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Mahan's First Battle

With sword and shield...

Application

God loves us and protects us, so we can trust God even in the worst situation.

Text

Jeremiah 31:3.

 

A Soldier!

"Mahan," called Father, as his son strode off to the nearby army, "Don't forget that God said, 'I have loved you with an everlasting love.'"  But Mahan was too excited to pay any attention.  Just to think of it!  Only last night Captain had said that he could fight, and he was only thirteen!

He joined his company and the captain checked all their provisions and weapons.  He gave the order to march off and the soldiers trudged down the valley and climbed to the top of a steep hill.  They then crouched behind whatever rocks and bushes they could find.  Mahan looked lovingly at his shiny new sword and thrust it through the air in mock combat.  This was his first battle and at the thought of this, his tummy churned with fear and he settled down lower behind a big rock!

Fight to the End!

"Listen," whispered one of the soldiers, "What's that noise?"  They all strained their ears and faintly they heard the sound of horses approaching.  "They are coming," thought Mahan, "This is my big chance to show how brave and what a good soldier I am!"  Soon they could plainly hear the rattle of spears and shields.

Mahan trembled as his Captain rose to his feet and shouted, "Fight to the end men!"  And with that, the soldiers jumped to their feet and rushed forward screaming at the top of their voices.  With a mighty shout they clashed with the enemy and the noise of battle swelled as they slashed with swords and spears.  Mahan was in the middle and fought bravely, swinging and stabbing with his sword on every side.

Alone and Wounded!

In the confusion, Mahan became separated from his company.  "Here," he called but no one answered.  "Ha, Christian!" came a deep voice.  Mahan whirled around and to his horror, the biggest soldier he had ever seen glared menacingly down from a giant horse.  "Lost your way, sonny?" jeered the enemy soldier, "I have just the thing to help you on your way!"

With that, he thrust his spear at poor Mahan who scrabbled on the ground to avoid it.  But, he was too late and he felt the spear enter his chest!  He fell to the ground and fought for breath as a burning sensation filled his body.  As his consciousness departed, he heard the mocking voice shout, "So long, soldier, enjoy your long journey in death!"

Will I Die?

The galloping faded into the distance and quietness descended onto the battlefield.  Here and there someone moaned, but after a time this also stopped.  Mahan lay deathly still in a gathering pool of blood.  Time passed until the sun began to set in a blaze of colour.

An inquisitive bird trilled on a nearby branch, only to fly away when Mahan gave a groan and opened one eye.  He cautiously raised himself, only to sink back in a near faint, as pain lanced through his wounded side.  He listened carefully, but all was still.  What was he to do? And was he going to die?  He tried to shout but only a feeble whisper emerged.  "I need water.  If only my company hadn't left me behind!"

Do You Love Me?

Mahan panicked as he heard a lion roar nearby.  "Have I come all this way, only to become a meal," and then he remembered, "What did Father call after me?"  He struggled to think as waves of pain swept over his body.  "Oh yes, he said something about God having an everlasting love for me."

He looked up into the evening sky as the stars shone down.  "Oh God", he prayed, "If You love me with an everlasting love, Lord, please save me!"  He lay there sobbing, but after a while a sense of peace came upon Mahan.  He was glad when the sound of the lion faded into the distance.  "Whew!" he whispered, "Now I won't be a lion's meal tonight!"

Rescued!

He lay there all night and awoke in a clammy sweat as the first rays from the sun touched his face.  A new faint sound aroused his fears again.  "What now?" he whispered, "Is the enemy coming back to kill me?"  He nearly jumped out of his skin as a hand touched his shoulder and a kind voice asked if he was badly hurt.  He felt strong hands lift him and Mahan groaned as pain shot through his side.  "I must carry you to the stream so that I can wash your wound," said the stranger.

He lifted Mahan carefully to a small stream and then washed his wound and bound it up tightly with a strip of cloth that he tore from his robe.  He then trickled some water into the boy's parched mouth.  "I thought I was going to die," Mahan murmured.  "No, you are safe and I will take you to my home," replied the stranger and he lifted Mahan over his shoulder and carried him to a hut just over the hill.

Mahan lay in pain and fever for many days.  Each morning and evening the stranger would feed him and bathe the wound on his side.  One morning he woke with a ravenous hunger, and the stranger smiled as he wolfed down a vast breakfast and mopped up the gravy on his plate!   From that moment onwards Mahan healed rapidly.

Is This My Son?

Saying farewell to the stranger, Mahan set out for home.  His joy was great as he walked down the road and saw his home in the distance.   He broke into a run and shouted "I'm home, I'm home!"  His family came pouring out of the house and lastly came his father.  "Is this my son?" he cried, "It is!"

He flung open his arms and embraced Mahan in a huge hug.  "We thought that you were dead, Son, when all the other soldiers returned safely." Mahan exclaimed, "Father, you were right, God does love me with an everlasting love!"  All his family looked surprised at this.   "How so, Son?" asked Father.

"Because when I was wounded, I thought I would die and be eaten by a lion.  But, I prayed and God heard my prayer and sent a stranger to bind up my wound and care for me."  His father smiled, "I'm so glad, Son", you have learned a great truth about God's great love and that you can trust Him always."  That night Mahan's heart was full of joy as he sat at supper and listened to his family's thanksgiving and celebration.

Knowing God's Love:

And you dear child, do you know that God loves you with an everlasting love?  God loves us and protects us, so we can trust God even in the worst situation.  You can only experience this love when you allow God to surround you with His loving-kindness.

God is calling you by name and wants to pour out His love into your life.  Will you respond by asking Jesus to come into your life to forgive and wash away all your sins?  He will gladly answer your prayer and make you into one of His children.

God bless!
 

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