Did you see me? I was the guy wearing the Houston Oiler jersey at the Astrodome with thousands of fans, holding a “Luv Ya Blue” sign and singing:
“Look out football, here we come, Houston Oilers, number one. Houston has the Oilers, the greatest football team. We take the ball from goal to goal like no one's ever seen.”
Can you feel the thrill, the surge of excitement, the overwhelming sense that we can beat any team in the NFL? That PEP rally song was used to inspire the team and pump up the crowd. It worked, occasionally, but not enough.
Since ancient times, armies have used the war whoop to arouse their army to victory, and to frighten the enemy. The Greek troops would yell, “Eleleu,” while hitting their shields with their swords. The Roman army would shout “Barritus” to calm their own fears and frighten the enemy. During World War II, the Japanese Army would scream “Tenno Heika Banzai” as they pursued their enemy. On D-Day, our heroic paratroopers of 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment screeched “Currahee” as they jumped out of the airplanes. The brave soldiers of our United States Marine Corps started shrieking the attack word “Oorah” back in the Viet Nam war.
During the America Revolution of 1776, our valiant Continental Army could often be heard shouting, “No taxation without representation,” and “Give me liberty of give me death!” Amazingly, another call to arms among the colonists was, “We have no king but Jesus.” This was a phrase that started in the churches, and spilled into the streets and battlefields.
In early Texas history, there were several war cries that rallied the troops. When the Mexican army confronted the settlers at Gonzales and demanded their only canon, the Texans defied them and yelled, “Come and take it.” After the massacres at the Alamo and Goliad, the troops in the Battle of San Jacinto yelled “Remember Goliad,” and “Remember the Alamo,” as they decimated Santa Anna and the Mexican army.
The battle cry has been defined as a word or phrase that is shouted by armed forces as they march into battle. Whatever they say, and however they express it, is meant to show solidarity as a group, and to intimidate the enemy. Armies, sports teams, and even politicians have used a rally cry to awaken and arouse their supporters. This last presidential election introduced unimaginable war whoops among the voters.
In the Bible, the use of the war cry was used quite often. In Judges 7, the Lord instructed Gideon to take 300 men and to attack the enemy. Verse 20 says, “The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, 'A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!'”
Isaiah 42:13 NLT says, “The LORD will march forth like a mighty hero; He will come out like a warrior, full of fury. He will shout His battle cry and crush all His enemies.” And what are some of the battle cries from the Scriptures we should remember? Here are a few:
God said, “Remember My Covenant” – Genesis 9:15
God told Israel, “Remember that you were a slave” - Deuteronomy 5:15
“Remember your Creator” – Ecclesiastes 12:6
“Remember Lot’s wife” – Luke 17:32
Paul said, “Remember my chains!” - Colossians 4:18
The bottom line is, the church of Christ needs to be awakened and mobilized for battle. Some say that the Church is supposed to be a peaceful flock of sheep – nonsense, balderdash! We are called to battle. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus clearly teaches that the devil is hunkered down behind the gates of Hell. He has captured many innocent souls, and has deceived them with his lies. Satan is frightened because he knows that there is only one force that can break down his gates, destroy his kingdom, and set the captives free. That force is the Holy Spirit inspired Church of Jesus Christ!
Our battle cry for 2017 was voiced by Jesus to Saul on the road to Damascus, “Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Acts 26:16–18 NIV
That’s it – GO!