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Enlisting in God’s Army

During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress established different oaths for the enlisted men and officers of the Continental Army. The oath of enlistment is administered by commissioned officers to any person enlisting or re-enlisting for a term of service into any branch of the military. From 1917-1973, the United States instituted a draft when enlistment numbers weren’t enough to field enough soldiers to build a competitive military.

As they talked, behold, Goliath, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, came forth from the Philistine ranks and spoke the same words as before, and David heard him. 24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, terrified, 1 Samuel 17:23-24.

David was a teenage shepherd when his older brothers became members of Israel’s army. According to Samuel, David’s father sent David to visit his brothers, bringing care packages from home. Based upon Samuel’s details in chapter 17, David was curious and eager to find out how the war with the Philistines was going. As Goliath stood up to make his daily challenge, David was offended while everyone else ran away in fear.

And the Israelites said, Have you seen this man who has come out? Surely he has come out to defy Israel; and the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free [from taxes and service] in Israel. 26 And David said to the men standing by him, What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God? – 1 Samuel 17:25-26

Initially, David’s brothers were convinced that their little bro was pulling a publicity stunt. While his brothers thought he was merely seeking attention after being surrounded by sheep daily, David was serious about volunteering. This decision to enlist in God’s army transformed David’s life from a shepherd boy to a war hero. The apostle Paul explains what modern day Christians need before they enter the battlefield called life, Ephesians 6:10-18. This is the spiritual armor necessary to be a successful soldier in God’s army.

by Jay Mankus

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