When I was a kid, we would often play games where we would have to pick teams. We would elect two captains who would begin to take turns picking who they wanted on their team. The picking was often strategic. For example, the captain not only wanted good players, he also wanted team members who would be loyal to the team and would follow his leadership. Who would you want on your side?
When Saul was king of Israel and after he had rebelled, God told Samuel to anoint David to be king. Saul, being who he was, continued in his rebellion and tried on a number of occasions to kill David. David stays on the run during this time and gathers an army of followers. These men help him evade capture and also fight the enemies of Israel. The ultimate goal, however, was to turn the kingdom over to David as God desired.
1 Chronicles 12:23 And these are the numbers of the bands that were ready armed to the war, and came to David to Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the LORD.
Chapter 12 of 1 Chronicles lists separate groups who came to David and tells of their valor and capabilities. But there is one group of men who seemed exceptional above the others. These were from the tribe of Zebulun.
1 Chronicles 12:33 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.
Here are their qualifications. First, they were “such as went forth to battle”. These were people who were not afraid and didn’t sit around idle. Second, they were “expert in war, with all instruments of war,” meaning they were well-trained and seasoned soldiers. Third, there were 50,000 of them, “which could keep rank”. They were disciplined and courageous. Fourth, “they were not of double heart”. This meant they were loyal to David, with a resolve that was unshakable.
These are the kind of people you want on your side. These are qualities that God desires in those who are on His side. He wants bold, active Christians who have prepared themselves for the spiritual battles we must face. He wants believers who maintain discipline both personal and corporately. And He wants us totally loyal to Him–sold out for His work.
All those who call Jesus our Savior should take a moment to ask if these are the characteristics that could be used to describe us. If not, we must look to the tribe of Zebulun, who wanted God’s will above all (1 Chronicles 12:23). They are a great example of what we should be.