the wellbeing of our people – families, businesses, finances, jobs, our children, our Vision and Mission, OP-REAP, the nation, the global Church, etc.
In the last couple of months, some of our members have faced a lot of health issues, many more are experiencing financial hardships and down turn in their businesses. You must have heard of how God delivered the chairman of OP-REAP committee, Pastor John Nwachukwu from a near fatal accident.
We all must, therefore, take our positions, be strong and courageous and fight hard in prayers this month for our leaders, members, the church and our nation
With the understanding of the power of these 3 laws, Joab and Abishai with the soldiers marched out as one man into battle; they covered (gave support to) each other having in mind a clear purpose…
Sooner than expected, the enemy fled.
Read 2 Samuel 10: 14-19
- As from today, your enemies and all who have troubled you shall make peace with you
- They shall become your subjects
- Never again will they gather themselves together against you
Spiritual complacency, indifference or apathy will be our greatest undoing this month. No one amongst us should feel unperturbed, safe, secure or satisfied for whatever reason and refuse to be united with others and come under the cover of the church this month.
God has given the command and He will fulfill it.