(2 Samuel 12:26-29 ESV) 26 Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and took the royal city. 27 And Joab sent messengers to David and said, “I have fought against Rabbah; moreover, I have taken the city of waters. 28 Now then gather the rest of the people together and encamp against the city and take it, lest I take the city and it be called by my name.” 29 So David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah and fought against it and took it.
We live in a society that places a high value on personal protection and individual rights. We have copyright laws designed to protect authors, composers, playwrights, inventors, etc., which allow them to receive proper compensation for the work of their hands. This is a good thing and very appropriate. Even these daily devotionals bear the name of the author.
While in seminary, I learned the importance of proper citation of resources used when writing research papers. It was a very serious infraction if a student was caught quoting someone without giving the proper credit.
In our passage of Scripture, we are informed of a man named Joab who had fought valiantly against Rabbah. Having positioned himself for the final push to victory, he instead sent word to King David to come and lead the effort to take the city. Joab made it clear that if he took the city, they would want to name the city after him. Technically, he deserved the credit for having fought so valiantly. However, as a representative of the kingdom he was duty-bound to allow the credit to go to the sitting king–David.
Curtius relates how Craterus in like manner resigned the capture of Artacacna into the hands of Alexander. “After all the preparations were made, he awaited the king’s arrival, yielding to him, as was fitting, the honor of taking the city” –Cambridge Bible
Joab was not a perfect man; he could get out of line on occasion and have to be dealt with. But, in this instance he knew the right thing to do was to bolster the name of David, and to share the glory of victory with the nation on whose behalf he was fighting. His role was not to take the glory that was intended for the king. By allowing David to close the deal, Joab was acting within the perimeters of his role.
This is relevant to us because it speaks to our need to give God glory through our lives. If we are honest, we must admit that everything we do is because of divine blessings upon our lives. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 ESV) We are further told, “For in him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your own poets have said, for we are indeed his offspring.” (Acts 17:28 ESV) It makes sense that we should defer to God when it comes to any earthly accolades.
Today, fight your battles! Do your best! Position yourself so that victory is in sight. And when God steps in to stamp His fingerprint upon your conquest, just step back and applaud Him. He IS worthy! And, after all, you couldn’t have accomplished it without His involvement. TRUTH!
PRAYER: I recognize Your hand upon my life. Everything good and perfect comes from the Father of lights. I attribute every conquest to You. Thank You for allowing me to serve in Your kingdom and bring great fame to Your name. You are worthy. Amen.