He was a runner. And runners run.
Not that he ran for sport or for competition, but that he ran in support of, and in service to, his king. When David had been forced to flee Absalom, it was he who was sent to tell David to keep on going as the armies of Israel would soon be assembled against David and his men (2Sam. 15:36, 2Sam. 17:17-21). When those loyal to David went out to do battle with Absalom, he was there as well–though the son of a priest, he didn’t shy away from the front lines. And when the army of David had won the battle and David’s treacherous son had been slain in war, it was he who wanted to carry the good news of victory back to the king. After all, Ahimaaz was a runner . . . and runners run.
Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run and carry news to the king that the LORD has delivered him from the hand of his enemies.” And Joab said to him, “You are not to carry news today. You may carry news another day, but today you shall carry no news, because the kings son is dead.” Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed before Joab, and ran. Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, “Come what may, let me also run after the Cushite.” And Joab said, “Why will you run, my son, seeing that you will have no reward for the news?” “Come what may,” he said, “I will run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and outran the Cushite.
(2Samuel 18:19-23 ESV)
“Come what may,” he said, “I will run.”
Sure, there was risk in bearing the news to the king of the death of his son. Who knew how David would react in his grief over such news. “Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger” doesn’t necessarily play before a father reacting to the loss of his son–even if it were his no-good son. And certainly, there’d be no reward. Though the rebellion had been quashed, the news of the loss of Absalom would quench any dancing in the ranks. The thrill of the army’s victory would be offset by the agony of the king’s personal loss. But come what may, risk or lack of reward, Ahimaaz would run. ‘Cause runners run.
And as I hover over this servant’s single-minded focus to do what he had to do, I can’t help but think again on the importance of operating from a sense of calling. Can’t help but consider the difference it makes when what we do is less from our strengths and preferences and more from a sense of what God has called us to steward and the role He has asked us to play. Whether that role is as a husband, a father, or an employee. Or, the task is serving my church or ensuring my employer gets a good days work for a good days wages.
When I run because I believe I’m called to run, it makes all the difference. Come what may, I will run.
It’s clear that we have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ not just that we might enjoy whatever heavenly activity awaits us in the there and then. But we have also been saved by grace alone through faith alone for service here and now. That we are His “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). And so, whatever our hand finds to do, we should do it will all our might as unto the Lord, knowing that from the Lord we will receive the inheritance as our reward. For, ultimately, we do what we do because we are serving the Lord Christ (Col. 3:23-24).
Run, saint, run!
Whatever the call to run looks like by God’s sovereign determination, come what may, let us run by God’s sustaining power.
Because of grace. For His glory!