The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle; they did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by His law. They forgot what He had done, the wonders He had shown them. – Psalms 78:9-11
One old preacher once called the Ephraimite archers the “original quitters.” In the midst of the battle, they ran. When the going got tough, they got out. And, as if that were not enough, they abandoned their covenant with God as well.
I once interviewed a man for a staff position. He was (at the time) pastoring a sick, anemic church. It was in trouble when he arrived and would probably be in trouble when he left, but he was concerned that if he departed in the midst of the battle, he might be perceived as a “quitter.” I liked his attitude and understood his predicament because I had been there myself. At what point do you say, “It is time to retreat, regroup, and retool?” If it is time to go, how can you know that you have done all you can?
Soldiers for Christ must simply remember what God has done for them, recall the wonderful works that He has shown them, and stay at their post until their Supreme Commander says, “Move.” Even if you know it is time to go, back away, eyes front, “bow” in hand, arrow nocked. Never take your eyes off of the real battle, which is God’s truth vs. the Devil’s lies. The “field” of conflict may change, but the fight will continue until the return of the King.
We are always in the forge, or on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things. – Henry Ward Beecher