EXPOSITION: The soldiers in battle do not fight for themselves but for a kingdom, and the desire is to return home in one piece. This is the driving force of the individual soldier. The army stands as one body but it is made up of individuals. Thus, apart from the collective responsibilities, the individual has roles to play. These include, readiness for battle in terms of fitness, preparedness for role play, personal development and commitment to the cause of the army. When the battle against Israel became fierce, Joab, the commander of the army of Israel counted on the individuals who were best fit for specific tasks and assigned special roles to them. In doing this, he was performing an individual mandate himself. It takes individual responsibilities as members of a squad to achieve the overarching mission of the army of God.
Taking up individual responsibilities is key in ensuring the collective victory of a squad. Joab knew this and tasked the best individuals in Israel’s army to face Syria. The others were positioned under Abishai and given responsibility to fight Ammon. Joab tasked Abishai not only to do battle but also to look out for Joab’s safety as he faced the other enemy. He asked Abishai to come to their aid if they encountered trouble and pledged to support Abishai’s troop if they also needed help. This shows collaborative efforts even as individuals attend to their own responsibilities.
The spirit of working together shows individuals’ commitment to the group instead of pursuing their selfish interests. The individuals were given specific responsibilities because in doing so they would be fighting not for themselves but the people of God and His Kingdom. There are many individual responsibilities we can take up in our Assemblies such as, Follow-up activities, joining the Prayer Warriors, being part of Friends of Missions, Ushering and Protocol assignments, volunteering for Community Development, Adult Education facilitation, among others. We must set time to undertake the individual responsibilities, and be determined and committed to achieving them.