The following is a part of our weekly devotional series, which is a companion to the 2013 Foursquare Life Journal. This week’s Bible reading comes from 1 Sam. 25-31; 2 Sam. 1-3; 1 Chron. 9-12; Ps. 63, 109, and 140-142; Matt. 9-15.
Second Samuel 2:28 reads: “So Joab blew a trumpet; and all the people stood still and did not pursue Israel anymore, nor did they fight anymore” (NKJV).
There are times when we as leaders will not agree with one another. But we all have the responsibility to sound the trumpet of peace. We must know when to sound it and be willing to do so. If we do, people may be spared from experiencing devastating circumstances.
We all face situations in the body of Christ that are so complicated that it’s hard to see a solution. There was a time in Israel when the people were facing a difficult leadership transition after the death of King Saul. God had appointed David as king, but Abner, Saul’s general—knowing this—secured their allegiance for Ish-Bosheth, another of Saul’s sons. Consequently, we find Joab, general of David’s army, in pursuit of Abner, who had reluctantly killed Joab’s brother, Asahel. Talk about a complicated situation!
When we are dealing with hard issues among ourselves, we need to remember that we are family. Abner asked Joab, “Don’t you realize that this will end in bitterness? How long before you order your men to stop pursuing their fellow Israelites?” (v. 26, NIV). In other words, there are no winners in any family feud.
Family relationships are strong enough to overcome some of our biggest differences when we value them as God does. God Himself chose to relate to us primarily in this form, and wants us to relate to one another in the same way. Even the meaning of Joab’s name, “Yahweh is father,” illustrates this powerful truth.
Being a peacemaker is central to being a child of God. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matt. 5:9, NIV). I believe when Joab was faced with Abner’s question, his very own name reminded him that we are Yahweh’s children. “So Joab blew a trumpet; and all the people stood still and did not pursue Israel anymore, nor did they fight anymore” (2 Sam. 2:28, NKJV). Because of Joab’s decision, much bloodshed among brothers was avoided on that day.
But there is a cost for peace. In this critical moment, Joab was willing to put aside his own pain, opinions or even being right for the sake of the people. He put family above all.
I pray as we face these critical times in our own lives that the Holy Spirit will help us to recognize them, and that we will be willing to pay the price, because we are Yahweh’s family!
By: Adriana Barahona, assisting minister at Angelus Temple Hispanic Foursquare Church
Download the yearlong reading plan (PDF, 80 KB), or sign up for the full, online version of the Life Journal. To purchase a Life Journal for your own use or to place a bulk order for church-wide use, visit www.foursquarejournal.com. Learn more about Foursquare’s 2013 Life Journal project.