I tend to camp out in a passage for several days at a time. The longer I stay in it, the more alive it becomes.
I’ve been rolling around for almost two weeks in 2 Samuel 23 (and it’s parallel counterpart in 1 Chronicles 11), as I noted the other day. I’ve always been a history buff, so this stuff just naturally holds my attention. The dynamic at work with “the three” and “the thirty” is especially riveting. I suppose these would be the equivalent of the Special Forces or Seals today. They were the “baddest” of the ‘bad,” the backbone of the Israelite army.
The obvious, surface, spiritual lessons are numerous. Perhaps, however, the most overlooked, is the necessity for such a group, multiple groups actually, in the church today. The bold, fearless, dedicated warrior who would go behind enemy lines, disrupt supply lines, communications and normalcy, and instill fear in the main troops is desperately needed in the Kingdom. Jesus put out an appeal for just such enlistees.
He noted that he’d have few takers.
However, he also noted that they were to charge the gates of Hell:
Have you ever thought of a gate as an offensive weapon? I mean, is it necessary to get a license to carry a loaded gate; do thugs hold victims captive “at gate point;” do fences have signs on them stating “Beware of Gate?” Gates aren’t a threat, they are defensive, not offensive. Jesus was saying that we are to attack, not defend.
Hasn’t the church been held at gate point longer than necessary?
The church needs “the thirty;” without this dynamic, it simply becomes a fortress being besieged. It doesn’t matter how well you play defense, it you never put the offensive unit on the field the likelihood of scoring is minimal. Why would you want to turn the field over to your adversary’s offensive unit for the whole game?
Where are “the thirty” today?