“Three days later, I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans”Nehemiah 2:11-12
Every frontline branch of the military will have its own Recce sections. The Engineers need highly trained Recce Sergeants to ensure that when the Combat Engineers arrive to build a bridge, the bridge won’t sink; the Artillery need to ensure good ground for guns and ammo dumps; the SF will be able to reconstruct buildings, whole villages and rehearse complex plans to ensure the best outcome and mission success based on good recon.
“The city officials did not know I had been out there or what I was doing, for I had not yet said anything to anyone about my plans. I had not yet spoken to the Jewish leaders—the priests, the nobles, the officials, or anyone else in the administration.”Nehemiah 2:16
In the post, Enemy Tactics, I spoke about the importance of knowing your enemy, as this will help you in your decision making process and in the drawing up of plans. When it comes to specific taskings, more specific intel is required. That’s where the recce patrol comes in, where secrecy and stealth and the cover of darkness is vital – as we defo don’t want our plans discovered. If this all goes well, the information gathered will give you a good chance of success.
In the post Prior Planning and Preparation, we learned that Nehemiah had diligently done his homework and was able to make the most of opportunity when it came. Now, he has arrived in Jerusalem and is reconing the walls before going to the city officials with his plans – at this stage they have no idea why he was there. Armed with good intel, he was then able to persuade them that they should go ahead and rebuild the walls and gates around the city. Having a good situational awareness, before going forward, is a great leadership principle, if you are to succeed.
Around 450 years later, God Himself, does a sort of Recce patrol, when He comes in the flesh, in the person of Jesus, and lives like any other ordinary human being. In this way He has been able to understand exactly what it is like to be a man – He grew up in an ordinary family, with brothers and sisters and had an ordinary trade as a carpenter – He knew what it was to live in a frail human body, and so, He had done His own recon and this has uniquely qualified Him to fulfil and succeed in His ultimate mission.
Before dismissing out of hand the claims that Jesus made: that He is God; that He came in the flesh to rescue us from ourselves and sin; that He paid our debt on the cross and rose again, defeating death, to bring us new life. Do your own reconnaissance work and check Jesus out. Before dismissing God as an angry, egotistical, ogre-god who takes pleasure in, or ignores our suffering – look at Jesus, who in every aspect was the very character and nature of God.
“The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.”Psalm 148:8
Jesus really would have been the most amazing person to spend time with, but, being so perfectly good in a corrupt world:
“He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down… he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him in the sins of us all.”Isaiah 53
Pick up a New Testament and begin reading about Jesus in one of the gospels. You will find in Him a lot of powerful love and compassion; you’ll find the ultimate example of goodness in all He does in the way he treats all sorts of people; you’ll find the ultimate friend in one who was willing to lay down His life for His friends.