First Chronicles 27 Commentary
The commanders of the army are listed. The numbers are impressive. The named commanders are equivalent to the number of months. The duty Rota is filled up from the first month to the last. Every ground is covered.
Commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds: There is interest in both the big picture as well as the small picture. Details are important in warfare.
In the context of the Old Testament, this is all so impressive. But even here we have an important hint: the LORD wasn’t as impressed. Whenever numbers begin to improve, our trust in them begins to also increase. Our trust in the LORD suffers. We are not surprised that the LORD responded to David’s pride with wrath. David’s counting of his army wasn’t about counting one’s blessings and sitting down in praise and worship for the ‘great gifts’. It was arrogance manifesting itself in trust of self.
Again, in the context of the times that we are reading about, this is a manifestation of the blessing of increase. A prosperous community is living in peace under the leadership of the shepherd-king, David.
It is only when we look at the Shepherd-King, whose work David so ably shadowed, that we begin to see the real picture. The Shepherd-King had 12 commanders but they didn’t carry physical swords. He forbade them. Instead, they were commanded to put on specially designed armor. Check Ephesians chapter 6.
These good figures of ready troops tell the saint the importance of not being too thin on the ground.
The saint can be too thin on the ground, in terms of righteousness. Be sure to be overpowered.
We need big numbers in terms of faith. Every ground must be covered. The saint must be looking at a balanced year. Every month must be covered. The saint never goes on vacation. It is a 24/7 operation. We cannot afford to be thin on the ground in any of the divisions.
By looking at the weaponry available, you can easily estimate the nature and scale of the conflict. The sight of submarines will indicate one type of warfare. The presence of fighter jets will suggest yet another type of warfare. Look at these weapons: faith, righteousness, truth, scriptures, and prayer. You immediately know the battle isn’t physical. Don’t be too thin in any of the divisions. And don’t have an empty month.
The commander-in-chief would put it this way: watch and pray.
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