“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.” (I Chronicles 19:13)

King David sent some of his servants to the Ammonite king, Hanun, to comfort him after his father’s death. Some of Hanun’s people thought David’s servants were coming to spy, and Hanun believed them. As a result, he took David’s servants, humiliated them, and then sent them away. After this, Hanun figured he was in trouble with Israel and enlisted the help of other peoples to help him fight against them. When David heard of Hanun mustering troops, he also mustered his troops to battle.

Joab and his brother, Abishai, were two of David’s military commanders. Joab put his troops in place and gave a battle plan to Abishai. At the end of his plan, he gave Abishai the encouraging words of this verse. It should be noted that Joab was not the most upright individual in the world. He was a bit of a bully and at times, seemed to have his own agenda. Yet these words are powerful, regardless of the questionable character of the man who spoke them. They were and still are a call to bravery—not to shrink in fear but to engage the enemy. Israel ultimately won a great victory against the Ammonites and their helpers.

I Chronicles 19:13 is a great motivation verse. It’s a verse you could tape to the inside of your locker and look at before you go on patrol, or even memorize and recite to yourself, especially before you go on a dangerous assignment. The Bible has some great motivation verses like that. Psalm 23:4 is another one:  “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.”

Our opening verse says to be of good courage and behave valiantly, which means that, at times, you may be tempted not to be of good courage or behave valiantly. At a fresh burglary call, for instance, you have to check the house for suspects. So you go slowly from room to room, gun drawn, eyes darting here and there looking for hiding places amid the tense, spooky silence. You don’t know if the suspects are gone or if they’re sitting in a dark corner, gun drawn, waiting to shoot. Yet you have to complete the search. You can’t quit and say, “This is too scary. I’m leaving.” No, even if you’re afraid, you do your job. It’s not wrong to be afraid, but it is wrong to let fear overcome you so that you don’t do your job.

Police work will always have its inherent dangers. Because you sometimes have to deal with dangerous people, you have to deal with them in a certain way. That’s the nature of the job. The unavoidable dangers of police work are a fact that most critics in the media, government, activist ranks, and clergy don’t seem to understand because most of them have probably never dealt with dangerous people on that level, much less on a regular basis. When critics influence a police department, police work can be hindered and life can be harder for decent citizens and easier for criminals. You can’t always help that. Just trust the Lord to deal with it. You keep doing what cops do. Behave valiantly “for our people” for the decent citizens who count on you, and then “let the LORD do that which is good in his sight.” So you do your best, and trust the Lord to bless and guide: “Trust in the LORD, and do good” (Psalm 37:3).

First of all, though, you need to be sure the Lord is with you and that you’ll be in heaven if the worst should happen to you. The way to do that is to receive the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour. To see how to receive the Lord Jesus and be sure of a home in heaven, please go to click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.

Brian Miller 5/30/2017

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822