1 Chronicles 5 … Consider His Blueprint for Battle

Blueprint: “a detailed outline or plan of action.”

Biblical scholars suggest that the manner in which the author of Chronicles arranged this genealogy of the sons of Jacob, which began with Judah in chapter 4, “may have functioned in military organization.” (If you are interested in learning more about this, the NIV Study Bible is a tremendous source of historical and contextual information.)

But as I looked for Him, in yet another list of names, two accounts grabbed my attention; accounts of two groups who would find themselves facing military confrontations.

And in these two accounts, centered around military conflict, His Blueprint for Battle, His detailed outline and plan of action emerged.

Consider His Blueprint for Battle

From the very beginning, when God called His people out of their bondage in Egypt to become a people for His own possession, He prepared them for Battle.

Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” 18 Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt, (Exodus 13:17-18).

And when it was finally time to take possession of the Promised Land, the Lord gave Joshua His Blueprint for Battle. His Word would guide and teach His people His Blueprint for Battle, and if they would but follow His Word in faith, He would grant them fearless success.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go, (Joshua 1:8-9).

In the brief narratives of two separate military conflicts in 1 Chronicles 5, both accounts portray men that are qualified for war.

  •  The sons of Reuben, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh:
    • The sons of Reuben and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, consisting of valiant men, men who bore shield and sword and shot with bow and were skillful in battle, were 44,760, who went to war20 They were helped against them, and the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hand; for they cried out to God in the battle, and He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him…22 For many fell slain, because the war was of God… (5:18, 20, 22 emphasis added).
  • The half-tribe of Manasseh:
    • Now the sons of the half-tribe of Manasseh lived in the land; from Bashan to Baal-hermon and Senir and Mount Hermon they were numerous. 24 These were the heads of their fathers’ households… mighty men of valor, famous men, heads of their fathers’ household… 25 But they acted treacherously against the God of their fathers and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. 26 So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul, king of Assyria, even the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away into exile, (5:23-26 emphasis added).

But His Blueprint for Battle had nothing whatsoever to do with man’s reputation, capabilities or strength in number.

His Blueprint for Battle, His detailed plan of action outlined in His Word is simply this… The Battle is always His, and when we call on Him in faith, trusting in Him, in every Battle, He is faithful to answer.

  • His Blueprint for Battle outlines His Tactic for success: He alone is our Trust
    • They were helped against them, and the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hand; for they cried out to God in the battle, and He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him… (5:20).
  • His Blueprint for Battle Defines the weapons of warfare: He alone is our Deliverer
    • Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45-47).
  • His Blueprint for Battle Shapes the movement in war: He alone is our Salvation
    • and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you,” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17).

How do we respond to His Blueprint for Battle?

Today we read two distinct outcomes of war for God’s people:

  • One ended in victory as they followed His Blueprint for Battle.
    • They were helped against them, and the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hand; for they cried out to God in the battle, and He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him… (5:20).
  • The other depicts a people who turned away from His Truth and sold themselves as harlots in passionate pursuit of the gods of the people of the land.
    • But they acted treacherously against the God of their fathers and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, (5:25).

Sadly, God’s people had been perpetually prone to unfaithfulness in playing the harlot. And although they were clearly warned, their desire to be like the world around them led to rejecting Him as their rightful King.

But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.” …19 Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles,” (1 Samuel 8:6-9, 19-20).

And sadly, all to often, we too are perpetually prone to unfaithfulness.

For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate, (Romans 7:15).

Therefore, we must take heed and learn from the sins and failures of others as we commit to Him in faith, that we would follow His Blueprint for Battle.

  • His Blueprint for Battle is to outline His Tactic for our success: While the world is relentless in offering counterfeits, we must reject and turn away from the world’s Battle methods as we cling to Him in faith; for He alone is our Trust.
    • Trust in the Lord with all your heart
      And do not lean on your own understanding.
      In all your ways acknowledge Him,
      And He will make your paths straight.
      Do not be wise in your own eyes;
      Fear the Lord and turn away from evil,
      (Proverbs 3:5-7).
  • His Blueprint for Battle is to Define our weapons of warfare: While the world’s weapons may appear to have strength, we must remember that the Battle often begins in our own thinking. He has given us all we need in Jesus and His Word to overcome victoriously; for He alone is our Deliverer.
    • For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
  • His Blueprint for Battle is to Shape our movement in war: While the world is quick to respond and move out in the flesh, He has given us our Blueprint. We are to stand in the strength of His might; for He alone is our Salvation.
    • Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, (Ephesians 6:10-17).

Oh how desperate we are to have our minds transformed so as not to follow after the world’s ways.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect, (Romans 12:2).

May we give His Word the place it deserves, that we would commit to study and meditate on His Truth, to be careful to obey all He reveals, and to daily seek His guidance to outline His tactic for our success, to define our weapons of warfare, and to shape our movement as we follow His Blueprint for Battle.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go, (Joshua 1:8-9).

Let’s Grow Together!

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