Hold the line

Published 2:51 pm Saturday, May 18, 2024

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By Van Sprague

Swords, shields, spears and bows were staples in war for most of man’s existence. In this kind of combat, good equipment could be a sizable advantage. However, such an advantage could be lost if the soldiers lacked training, discipline or loyalty. We can see the importance of these things when we consider what was praised in ancient armies.

The transition of rule from Saul to King David was filled with turmoil. David reigned in a limited capacity for seven-and-a-half years, from Hebron, before he was recognized by most of the nation of Israel as king (2 Samuel 5:1-5). When they finally turned the kingdom of Saul over to him, we see a partial census of the armies that were newly subject to David. Concluding this list are the merits of these armed hosts that would ensure their superiority over the rest of the armies of the world. The Bible says, “All these men of war, who could keep ranks, came to Hebron with a loyal heart, to make David king over all Israel” (1 Chronicles 12:38, Unless otherwise stated: Scripture is taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Used by permission. All rights reserved).

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They could keep ranks and they were loyal to David.

They were resolute and united in their cause. Their swords were many, but the war drum of their hearts beat with one rhythm. Make. David. King. Through highs and lows, David remained king until he died of old age, leaving his son a charge to follow God’s commandments (1 Kings 2:1-4).

Today, there is a spiritual warfare (1 Corinthians 10:1-6). The armor and weapons we use are donned and drawn by our active faith in the living God (Ephesians 6:10-20). Though we can’t touch the tools used against ideals that are contrary to God, the central tactic is relatively unchanged from that which made David’s soldiers so formidable.

Each person in the Lord’s army is called to be resolute in our faithfulness to Christ (John 17:20-26; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 16:13). We must wield one Sword – the Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12-13). Our hearts must beat with one rhythm.

Jesus. Is. King.

We hold the line. We don’t break ranks. We march, charging those who come after us to do the same, until we hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23; 2 Timothy 2:2).


Van Sprague is an evangelist at the Church of Christ at Houston Park. He has a wife and three children. Anyone would be a welcome guest at any of their services. Sunday morning Bible class is at 9, with worship at 10. Worship on Sunday evening is at 5, and Wednesday night Bible class is at 6.