The Old Order Changeth
1 Chronicles 7:1-19
Now the sons of Issachar were, Tola, and Puah, Jashub, and Shimrom, four.…

It is a significant fact that, in this enumeration of names and these references to ancient times, the only complimentary epithets used relate to military affairs. "Their brethren among all the families of Issachar were valiant men of might" (ver. 5); "The sons of Be]a... mighty men of valour" (ver. 7); "The sons of Becher... mighty men of valour" (vers. 8, 9; see ver. 11). We have here an illustration of the fact -

I. THAT MILITARY VALOUR FORMED A LARGE PART OF ANCIENT VIRTUE. The history of the ancient peoples, Egyptians, Assyrians, Greek, Romans, etc., proves this statement with only too monotonous a repetition. The history of the Jews, the ancient people of God, adds one more note of confirmation. We might have supposed it would be otherwise; we might have judged that they would constitute the one exception to the rule. But, so doing, we should have erred. War involves certain most painful incidents, but it is not absolutely and intrinsically wrong. The simple fact that God sanctioned it in many instances, that he commanded his people to engage in it, and that he desired to be inquired of and supplicated in regard to it, distinctly settles that point.

1. It has to be remembered that war does call out the heroic virtues of

(1) patient endurance,

(2) implicit trust in a faithful leader,

(3) courageous daring of utmost danger, and consequent

(4) readiness to resign that which is most precious at the call of duty, on behalf of country or in obedience to what seems to be the will of God.

2. It has to be remembered that men have engaged in it without any conscious departure from the obligations they were under to their kind; therefore without any sense of its evil, and therefore without any injury to their conscience and character. The idea that all warfare is positively wrong is a modern sentiment. With quite as clear a conscience armies have gone out to battle as merchants have left home to traffic, or travellers to explore, or even missionaries to evangelize. Other thoughts are in our minds, other feelings in our hearts, because we have learnt -

II. THAT HUMAN LIFE IS NOW TO BE REGARDED AS A VERY SACRED THING. At the feet of Christ we have learnt that one human soul is a thing of inestimable worth. Hence we have come to prize, as most precious, one human life; and hence we have learnt to shrink from voluntarily taking it away. That which God only can give or renew, from which he requires so much, and on which such great and lasting issues hang,-this is something to be reverently treated. And we have been led to regard with aversion, with deep repugnance, that ruthless system, war, which mows down human bodies without remorse, and which counts amongst its triumphs the number of the slain. We gratefully recognize the fact that, under the beneficent reign of the Prince of peace, we are arriving at the conclusion -


1. In the struggle we maintain against the enemies within us: the privation we inflict on ourselves in foregoing things which are evil and injurious, the perseverance with which we contend against recurring passions that will not be soon silenced and slain.

2. In the war which we wage against the adversaries of God and man: the hardship we suffer (2 Timothy 2:3), the risk we run (danger sometimes ending in death itself, as many a missionary chronicle will tell), the loyalty we show to our great Captain, the faith we exercise in the overruling mind and the conquering arm of our redeeming God. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now the sons of Issachar were, Tola, and Puah, Jashub, and Shimron, four.

WEB: Of the sons of Issachar: Tola, and Puah, Jashub, and Shimron, four.

The Doctrinal Witness of the Refuge Cities
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