1 Chronicles 4:24–5:26, 1 Timothy 4:1–5, Psalm 78:1–12
Those in the Old Testament fought physical battles. Today’s people of God fight spiritual battles. There is at least one principle that covers both types of battles . . .
“The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had valiant men who carried shield and sword, and drew the bow, expert in war, 44,760, able to go to war. They waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. And when they prevailed over them, the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands, for they cried out to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him.” (1 Chronicles 5:18–20)
When I battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil, I need to do the same thing; cry out to God in the battle and trust Him. The next passage illustrates what happens when I don’t . . .
“The members of the half-tribe of Manasseh lived in the land. They were very numerous . . . . But they broke faith with the God of their fathers, and whored after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, the spirit of Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and he took them into exile, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day.” (1 Chronicles 5:23–26)
When I do not trust God and cry out to Him, it is because I am trusting something else, usually my own ideas and strength. That puts me into exile or bondage to that idol. And it happens to others too. In fact, Paul wrote a warning of how serious this can be . . .
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:1–3)
One way that will help this from happening is found in both testaments. Christian parents are to teach their children about Christ and how to trust and follow Him . . .
“He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.” (Psalm 78:5–8)
And it is never too late to start doing that, fully aware that the God we trust can also win battles as we pray for our children.