"DO YOUR BEST, AND COMMIT THE REST"
Intro. Nahash who was the king of the Ammonites had died, and David sent emissaries to carry his condolences to his son Hanum. However some of the counselors of Hanum suggested to him that David had impure motives and that these men who were sent by David were spies. Hanum greatly shamed and mistreated them by shaving their beards and cutting their robes so that they looked like mini skirts. David's men were greatly embarrassed and when David heard of the treatment he told them to stay in Jericho until their beards grew back then return to Jerusalem. Hanum realized that David was incensed because of this shameful treatment of his servants and he knew that David would seek to avenge this disgrace, so he hired mercenaries to come to his aid. The total number of mercenaries was 32,000 who came with chariots and on horseback.
I. THE PREDICAMENT.
A. When Joab came with the army of David, the men of Ammon came out of the gate of the city to meet him.
B. Then the men of Syria with their chariots and horses showed up in the field behind them, and Joab realized that they had been caught in a trap.
II. THE STRATEGY OF JOAB.
A. He divided the army into two regiments.
1. He personally took charge of the elite troops to fight against the Syrians for they were stronger and better equipped.
2. The other men he put under the command of his brother Abishai to fight against the Ammonites.
B. He then said that if the Syrians were too strong for him, that Abishai should come to his aid.
C. If the men of Ammon were too strong for Abishai then he would come to his aid.
III. HIS FINAL WORDS TO HIS YOUNGER BROTHER.
A. Be of good courage.
1. Things are not looking good, we are surrounded, and they are armed with chariots and a cavalry unit.
2. Be courageous.
B. "Let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people and for our cities."
1. Set a good example before your men.
2. It is sort of akin to the instructions that Paul gave to Timothy when he told him to be an example of the believer.
3. Don't show any fear or reluctance to go into the battle.
4. He knew that bravery inspires bravery.
5. Confidence inspires confidence.
6. And fear inspires fear.
7. This sounds very much like the charge that Moses gave to the children of Israel when they were ready to cross the Jordan and begin their conquest of the promised land.
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He will go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
C. Joab concluded, "And let the Lord do that which is good in His sight."
1. We will go into this battle, we will do our best, and then we will commit the rest to the Lord.
2. God never requires more than our best.
a. You may not be the most qualified or talented.
b. Your best may not be nearly as good as that of someone else, but if it is your best, then that is all that the Lord requires of you.
c. Often we seek to excuse ourselves from doing something for God because we feel inadequate or that someone is able to do it so much better than I, God doesn't require that it be the very best, only that it be my very best.
3. Basically Joab is saying "We will do all that we are able to do. We will be courageous and valiant and we will seek to set a good example before our men, but the final outcome of the battle is in the Lord's hands.
IV. I HAVE FOUND THAT THIS IS A GOOD MOTTO FOR LIFE. "DO YOUR BEST, AND COMMIT THE REST."
A. The fact that I am trusting the Lord is never an excuse for indolence, or a half hearted effort on my part.
1. I am to give God my very best.
2. Paul wrote: "They that run in a race run all, but only one receives the prize, so run that you might obtain.
3. Speaking of himself he said that he was pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.
4. The Bible tells us that in the day that we seek the Lord with all of our heart, in that day we will be found by us.
B. Some people take a very passive attitude toward their needs and their relationship with God.
1. If the Lord wants me to work then he will bring me a job.
2. No, you pray for a job, and then go out and knock on as many doors that you can and then trust the Lord to open the right door for you.
3. Some people are just plain lazy, and they seek to pass it off as trusting in God.
a. I know that we have the promise, that "My God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory, by Christ Jesus our Lord."
b. God has been very faithful and has kept that promise to me through the years.
c. Many times he has met my needs by bringing a job along my way.
d. He gave me skills and ability to work, and very often this was the means by which he supplied my needs.
e. It is not just lying in bed with your mouth open and saying, "God if you want me to eat today, just drop the food in my mouth."
B. It is important that I do all that I can. To give it my best. It may not be the best, but it is my best, and that is what is important.
1. I never fret or worry over a task that God has called me to perform if I have done my best.
2. I may have fallen on my face, and really messed up, but it was the best that I could do, so I leave the rest with the Lord.
3. The only time that I am really troubled is when I feel that I have not done my best.
4. Many times I did what I thought was best under the circumstances, it turned out to be wrong and a total flop, I do not worry about it, I did what I thought was best, my motive and heart was pure.
5. There are so many who are so afraid of failure that they end up doing nothing. They seem to have the philosophy that if I do nothing, then I can be certain of not making a mistake. The problem with that is, that doing nothing is the biggest mistake of all.
C. Sometimes we are in circumstances much like Joab and Abishai where we feel like things are closing in around us, and there seems to be no way out.
1. We feel like just giving up. To surrender without a fight, we are prone to say, "What's the use? No sense even trying."
2. The enemy is so strong and has such a powerful foothold, we are no match for him.
3. It is in those times that we need to remember the words of Joab to his brother Abishai, 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.