“The men of Israel gathered together from Naphtali, Asher, and all Manasseh, and pursued the Midianites” (Judges 7:23).
One of the best-known fighting units in the U.S. Army during World War II was E Company, 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division—also known as “Easy Company.” This experimental airborne regiment was developed in 1942 to tackle difficult missions by being parachuted from a C-47 transport plane into enemy territory.
The original 140 soldiers in this heroic company went through extremely difficult physical training that pushed them to their limits and taught them teamwork. Three of their major missions were “Operation Overlord” on D-Day, supporting British forces around Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and fighting in Belgium in the Battle of the Bulge.
When “Easy Company” was ordered to capture the German occupied town of Foy, Belgium, it was split in two and placed on each side of the town without communication. Lieutenant Ronald Speirs ran directly through the German lines in order to give orders. The Germans were so shocked by what he did that they didn’t shoot him. More than that, he ran right back through town to get back to his men.
One of the bravest tribes in Israel was Naphtali. The descendants of this son of Jacob, whose name means “my wrestling,” were assigned the territory of Galilee when Israel conquered Canaan. The beautiful land was mountainous and fertile, but held by strong, fortified cities. Under the inspiration of Deborah and the leadership of Barak, the Naphtalites attacked and destroyed Jabin’s army. Deborah praised their bravery, “a people who jeopardized their lives to the point of death … on the heights of the battlefield” (Judges 5:18).
When Gideon called for help to force the Midianites out of the land, the tribe of Naphtali quickly responded and courageously pursued the enemy. Reminiscent of the name of their forefather, these men were not afraid to grapple with the enemy.
We are to be like the tribe of Naphtali. Jesus promised us, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). As we engage the enemy, we are assured of God’s eternal protection.
Dear Jesus, I will courageously face the devil, not in my own strength, but through Your might.
For Further Study: Genesis 30:1–8; Judges 7:1–23; Ephesians 6:10–18