So Far In this Series we have finished talking about Individual warriors. We now move to the groups. Part 1-6 are dedicated to the individual warriors and Part 7 is used to talk about the warriors of the tribe of Benjamin

Part 6: The Warriors By The Well Of Bethlehem
Part 7: The Warriors Of The Tribe Of Benjamin

1. The Warriors From The Tribe Of Gad

1 Chron 12:8 talks about Gadites, they are strong people who knows how to defend themselves, they are skilled with shield and spears, they can block fiery darts and arrows from the enemies. In war, the ability to defend is just as important as the abilities to attack.

Besides being able to attack and defend themselves. These warriors have 2 special characteristics, they have the face of lion and legs like Gazelles.

As there are many lessons to be learnt from the Gadites, I would discuss them over 2 parts.

1.1. Armed with Shields and Spears

The Gadites are special soldiers, they are armed with shields and spears, making them the most defencive units in the army of David.

In the battles of the ancient and medival times soldiers armed with shields and spears/polearms are often grouped to form shield columns that defend archers and other infantry units against cavalry charges and the arrows from the archers. The Ancient Greek  have Hoplites  and The Medieval Pike men are examples of such units.

When the enemies rain arrows upon the armies of David, these Gadites must go forward and defend against the arrows. They are responsible for the safety of their fellow brothers, by attacking with their spears and defending them with their shields.

Today, in the army of Christ, we need Gadites, people who could defend as well as to attack. Just like the descriptions in Eph 6:16. The shields use by modern soldiers of Christ is none other than faith. Without it, we will be unable to escape from the fiery darts of the devil. It is interesting how the bible uses fiery darts as the description of the attacks from the devils.

In Ancient Warfare, archers are armed with burning arrows. . Fire plays a significant role in ancient warfare. They are often use in naval warfares to set fire on enemies ships (such as the famous Battle of Red Cliffs) and they are also used to burn the supplies store as well as the enemy encampments (such as the Battle of Xiaoting/Yiling)

While a typical arrow could be stopped by shield bearers but the purpose of the a fiery dart is not to kill. Its devastating effect lies in the fact that it could spread fire alongside the dart. If a camp where to be set ablaze by the darts, its defenders will have nowhere to run. Hence the devils loves to use fiery darts, he targets the church as the whole, and he wants the fire to affect all those around him.

 

1.2 The Lessons From The Church In The Wilderness

A fine example of the “fiery dart attack” from the devil is found in the pages of the book of numbers. It talks about the the Israelites who have left Egypt with Moses, they spend 40 years in the wilderness, seen the 10 plagues, the dividing of the red sea. They ate manna and drink from the rock that brought forth waters. Yet they were all “shot and killed” in the wilderness. Just as it was written

“So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” – Author of Hebrews (Heb 3:19)

At the same time, let us read an exhortation from the same author

“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of yoube hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” – Author of Hebrews (Heb 3:13-14 )

1.3 The Shield Of Faith

The only way to defend from the fiery darts is to have faith. Only faith can help us endure all the way to the end. The church in the wilderness failed because they lost their faith. (Heb 3:16-19). What about us today in church? Do we still have faith? There are many types of faith in this world, there are people who did not come to church but yet still believe that Jesus will come to judge the world. But is that a correct faith? Will this faith help a person to persevere in the words of God, and allow him to worship God.

Sometimes when these people were entangled by sin, the world overcome them. That is a faith that even satan has. satan believes in Jesus, he knew of the impending judgement that he is facing, but yet he did not use his faith to worship or submit to God. He does not even repent and follow God. Such faith can never save, nor can it deliver one from the snares of the world.

We need to have the right faith, that initial and pure faith base on the gospel preached by the Apostles. They cover a wide area, how to believe, how to repent, how to be baptized and received the Holy Spirit. How to have a Christian walk, how to pastor the flock of God. Do we still remember them? Do we still believe in the words we have learnt since the beginning.

1.4 A Complete Faith Requires Complete Obedience

While there are churches who follows complete instructions of the Lord by emphasizing on teachings of Baptism for the forgiveness of sin, they even studied the scriptures and talk about the correct method to conduct baptism.

But there are Christians who questioned “You may have used the right mode of baptism, but without faith, it cannot save. Therefore  faith and repentence  is more important.  If I were to have faith and repentance, it really doesn’t matter if I have received baptism using   the correct mode.

Though it sounds very reasonable, but is that what the bible teaches?  Did the bible say by having repentence and faith one does not need to go through baptism? Did the bible says that you only need to follow the instructions without faith and repentance?

There is a need to be obedient to the command of God written in the bible, especially if it pertains to the remission of sin and pertain to salvation. for example, if the bible says that one must believe and be baptized to be save (Mk 16:16) it is necessary one to have faith in the words of the bible and to do it.

Not having faith nor repentance if at the point of baptism is really the personal failure of the individual.  We cannot disregard the command of the Lord just because just because that there are individuals who refused to have faith.

However, there are many Christians who emphasize so much on faith and the awesomeness of God until they void many instructions given by Jesus. They claimed that that baptism, holy communion is not important. They compared themselves often and make comments such as they are extremely full of the power of the spirit and they are not like us who weep so often in our prayers.  Their church services is full of Hallelujahs and Amens,  unlike us who listen to sermons till we fall asleep and drop our bibles.

Hence they down play the focus of the scripture and up play the electrifying atmosphere.  This resulted to many  Christan who  no longer pursue the teaching and faith prescribed in the bible.

Will we now be able to hold fast in the confidence preached in the early days of the church? In those days  Paul and Peter are still there, the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven not too long ago. But at this point of time  many of the mordern churches have to thrown away doctrines and disregarded the instructions of the Lord.

Worst still they accuse churches that preaches the doctrine and the instructions of the Lord as practicing asceticism. Some of them pass comments that churches who follow the word for word instruction of God are  “not knowing the awesomeness and denying the power of God”,  “Having a dead faith”, “Blindly following the words of the bible and not God”.

1.5 At The End Of The Day

This is precisely the reason why the author of Hebrews remind everyone to hold on to that confidence in the words of the Lord. Only by becoming  partakers of Christ, can we withstand the fiery darts of the devil.  If we do not have a correct faith, we will be shot, and that fire will not just affect you, but those around you. The greater the fire, the greater the destruction, only truth can save a man, if we doubt it, deviate, or preach beyond it, how can we establish the church of God. Can such a church still save? Let us learn to ask God for help

In that battle, we need soldiers that could operate weapons like the Benjamites, who can hurl stones and shoot with both hands, but the Benjaminites are not like the Gadites, who could handle the shield. They are unable to withstand the fiery darts. They can be shot, and the fire affecting others. Therefore they will need others who could hold on to the shield of faith, to assist and encourage, and to help them move forward in battle.

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