Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fit For War - Dinner #3

     I have heard preachers say before, that oftentimes, right in the middle of a long list of genealogies in Scripture, you can find a “nugget of gold”.  Reading I Chronicles 7, the other day, I found this once again to be true.  Leaping off the page, was the mention of thousands upon thousands of mighty and valiant men who were fit for war. 

I Chronicles 7:2,4,5 “ . . . they were valiant men of might in their generations . . . bands of soldiers for war . . . And their brethren among all the families of Issachar were valiant men of might, reckoned in all by their genealogies fourscore and seven thousand.” (Issachar)

I Chronicles 7:11 “. . . mighty men of valour were seventeen thousand and two hundred soldiers, fit to go out for war and battle.”     (Benjamin)

I Chronicles 7:40 “ . . . heads of their father’s house, choice, and mighty men of valour, chief of the princes.  And the number throughout the genealogy of them that were apt to the war and to battle was twenty and six thousand men.”     (Asher)

     These phrases and these verses made me immediately think of the next generation.  Are we training them to be “fit for war”? Fit for the spiritual battles in life?  Are WE adults ready for warfare?
     When these men of Israel were found to be “valiant” and “mighty”, they were fighting earthly battles with peoples of other nations.  We may or may not be called upon to defend our country in earthly battles, but we DO fight in a spiritual war.  Ephesians 6:12-13 reminds us that “ . . . we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” 
     Like the well-known children’s song, II Timothy 2:3-4 lets us know that each Christian is a soldier in “The Lord’s Army”:  “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ . . . that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”    
     I Thessalonians 5:8 reminds me of the “Full Armor of God” passage, found in the book of Ephesians, when it says, “But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.”  A soldier has to arm and protect himself!  I Timothy 6:12 speaks of fighting “the good fight of faith”.  Why do we need to?   “ . . . because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8) 
     A soldier must be STRONG, HEALTHY, DISCIPLINED, EXPERIENCED . . . Are we eating a healthy diet of God’s Word?  Are we disciplined enough in our Christian walk?  Are we exercising faith?  There may be times, even in our ordinary daily lives, when we find the need to be COURAGEOUS.  It isn’t always easy to say the right thing or to do the right thing at school and at the workplace.  It isn’t always easy for your children to say “no” when they are being persuaded by evil influences.  Who helps us to have the victory in this spiritual war?  He Who also brings victory in the earthly battles!  In II Samuel 22:40, David praises God by saying, “For thou hast girded me with strength to battle . . .”  I Corinthians 15:57 reminds us that even in that last battle with death, Christ gives us the victory!   “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 
     What joy if every soldier, at the end of life’s journey, could say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (II Timothy 4:7)   Are Christian parents raising their sons and daughters to be “valiant”, “apt to battle”, and “fit for war”?  Are you and I in daily soldier-training right now?  May the Lord bless you ladies and your families with godly strength as the battle rages on! 


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