Champions

ChampGibBe sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith….—1 Peter 5:8-9

I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. Ezekiel 22:30

Before the Common Era, cities and citadels would face a variety of threats from attacking Kingdoms and armies, and the architecture of defensive kingdoms and citadels was always pushed to adapt new technologies to better defend the walls. Some of the ways that the wall would be attacked were battering rams; which were useful since the weight of several men would be put behind it. This would make it a considerable force that could seriously weaken and possibly destroy doors or walls. Ladders were another way to enter the city. Siege towers were an upgrade from the ladders; it was a large structure on wheels which would be pushed up to the castle walls. Ladders inside the Belfry allowed attackers to climb to the top under cover and get into the castle. The enemy would also dig tunnels under the walls for mining or entry in to the city. Catapults, Ballista’s and onagers were used to destroy the walls and create a gap for entry without placing the attacking Soldiers in to great danger.

An attacker’s first act in a siege might be a surprise attack, attempting to overwhelm the defenders before they were ready or were even aware there was a threat. As a siege progressed, the surrounding army would build earthworks (a line of circumvallation) to completely encircle their target, preventing food, water, and other supplies from reaching the besieged city. If sufficiently desperate as the siege progressed, defenders and civilians might have been reduced to eating anything vaguely edible – horses, family pets, the leather from shoes, and even each other (Jeremiah 19:9; 2 Kings 6:24-30). In order to defend the gap, as well as other places on the city walls minimum but well trained Soldiers were used; although the attacking force was a larger element coming in through the gap.

To understand the type of Soldiers that would be used to defend, titles were given of champions who were able to eliminate the enemy in larger numbers than most soldiers. The Hebrews called them Gibborim. To a certain extent the Champions (Gibborim), had at their disposal equipment of high quality -both offensive (sword, lance, javelin) and defensive (helmet, breastplate, leg-guards and a wooden shield covered with leather). The great victories won by these formidable troops had enabled them to obtain rich trophies in the shape of arms taken from their enemies who fell in battle or of the plunder obtained from the Philistine citadels taken by assault.

1 Chronicles 12 explains the type of Soldiers in the army of King David’s ranks in every respect effective.

The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; Jeziel and Pelet the sons of Azmaveth; Berachah, and Jehu the Anathothite; Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, and Jozabad the Gederathite; Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite; Elkanah, Jisshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korahites; and Joelah and Zebadiah the sons of Jeroham of Gedor. 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: Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third, Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth, Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh, Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth, Jeremiah the tenth, and Machbanai the eleventh. These were from the sons of Gad, captains of the army; the least was over a hundred, and the greatest was over a thousand. These are 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.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 Gadites were impressive soldiers.

Mighty men of valor: They were men of courage and of a warrior spirit.

Men trained for battle: They were men who patently received the training they needed to be mighty warriors.

Who could handle shield and spear: They were men who were skilled in the use of their essential weapons (both defensive and offensive), with skill gained from their training.

Whose faces were like the faces of lions: They had the calm demeanor of men who were confident in God; they had the countenance of fierce and calm warriors. “Undaunted, fierce, and terrible to their enemies. They durst look death itself in the face upon great adventures in the field.” (Trapp)

And were as swift as gazelles on the mountains: They were mobile, active men, ready to fight wherever they were needed.

The intimate relationship with God, as well as constant and continuous prayer can make us like them. Our Lord and our King who also is the tower on which we stand as watchmen can make us brave as lions, with the experience of prior battles and victories of champions will allows us to hold our own, or rather can hold our Lord’s truth, and never feel embarrassed nor be ashamed to speak a good word as watchmen and Gibborim. He can make us quick and active with the ability to withstand a mighty force attacking, like the mountains that withstand strong gushes of wind.

Maintaining a healthy relationship requires communication. Always be “on line” with God so when the Spirit moves you to pray, you can instantly agree with Him. The Holy Spirit prays for us with inexpressible groans (Romans 8:26). When in agreement with the Spirit, we are praying continuously. The heart attitude of praying without ceasing means an ever-open heart to the Lord’s leading.

Praying without ceasing doesn’t take the place of time alone in prayer with God. However, it is a joyful experience to unite with the LORD who lays burdens on our hearts. We can’t always stop and kneel, but our heart attitude can still be “praying without ceasing.” And as the watchmen would stand in the gap for prolonged times; so will you sometimes “not receive” and answer until the enemy has been repelled.

But, my brothers and sisters, who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:13-16 ESV)

Standing in the gap in prayer is often something you do more than a single time. Usually, intercessors continue to pray at regular intervals figuratively standing in prayer in the same spiritual gap. Isaiah 62:6, 7 says, “I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.”

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