To the many that are wondering what happened to the poor guy writing this blog.. He is stuck with a bad and tough project and can barely find time to even sleep effectively.

Moreover, Zoundry Raven had been giving him alot of problem tidying up his blog post. So do ignore the mess as he needs to fix the formatting issues slowly.

So far we have been looking at the various groups of Warriors, Part 6 marks the last of the individuals. Now we are talking about the armies of the various tribes that had joined David when he was still a fugitive running away from King Saul.

Part 6: The Warriors By The Well Of Bethlehem
Part 7: The Warriors Of The Tribe Of Benjamin
Part 8: The Warriors Of The Tribe Of Gad (Part 1)

This is the second part about the Gadites Warriors. They have 2 distinct characteristics. Which are.

1. They have the faces like Lions
2. They are as swift as the Gazelles

1. Faces Of Lions

Lions have always been a symbol of courage and firmness. They are unafraid and do not waver in the face of the their enemies. The bible recorded 2 interesting facts about the warriors of Gad

A. 1 Chron 12:14: They are captains of the army, least over 100 man and the greatest over 1000

These men are officers in the camp of David. Military officers in the past are very different from their modern counterparts. In modern warfare, the high ranking officers are at the back office directing the operations. However Officers in ancient warfares are in the battle front , leading the armies. When they charge, his soldiers follows and when they retreat, his soldiers will withdraw from battle.

In order to take on the role of a captain, these men must be more courageous than their men. Without it, he will never be able to command respect among his ranks.

B. 1 Chron 12:15: They crossed over river Jordan as it is flooded, made a surprise attack scattering their enemies to the valleys, the east and the west.

The enemy did not expect the warriors to cross the Jordan when its high tide. The reason behind that was because the Jordan river is one of the fastest flowing river. Its flowing could easily swept the people off their feet.

There are some who may mistook their bravery as recklessness. But I feel that these men were not on a suicide mission, they are well aware of the difficulties and the dangers in their operation and have made their plans base on careful strategies.

If one were to serve God out of recklessness, such recklessness often lead to many issues within the church. Therefore it is important for us to understand how the bibles define courage.

1.1 The Courage of Timothy and the Encouragement from Paul.

The correct form of courage is one that relies on God. There will be times when we encounter difficulties in our service to the Lord, we need to remind ourselves that God is always willing to help if we were to rely on him. We must face our difficulties with such a faith.

Paul once told Timothy

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, ” – Paul (2 Tim 1:7-8)

Timothy was a young soldier for Christ, he felt discouraged in his battle of faith. He had good reason to feel so, his beloved teacher is being imprisoned. Judging from the situation, he can be certain that Paul will not be released.

At the same time within the church, Timothy is facing persecutions from his enemies, there are some who make fun of his teacher saying “Even God refused to help him.”. If we were to be in his shoes, we would have difficulty to maintain our faith as well as our resolve to serve God. Therefore Paul finds it necessary to write to Timothy, encouraging him to be brave and to continue preaching.

1.2 Having Faith And The Right Perspective

As we have faith to believe that God can free Paul just like what he did to Peter in Acts 12. But at the same time we must also remember that the bible already said that “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)

In order to accomplish the will of God we must be patient and persevere. There being silent and patiently waiting could also serves as a good testimony before others, and we should always have confidence in God

Having courage is not just about charging forward into battle, but its also about perseverance and holding on to the promise of God.

1.3 Drawing Strength From Prayers

Besides drawing encouragement from the words of God, prayers are also necessary. In Eph 3:16-17, Paul prayed to the Holy Spirit to strengthen the believers. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead us to the truth and to accept them whole heartedly. But This would be pointless if we lack the courage to keep the words of God

In the midst of trials and temptation, it is important for us to receive Gods words into our heart, but its even more important for us to persevere in keeping the word. While the church can help Christians by reminding the congregation through sermons and exhortation, Prayers is something only the individuals can do. We need to pray and to ask the God to strengthen our faith, only by so doing can our faith and our reliance on God be rooted and grounded.

1.3.1 Effective Prayers

We have all read from the Scriptures that Jesus intercedes for all the believers.

While it is possible for us to remind ourselves by reading the bible and attending church services. But prayers is something that requires our own effort. We have to pray and ask God to strengthen us, only then can our faith and our trust in God be rooted and grounded.

We often read of Jesus siting and the right hands of God praying for all of us (Rom 8:34) But sometimes we cant help thinking “If Jesus is praying for me, why am I feeling so weak?”

Sometimes we even doubt to the extent where we feel that the prayers of Jesus is ineffective. But that is a wrong perspective. Jesus is always praying for us, so that our faith be strengthened, but vice versa, we must ask God to give us strength and comfort. We need to tell Jesus our sorrows, our problem and our pains, only by so doing can we receive strength and comfort.

The church can intercede for you, but they cannot pray on your behalf. Even Jesus cant do that, because Prayers is an effort on our side. Only with our prayers and the Lord mediating for us, can our inner man be strengthened. We need to tell Jesus all our sorrows, problems and pain. We need to talk to God direct. We need to believe that Prayers is not a ritual. If we do not change our mentality, our prayers will not be effective even if we have been praying about it for more than 10 years.

1.3.2 Overcoming The Doubts When Praying

I believed we all experienced this while we are on the phone. There are times when we ask the party “Are you still there?” Especially when we do not hear a response. I am sure while we are praying, we would like to ask God the same question. When we are at the low time of our faith, we may feel that we are talking to a brick wall and not to God.

In times like this, we have to constantly remind ourselves that we are not talking to thin air. Such understanding can only be built if we ground our faith with the right knowledge from the scriptures

We must continue to trust that God will not abandon us or stop listening to our prayers. We must not deceive ourselves by imagining a Jesus sitting in front of us when we pray. We need to have the faith to go near him, to be able to tell yourself confidently, “I know my Savior lives, he is right in front of me and he lives within my heart”. Only then can we truly draw strength and comfort in prayers.

2. Being swift as Gazelles

Gazelles are swift creatures, they are active , lively and with hope. They run with a passion when contrasting with an old ox pulling the carts. There are times we are assigned with church work that we do not like, sometimes we can’t help feeling helpless, filled with bitterness and losing every tint of joy and hope within us. Sometimes we drag ourselves saying “It doesn’t matter, I am doing this only because it is a commission given by the Lord” .

The saddening part is the very fact that we followed the same attitude when we serve in Religious education classes and when we speak sermons. Though we are moving forward, we look more like an old ox pulling the cart.

I would very much like to “trick” all of you to believe that work given by God is simple and easy. But honestly, there are times when we find it hard and heart wrenching. Especially if we see the current situation within the church. It is inevitable that we will start to feel the strain especially when we see no results in our labour.

2.1 The Performance Appraisal From God

While modern corporates like to ask questions like , ” What have you done? Are there any quantifiable results?”. We talked alot about meritocracy and quantifiable results.

We must realised that God does not do performance appraisal based on such methods. On the contrary, he asks questions such as “Have you put in effort in the work I have assigned to you?”

God is not looking at what we produced but he is checking if we have done the work according to his instructions. We will be in the wrong if we did not do the work, but if we have done it and there was no results, its perfectly alright.

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” – Paul (1 Cor 3:6)

Our job is to sow and water, it is Gods effort to make the seeds grow.

2.2 Overcoming The Lack Of Talent

While we often say that we do not have the gift to speak to skeptics and difficult people. We could always preach the words of God to children. We may not have the gifts of children ministry, but I am sure we would not fear when talking to them.

Let us learn to preach to the people around us, God only want to see the effort from his children. If God has indeed grant us a special talent, then we have to bear more.

If we know the will of God and understand the fact that the growth came from God. We will be able to be joyful even when people mock us and refuse to listen to our testimony. We would be glad that we have done our parts.

2.3 The Joy Of Service

If our joy of service is derived based on quantifiable results, we will only be glad when we succeed. But as we thank God for bringing a soul to him, have we accidentally glorfied ourselves in the process?

What if we fail? will we now turn back and blame God saying “Why did you not work with me? What have i done wrong?”.

Let us learn to derive joy from the fact that we have seize hold of every opportunity to serve him. Let us learn to trust the growth to God. Let us serve joyfully with a living hope. Let us be as swift as Gazelles, just like the warriors of Gad.

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