Leave No Man Behind

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 1Samuel 30-31; Luke 13:23-35


When the Israelites across the valley and across the Jordan learned that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their towns and fled. So the Philistines came and occupied the towns.

The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons lying dead on Mount Gilboa. They cut off Saul’s head and stripped off his armor, and then sent word throughout Philistine territory, carrying the good news to their gods’ temples and to their people. 10 They put Saul’s armor in the temple of Astarte, and hung his body on the wall of Beth-shan.

11 But when all the people of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 the bravest of their men set out, traveled all night long, and took the bodies of Saul and his sons off the wall of Beth-shan. Then they went back to Jabesh, where they burned them. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days (1 Samuel 31:7-13, Common English Bible).

In truth, I have no idea if the Israelites of Saul and David’s era knew concept of “No Man Left Behind). Many of us (I was one until I started researching from this post) believed wrongly that the saying had its origins in the various branches of the US military which in one form or another has held it as part of the policy (a part that, historically we haven’t done all that well in keeping over the years). Still the intentions are good. I first heard the saying while in Navy bootcamp. It wasn’t said for the Navy as a whole. I think everyone on a ship understood that if a ship goes down there is a pretty good chance we are going to leave some sailors behind no matter how valient the efforts to save them might be. I heard it said  tied to the Navy Seals. Years later, when my oldest son Wayne enlisted in the Marine Corps, I heard it again. It is a big deal for anyone in the militray but it is a huge deal for a Marine. It is also part of the Army and Air Forces’ creed that they will not leave a soldier or airman (respectively) behind. It is also in the DNA of Army Rangers.

In truth the saying probably has its roots a couple of thousand years ago, but could also have been aroun about as long as war has been around. We do know the Romans had a saying, “nemo resideo” or “Leave no one behind.”

What we do know is, when the Israelites heard the dispicable things the Philistines did to their king and his sons, they were not going to leave these men behind. The official mission could easily have been made because of the king and his sons. Still, knowing folks, remembering folks like my great-grandfather who served in World War I, my Uncle Jim who served in World War II, my dad who was in the Navy during the Korean conflict, numberous friends who were in the military during Vietnam and others who have spent more time in the Middle East than they care to recall, I believed the soldiers of Israel would have searched with close to equal determination for the guy fighting next to them as they were for the king and his sons.

Israel’s army of old was determined to not leave their king behind. Many since then have had equal determination to leave no one behind. Most of us do not face the opportunities or the hazards that go with such a promise and determination. We do, however, face the equal responsibility to leave no one behind, in a spiritual sense, when we leave this life. Solider’s, sailors, Marines, and airmen will risk their lives to leave no one behind. Will we risk looking foolish to hopefully leave no one behind for eternity?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,


Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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