The sons of Reuben, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh had forty-four thousand seven hundred and sixty valiant men, men able to bear shield and sword, to shoot with the bow, and skillful in war, who went to war. They made war with the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. And they were helped against them, and the Hagrites were delivered into their hand, and all who were with them, for they cried out to God in the battle. He heeded their prayer, because they put their trust in Him. Then they took away their livestock—fifty thousand of their camels, two hundred and fifty thousand of their sheep, and two thousand of their donkeys—also one hundred thousand of their men; for many fell dead, because the war was God’s. And they dwelt in their place until the captivity. (1 Chronicles 5:18-22)
Genealogies are not the most exciting areas of scripture to read but there are many jewels contained within the placement of those who begot one another. It has been suggested that Ezra wrote the “Chronicles” telling a history of Israel from the time of King Saul’s death to the remnants return following the captivity. Nearly a third of the first book deals with genealogy as this was vital to establishing a historical record of ancestry of the Jewish people. Between the families of Reuben, Gad and Joseph (sons of Jacob) there was an incredible force of fighting men numbering 44,760 valiant men. Manasseh was one of the sons of Joseph and along with Ephraim represents the family of Joseph in tribal identity. The Chronicle explains how these three families joined together to form a formidable fighting army that gained many victories for the Lord. They are described as courageous men skilled in the art of war and aggressive in their attack. United in their purpose through the avenue of prayer they put their trust in God gaining incredible victories with much spoil. During the battle they cried to the Lord for His intervention and He heeded the prayer because they put their trust in Him. These were mighty men of war very skilled but they knew the source of the power came from the Lord and they trusted His power more than their own. The bounty resulted in 302,000 animals being taken along with 100,000 of the enemy. It was a 2:1 ration against them in the final analysis but they gained the victory. Many were killed not because the men were valiant and strong in their own might but because the war that was waged belonged to the Lord. The war was God’s war.
The days of carnal warfare came to an end when Jesus Christ came into the world to save all men. Paul declared the weapons of warfare are now spiritual for casting down arguments and everything that exalts itself against the power of God. While the methods of fighting have changed the spirit of war has not; the battle still belongs to the Lord. Like the sons of Reuben, the Gadites and half the tribe of Manasseh, the church needs valiant men and women who are able to bear the shield of faith and sword of the Spirit to make war against the wiles of the devil. Courage is needed to face an overwhelming army of principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age and spiritual hosts of wickedness that war against the kingdom of Christ. Saints who are skilled in the word of God and the use of truth to destroy the arguments of immorality, false doctrine, religious error and complacency are needed to fight the great war of God. There is a greater need for trained soldiers of Christ to stand against the increasing pressures of a carnal world. As the war rages men and women must lift up their voices and cry out to God in the midst of battle for help. The war against unrighteousness will be difficult and fraught with danger. Without the protective blessing of the Lord there can be no victory. No man can gain the victory by his own power. Prayer is the incense of the smell of battle placed in the hands of Jehovah God to let His guiding hand bring about victory. When the people of God unite in prayer the Lord will heed their supplications and give the victory. The battle belongs to the Lord if trust is put in His will and His way. Prayer must be lifted on wings of complete trust that God will secure the victory as He did with the sons of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh.
Many fell dead in battle because the war was God’s. This is a profound statement of the power and majesty of the Lord God who reigns, rules and regards the affairs of man as His purpose and design for sending the Christ. The war still belongs to God. He gave His Son as the gift of love to show all men there is no victory without Him. Jesus rose from the dead and death has no power. God brought forth His Son from the grave and hades will be cast into the lake of fire. The governments of the world that stand against the kingdom of God will be cast into the second death along with the harlot of Babylon and the beast of spiritual error. Nothing will be able to stand against the King of Kings and Lord of Lords because the battle belongs to the Lord. The message of God’s word is the will of the Lord will be finished according to His power. He created the world and governs the affairs of the world and it will be by His power the world is destroyed. Man did not create the world and while given dominion of the world is banished to the role of servant to the great I AM. The destiny of man was not determined by the wisdom of man but the knowledge of God revealed the battle plan to defeat the great dragon and overcome death. The war belongs to God. He fights it His way and the outcome is determined by His will. Soldiers of Christ who stand in battle array against Satan will have the victory because they know the war is God’s and through courage and prayer bring glory to the cause of righteousness and truth. Fight brethren. Make war in the name of God.