The Training of the Elite Soldiers of Christ


When David first fled from the pursuit of King Saul, those following him were a motley crew (1 Samuel 22:2). After many years of trial by circumstances, they remained loyal and submissive to David, and fought valiantly for their country. In the end they all became the founding deputies of Davidˇ¦s dynasty, and gained the honorific of the Army of God (1 Chronicles 12:22). Chapters 11 and 12 of 1 Chronicles in the Old Testament can be said to be a warriorsˇ¦ roll call. They record the names of the mighty men of David and certain events describing how they followed David, bravely helped him establish his kingdom, and jointly acclaimed his sovereignty.


Of the many powerful warriors, more prominent were Jashobeam, a Hacmonite ˇV he was chief of the officers, and raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter; Eleazar, son of Dodai the Ahohite ˇV when others were fleeing from the enemy, he took his stand faithfully and courageously in a field of barley, until God finally brought a great victory to Israel; and Abishai, the brother of Joab - he was leader of the mighty men, and raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed (1 Chronicles 11:11-21).


Besides individual warriors, David also received help from brave men of the different tribes of Israel, for example Benjamin tribesmen who were able to shoot arrows or sling stones right-handed or left-handed; Gadite fighters who could handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains. The least of their army commanders was a match for a hundred, and the greatest for a thousand; brave warriors from Manasseh who helped David against raiding bands; commanders from Issachar who possessed superior knowledge and wisdom and could direct their kinsmen to follow commands; and 50,000 experienced soldiers from Zebulun prepared for battle with every type of weapon to serve David with undivided loyalty (1 Chronicles 12:1-37).


In the warriorsˇ¦ roll call, most striking was the account of the three mighty men who drew water for David despite mortal danger. When David was fleeing from Saulˇ¦s pursuit, he hid at the cave of Adullam. The city of Bethlehem was then occupied by the Philistines. He missed his homeland, and murmured, ˇ§Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!" So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord, saying, "God forbid that I should do this! Should I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives?" (1 Chronicles 11:15-19)


We who are called the elite soldiers of Christ can learn a number of lessons from these three brave warriors: (1) Always be mindful of the will of the Lord and be sensitive to His requirements. ˇ§Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.ˇ¨ (Ephesians 5:17) (2) Always come near to the Lord so that you can hear His voice. ˇ§Come near to God and He will come near to you.ˇ¨ (James 4:8) (3) Whether it is drawing water or engaging in battle, what God most values is the loyalty people have towards Him. We may not be like those preachers with great ability who are able to bring 300 people to God during one evangelical service, but the Lord appreciates our absolute submission to His words. Whether we submit to Godˇ¦s words can often be seen in the minutiae of daily life. "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.ˇ¨ (Luke 16:10) If we give just a cup of cold water to a little one because of the Lord, He will remember even such a simple and easily overlooked kindness.


Dear brothers and sisters. Certainly the elite soldiers of Christ are forged from all manner of trials and suffering. But do we recognize that rigid and repetitive housework or mundane chores can also be the litmus test of our character and values? When the ruler of the Heavenly Kingdom was on earth, He still subjected Himself to a carpenter for thirty years. Can an elite soldier of Christ be fully trained just from one or two spiritual battles?


By: Daniel To