An interesting word caught my attention today as I was reading about Jehoshaphat in the Old Testament–-volunteer. Jehoshaphat was a direct descendant of King David and Judah’s third king after Israel and Judah divided. He led Judah to follow God during a time when kings were not wholeheartedly committed to Yahweh.
In 2 Chronicles 17:16, the chronicler was listing off the leaders of the regiments of experienced soldiers defending Jerusalem under Jehoshaphat, and this notation pops up: Amasiah son of Zichri, who volunteered himself for the service of the Lord, and with him 200,000 courageous men. Five commanders are listed in service to King Jehoshaphat, but only Amasiah is noted as a volunteer for God. Were the other military leaders recruited? Paid? Why this special representation of Amasiah?
Intrigued, I read other scriptures about volunteers. After nine years of cruel oppression by the Canaanites, the Israelites cried out to God and he sent them Deborah, a prophetess, to lead Israel to fight for freedom (see Judges 4). In Judges 5 after a great victory, Deborah and Barak sang a song of praise:
“When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves—praise the Lord!... My heart is with Israel’s princes, with the willing volunteers among the people, Praise the Lord!” (v. 4 and 9, NIV).
The Message translation says in verse 4, “The people volunteered with abandon, bless God!” It was the volunteers who made the difference in winning freedom for the Israelites from oppression. Other scriptures speak of leaders and people giving freely and wholeheartedly to God (1 Chronicles 29:9; 2 Corinthians 9).
I immediately thought of you, a volunteer among the people for the service of the Lord. The volunteers in Deborah’s day helped bring freedom from oppression. Amasiah led his regiment to protect Jerusalem and the king. These volunteers made all the difference in their day. That’s exactly what you’re doing—giving yourself to the service of the Lord and making a difference in nursing!
Thank you for giving freely and wholeheartedly to God to
- lead your NCF group
- support students
- donate to fund this ministry
- author articles for JCN
- serve as a peer reviewer, and more.
You’re leading students and nurses to know Jesus. You’re counted among God’s amazing volunteers.
Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN, is National NCF Director.