“And Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city. And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters. Now therefore gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against the city, and take it: lest I take the city, and it be called after my name.”
II Samuel 12:26-28
Joab was one of the sons of Zeruiah and the capable commander of David’s military. Joab had taken Rabbah, one of the chief cities of the Ammonites. When it became apparent to Joab that the victory was secured, he sent word to David that the city was falling. Joab wanted David to receive the honor rather than he. Joab did not want the city to be named after him. In this, he serves as a good example of loyalty and servitude. Joab was not interested in making a name for himself, but rather, he sought his master’s honor.
A faithful servant will seek the success and honor of those he is serving. This could apply to our vocational life, our family, our church ministry, or even our personal service to the Lord. Who gets the credit for what is done? It is often an evidence of pride when we want to be recognized for the things we have accomplished. It is an unhealthy attitude to think of our service in terms of what recognition we may get out of it. Many employees think only in terms of their paycheck, not of how they can help the company succeed. Of course, everyone likes a word of commendation; and it is certainly appropriate to acknowledge those who faithfully serve. However, our commitment should be to see prosperity or blessing come to those we are serving or working for.
Jesus was a great example in that He often deflected praise and honor from Himself to His Father. Whom are we serving, and why are we serving? Is our chief concern to bring honor to the Lord and blessing to those we are serving, or is our main concern how it might benefit us? If our attitude is right, we should not be jealous if someone else gets the credit for things we have done or had a part in doing. The true spirit of being a servant is giving our best, regardless of who gets the credit. Ultimately, our purpose in life is not to get honor for ourselves, but to bring honor to our Lord. We want our Savior to receive glory for the things He does in and through our lives. The important thing is that His name is known, not ours.