Today’s passage is Wednesday January 31, 2018 on 1 Chronicles 12:23-40. Let’s go!
1 Chronicles 12:23-37 (NIV) 23 These are the numbers of the men armed for battle who came to David at Hebron to turn Saul’s kingdom over to him, as the LORD had said: 24 men of Judah, carrying shield and spear–6,800 armed for battle; 25 men of Simeon, warriors ready for battle–7,100; 26 men of Levi–4,600, 27 including Jehoiada, leader of the family of Aaron, with 3,700 men, 28 and Zadok, a brave young warrior, with 22 officers from his family; 29 men of Benjamin, Saul’s kinsmen–3,000, most of whom had remained loyal to Saul’s house until then; 30 men of Ephraim, brave warriors, famous in their own clans–20,800; 31 men of half the tribe of Manasseh, designated by name to come and make David king–18,000; 32 men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do–200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command; 33 men of Zebulun, experienced soldiers prepared for battle with every type of weapon, to help David with undivided loyalty–50,000; 34 men of Naphtali–1,000 officers, together with 37,000 men carrying shields and spears; 35 men of Dan, ready for battle–28,600; 36 men of Asher, experienced soldiers prepared for battle–40,000; 37 and from east of the Jordan, men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, armed with every type of weapon–120,000.
On verses 23-37: Here the Chronicler lists how many men from each tribe of Israel came to David to help turn Saul’s kingdom over to him. Notice how often these verses repeat the words “armed for battle” or “ready for battle”. What can we learn from this? When you want to join with others in seeing God establish His kingdom where you are, you need to be ready and prepared for battle. That is why Paul says in Ephesians 6 that we must put on the full armor of God so that when our enemy comes we will be ready to take our stand against Him. As Peter says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-10)
How do you get yourself ready for battle? Spend time in God’s Word daily. Ask His Holy Spirit for help and depend on Him. Meditate on God’s Word often. Pray often (for with much prayer comes much power). When you face different situations, ask the Holy Spirit for insight, discernment and an alert heart.
1 Chronicles 12:38 (NIV) 38 All these were fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks. They came to Hebron fully determined to make David king over all Israel. All the rest of the Israelites were also of one mind to make David king.
On verse 38: Here we again see the importance of unity. Unity is shown not just in the fact that members of a team get along. Even more, unity is shown in how the members of a team all share the same mind and vision to reach the same goal. In this case, the goal of David’s team was to make David king of Israel. Are you of the same mind and goal as the leaders of your church? Are you fully determined to give your best toward that goal?
1 Chronicles 12:39-40 (NIV) 39 The men spent three days there with David, eating and drinking, for their families had supplied provisions for them. 40 Also, their neighbors from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali came bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules and oxen. There were plentiful supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisin cakes, wine, oil, cattle and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.
On verse 39:-40 It wasn’t just the fighting men who sacrificed and volunteered their time to support their pastor and leader David; it was the wives, children, families and neighbours of these fighting men who did so as well by providing what they could to support David and his men. It goes to show that unity is not just something required of those who serve on the front lines, but true unity binds those who serve in the background with those who serve up front. Both front line ministers and background ministers are essential to a church’s growth.
Thank You Heavenly Father for the joy that comes from being knitted together as Your family. Thank You that in You we are united and an unstoppable force for Your kingdom. Thank You for all those who serve on the frontlines of ministry, and all those who serve in the background to help make such ministries possible. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!