Job 16

Relentless

I noticed one of those Universal Truth things while reading the sixteenth chapter of Job.

Again and again he smashed me, charging at me like a warrior. – Job 16:14

No, it isn’t that God continually smashes us until we can’t take it any more.

The Universal Truth is that a warrior is passionate, tenacious, persistent, unwavering, and relentless in the pursuit of his goal.

Here are a few other scriptures that back up this assertion.

There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two of Moab’s mightiest warriors. Another time he chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it. – 2 Samuel 23:20

Benaiah was relentless in his pursuit of a lion, to the point of fighting the beast in a confined area on unstable ground. There was no way he was going to let his quarry escape.

Just two examples from Chronicles show the dedication required in a warrior.

The sons of Ulam were all skilled warriors and expert archers. – 1 Chronicles 8:40a

From the tribe of Zebulun, there were 50,000 skilled warriors. They were fully armed and prepared for battle and completely loyal to David. – 1 Chronicles 12:33

In order to be skilled and expert, fully armed and prepared, meant that continual training and discipline was required. These were not some unwilling drafted conscripts. These men were investing considerable time and energy to ensure they were more than up to any combat challenge.

Look at God’s example of what a true fighting force looks like in action.

The attackers march like warriors and scale city walls like trained soldiers. Straight forward they march, never breaking rank.  They never jostle each other; each moves in exactly the right place. They lunge through the gaps, and no weapon can stop them. – Joel 2:7-8

There is no wavering, no ambiguity, every man knows his place, and how to execute their battle strategy. They are impervious when disciplined and determined. However, the example below shows how a warrior’s lack of tenacity can be catastrophic.

King Jehoash, no moral prize here, has a hostile army of Arameans on his border pressing inward, so he visits the prophet Elisha and begs for mercy for the soldiers of Israel.

Elisha told him, “Get a bow and some arrows.” And the king did as he was told. Then Elisha told the king of Israel to put his hand on the bow, and Elisha laid his own hands on the king’s hands. Then he commanded, “Open that eastern window,” and he opened it. Then he said, “Shoot!” So he did.Then Elisha proclaimed, “This is the LORD’s arrow, full of victory over Aram, for you will completely conquer the Arameans at Aphek. Now pick up the other arrows and strike them against the ground.” So the king picked them up and struck the ground three times.  But the man of God was angry with him. “You should have struck the ground five or six times!” he exclaimed. “Then you would have beaten Aram until they were entirely destroyed. Now you will be victorious only three times.” – 2 Kings 13:15-19

Notice he is not rebuked for his sin, his leading Israel astray after false gods. No, he is rebuked for his lack of persistence, tenacity, and passion. Jehoash should have kept striking the ground until Elisha told him to stop. God desires passion and obedience. He’ll take care of the rest.

“Let’s go across to see those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” – 1 Samuel 14:6

It the warrior is passionate, tenacious, persistent, unwavering, and relentless in the pursuit of his goal, God will indeed take care of the rest.

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. – Matthew 11:12

That is how God wants us to be about our desire to enter his kingdom and to bring others with us, forceful, passionate.

Father, may I live my life in passionate pursuit of you. May I press into the kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Press on! Jan

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