Tuesday, 15 February 2011

1 Chronicles 12: David's fighting men

I'm reading the Bible through the year: slowed down a little recently, as I ploughed through what seems like a zillion names and genealogies, until I stopped here. Wow, this caught my attention.  It is the picture of all Israel united together, each tribe bringing different gifts and qualities in a combined effort to obey God's will that David should become king.

Look at what each tribe brought:

Judah: carrying shield and spear—armed for battle
Simeon: battle-ready warriors: mighty men of valour
Levi: including Jehoiada, leader of Aaron’s family, and Zadok, a brave young warrior and his family
Benjamin: Saul’s tribe, who had been loyal to Saul until they knew that it was God’s will that David become king.
Ephraim: brave warriors: mighty men of valour who were famous in their own clans
The half tribe of Manasseh: designated by name
Issachar: men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do
Zebulun: experienced soldiers prepared for battle with every type of weapon, to help David with undivided loyalty – keeping rank, not of double heart
Naphtali: many officers, together with men carrying shields and spears
Dan: ready for battle, experts in war
Asher: experienced soldiers prepared for battle
Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, east of the Jordan: armed with all kinds of fighting weapons

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. 39 The men spent three days there with David, eating and drinking, for their families had supplied provisions for them.  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, olive oil, cattle and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.

Lots of bravery and good training...but the quality I like best is that of Issachar: men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.

Good men to have around.

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