A Call to Arms


When you turn to 1 Chronicles 12:33 you find a notation that is all but ignored. The chronicler of Israel’s history tells of men from the tribe of Zebulun who were experienced soldiers prepared for battle with every type of weapon, to help David with undivided loyalty. Consider the text: Of Zebulun 50,000 seasoned troops, equipped for battle with all the weapons of war, to help David with singleness of purpose.

A couple of items stand out in this pithy description of King David’s troops from this diminutive tribe. They are principles you may find helpful as you pursue being God’s servant in your realm of influence.

First, take note that they were experienced soldiers. Like the rough-as-a-cob first sergeant that had fought on the soil of Africa, Italy and Normandy, so these men have been around. And you have too! It is no accident that God has you where you are. You have had hurts and triumphs that make you well prepared to love your neighbor. You have been a part of formative experiences in your work place, family, and perhaps your church, and are, therefore, quite qualified to make a difference.

Secondly, notice that besides being veterans the men of Zebulun were well equipped. The text says they had every type of weapon. This likely included swords, spears, helmets, slings, javelins, hammers, shields, maces, bows and arrows, etc. To do their job supremely, they sought the best equipment—and they made sure they had enough. They were prepared for battle because they had what they needed. What valiant army would go to war without the tools with which to fight? And what serious representative of Christ would do that? As a disciple, you have significant resources at your disposal. You have God’s Sword—the Bible, as well as the high privilege of prayer. But you also have a plethora of godly role models, books, magazines, conferences, videos, etc., which can maximize your effort. Most importantly, you have the Holy Spirit! Nothing can replace Him by way of provision for service. Seek His face daily, asking Him to help you be sensitive to His expectations of you as God’s servant.

Notice another item in the text. The soldiers offered King David undivided loyalty. And to Almighty God we can offer this as well. The men of Zebulun did not allow trivial things to hinder their service in Israel’s army. Though there were many possible distractions, these soldiers surrendered those things to focus with meaning, consistency and determination upon soldiering. They gave themselves fully to the service of their king.

Certainly, those soldiers reflected on their responsibilities and resources. You and I should also, and we ought to ask ourselves three things. First, do we trust God with the wisdom and impact of our experience, so we may love people and sympathize well with them? Secondly, do we utilize the vast array of resources—most chiefly Himself—that God has given us for the unfolding of His purposes around us? Finally, are there things hindering our undivided loyalty to God—personal issues of sin or doubt, busyness, poor priorities or indifference, a sense of inadequacy—that while natural and real must be surrendered to God’s care? Answer these honestly.

And then act. The men of Zebulun did, and Israel’s victories were legendary.

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