Living by the scriptures

Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart. — 1 Chronicles 12:33

The beginning chapters of 1 Chronicles contain long genealogies. I skim over these chapters as I study the Bible, especially since the comment is found in some of these chapters that the same accounts can be read in the Book of Kings. Chapter 11 is more interesting as it contains accounts of heroic deeds of men such as Benaiah who "slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day." He also defeated a giant Egyptian with only his staff. Chapter 12 is a lengthy catalogue and evaluation of David's military forces.

As I recently read chapter 12, the Holy Spirit stopped me at verse 33 and for the first time I pondered this otherwise obscure scripture. What does it mean to have fifty thousand men who could keep rank? To me it means these people would stay in line regardless of personal hardships and be obedient to their leader's commands to move forward in the face of their adversaries. More significantly, they were not of double heart. Their hearts were solely dedicated to their cause.

They had no ulterior motives, no hidden agendas. They were going to do what they had been commanded to do.

Since I am now working as a senior missionary in the Hungary Budapest Mission office, I thought this verse could be a wonderfully apt description of the Lord's missionary force today; fifty thousand plus young men and women, experts in teaching the gospel, obedient and faithful in fulfilling their responsibilities, and wholeheartedly engaged in the Lord's work. They are truly unique and heroic figures in today's world because they indeed know how to keep rank. — Elder Robert J. Dukelow, Budapest, Hungary

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