Saturday, March 9, 2013

Gadite Gridiron - Part 1

Ok, we’ve looked at some of the ways the modern church has hindered the proper development of manly heroes, now let’s look at some of the characteristics of biblical heroes found throughout the pages of Scripture. The purpose here is to stimulate men to introduce the specific characteristics necessary and then envision themselves being that type of man, a man called for such a time as this. Here is the first group of heroes called, “the Gadites.”

 Some Gadites joined David at the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor, men trained for battle, who could handle shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as gazelles on the mountains… These were the sons of Gad, captains of the army; the least was over a hundred and the greatest was over a thousand. These were the ones who crossed the Jordan in the first month, when it had overflowed all its banks; and they put to flight all those in the valleys, to the east and to the west.”  (1 Chronicles 12:8, 14-15)

Our first illustration is found in the book of 1 Chronicles, a group of eleven men from Gad that were quite impressive. The initial paragraph above (in italics) lists their accolades. Verses 9-13 gave the names and families of each of these 11 men, but the verses quoted above describe six key elements of what made these men Biblical Heroes. Here is that list:

        “mighty men of valor”
  “men trained for battle, could handle both shield and spear”
     “faces like the faces of lions”
        “swift as gazelles on the mountains”
     “captains – of hundreds – of thousands”
      “crossed the Jordan…when it overflowed all its banks”

 These were some really tough hombres! Notice some of the phrases used – mighty men of valor, trained for battle, faces like lions, swift as gazelles, my gracious, these guys would bring home the Lombardi Trophy every time! Did you catch how they crossed the Jordan during the monsoon season!? These guys were beasts! When you consider it would take a very strong, healthy man to cross the Jordan on a normal day, imagine the stamina required to cross it when it was overflowing its banks! There is only one way these men could accomplish such feats of wonder and that was selfless discipline. They were in it ALL the way! Men, this is your first characteristic to grab – selfless discipline.
Think about it. Ezer (the first Gadite listed in v. 9) did not wake up one morning and say, “Hey, I’m going to cross the Jordan today while it’s overflowing its banks, just to see if I can do it.” Hey, this is like trying to survive a flood! The amount of training involved, muscle development, increased respiratory and cardio function, along with the sheer determination to accomplish such a superhuman feat required a significant amount of personal discipline that can only be measured in time. Ezer had to have trained for months, crossing the Jordan at normal levels first, adding to his strength and stamina, working out steadily with increasingly more resistance and challenges until he was at his peak. Put more succinctly, it didn’t just happen! Discipline is an everyday kind of thing that requires TIME! It’s not the singular event that makes a hero, but the preparedness and commitment to do what is right consistently because it is right. This is the first lesson to being a hero – selfless discipline.

 Part 2 of Gadite Gridiron to follow.

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