Davidís Mighty Men

 

We all know what it is like to have friends we can count on.Men or women by our sides that help us get through the bad times and the good.The life story of David king of Israel allows us some insight into how God seeks to shape all people for community.David was quoted in the bible as being a man after Godís own heart.We have heard the expression ďthe sure mercies of David.ĒDavid was highly favored of God.He wrote most of the psalms and was a huge achiever in Old Testament times.

 

David is best known for his role in defeating Goliath the Philistine from Gath.

 

1 Samuel 17: 48-49

 

And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.

 

David defeated the Philistine but before this day the Philistine taunted the army of Israel for forty days straight.Goliath boasted toward the army of Israel that if any Israelite man defeated him, then the Philistines would become the servants of Israel, but if Goliath defeated any man from Israel then the Israelites would become the servants of the Philistines.This challenge crushed Israelís confidence because every man in Israel was afraid to fight Goliath.When David showed up on the 40th day and heard Goliath boasting in himself and deifying Israelís God, he fought and defeated the Philistine.This victory gave the army of Israel great confidence and when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they lost all their courage and Israel went on to defeat the Philistines.

 

Davidís faithful victory over Goliath brought the entire army victory and inspired the men of Israel to believe God for impossible victories.Davidís victory over Goliath began to create Davidís Mighty Men (2 Samuel 23:8, 1 Samuel 22:2).

 

I want to quickly explain who Davidís mighty men were.Davidís mighty men were a special band of soldiers directly under Davidís authority.Many of the mighty men were with David in the wilderness while King Saul was hunting him.These men had a special kinship with David.They were with him during the bad times and the good; while David was a king over all Israel, and while he was desperately running for his life.David and his mighty men not only stood for the same causes, but also endured some of the same afflictions (1 Samuel 22:2).This bonded the men together and gave them a mutual respect for one another.But I want to show that before the mighty men would completely (1 Samuel 30:6) come under the authority of David, God still had a certain witness to create within David.

 

Even though David killed Goliath thus giving the Israelites confidence in the supernatural, God still had to create within David the Spirit of encouragement.

 

1 Samuel 30:3-6

 

So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.And Davidís two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

 

This statement doesnít sound like much but it was.David had a long tough road from the battlefield of Elah, where he defeated Goliath, to where he was now.He was hiding from the current king of Israel (Saul) who wanted him dead.Everyday (between 7 to 10 years) David had to remind himself of Godís faithfulness and that God would remain true to His promise to set him King over the Land (1 Samuel 16:1-13).It was within this situation, and many like it, that God was able to create within David the Spirit that would eventually encourage others.This same Spirit of encouragement within David, forged through tests and trials over seven to ten years, eventually created Davidís mighty men.††††††

 

2 Samuel 23: 8,18-21

 

These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one timeÖAnd Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief among three.And he lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among the three.Was he not most honorable of three? Therefore he was their captain: howbeit he attained not unto the first three.And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow:And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in hid hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptianís hand, and slew him with his own spear.††

 

As you can see the mighty men were quite mighty.What I have referenced is just a small portion of some of their accomplishments.What I am trying to show is that Davidís mighty men would eventually win victories even greater than Davidís.David was a leader and encourager.David was Godís vessel to encourage and help people to believe in Godís victories.All of the victories listed above were Godís victories.Davidís Mighty men won huge victories because their leader David helped them believe (through the witness of his life) that God would be with them.Once David defeated Goliath and subsequently became an encourager, he opened doors for all those behind him to experience incredible faith.Faith so incredible that it surpassed even his own because Davidís gifts were to lead and to encourage whereas the mighty menís gifts were to believe and fight.†††

 

2 Samuel 21: 15-22

 

Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines: and David waxed faint.And Ishbibenob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David.But Abishai the son of Zeuiah succored him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him.Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel.And it came to pass after this, that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob: then Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Saph, which was one of the sons of the giant.And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaverís beam.And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he was also born to the giant.And when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimeah the brother of David slew him.These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

 

Here again is an example of not only how Davidís mighty men preformed, but also how they killed all the other Giants of Gath.It is almost poetic how David at first defeated Goliath and then, later on down the line, all his mighty men succeeded in killing the other giants including Goliathís brothers.Almost a foreshadowing of how Davidís victory brought about these victories.It is also interesting to note that at the end of the chapter it says that these four fell by the hand of David, and by the hands of his servants.If you reread the text David almost lost his life and it was the four servants who killed the giants; David didnít kill anyone.But God, through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, gives David credit first, and then gives credit to his servants.Why?†† Because it was Davidís initial victory over Goliath and consequential encouragement that made the other victories possible.Without Davidís first victory over Goliath, including his trials of faith, these four servants would have never even been in the position to defeat these giants.God once again honors His man (1 Samuel 2:30).

 

There is a point to this interpretation.The point is we all have gifts from God (1 Corinthians 7:7).David brought incredible victories but his mighty men brought even more incredible victories than David ever did.We as brothers and sisters in Christ need to remember that we all have gifts but that others come alive through our gifts and encouragement.One of Davidís various gifts was to encourage the men under him to believe and fight.When he used his gift under the guidance of the Holy Spirit then the mighty menís gifts came alive.Before David defeated Goliath no one had the faith to stand up against the Giants.But after David displayed his faith and believed God the soldiers under him rose up and through Davidís spiritual encouragement believed God for incredible victories as well.When we in the Body of Christ use our gifts to encourage and strengthen others then their gifts will come alive and the results will be life saving, perhaps even our own, as was the case with David (2 Samuel 21:15-17).But in order to do this we need to put others before ourselves.

 

Let me ask you a straight forward question.Do you want to use your gifts to help other peopleís gifts come alive, even if the end result is they will eventually surpass you?Let me ask you a question, do you truly have the Spirit of Christ?

 

John 14:12

 

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.†††

 

Donít you know that it was Jesusí desire that we do greater things then He ever did?Donít you understand that we will bring Him much glory by staying true to his word and by doing the things He desired of us?If Jesus desired us to do greater things than He did because He went to His Father then I say letís do them.Jesus is gone from the earth, but if He were here I bet He would be doing great things.He needed to go to His Father and in His place He expects you and me to do greater things then He ever did.This is the Spirit Christ had, others before HimselfÖ Always.This is the kind of Spirit that God honors and this was Jesusí desire for us. This is the Spirit of Christ, to hope for and to expect others to do greater things then you will ever do, for His glory of course.If you have this same spirit then God will use your gifts to ignite others and when they are lit, they will probably go farther then you.As long as God the Father sees the Spirit of his Son living in you then He will honor you as He did his Son, and even greater.You will do great things, but your hope will be that others do even greater.With this spirit alive the next generation will have the same spirit and desire.They will do great things and expect those after them to do even greater.Instead of the gifts and the power of God diminishing it will be increasing because each person will pray that the person behind them goes even further than they did.Here is an example.

 

One disciple of Christ has on a spiritual scale of 1 to 100 a 97.God asks him.You have done well for yourself.You have a 97.Not bad.Now let me ask you a question.The people behind you.Do you want them to know everything you know or just some of it?The man answers.I want them to be strong Lord, but I have fought so hard and have been so tested.I have never seen anyone suffer as I have.Do me a favor Lord.Show them everything I know but then leave off a little, because I deserve that glory.The Lord says very well.Now the people who will come after you will be a 95.Now 40 years later the Lord asks the 95ís the same question.How strong do you want the others to be behind you?Well Lord, I want them to be strong but I really donít think they deserve to be as strong as me, I mean I have fought really hard and I deserve some prestige.The Lord says very well, they will be 91ís.Do you get the picture?After about 15 generations of this we got people batting in the 50ísand 40ís.Everything is destroyed because we have become so selfish and self absorbed that we want those behind us and around us to be a little less strong than us.Now letís seek true understanding.

 

One Disciple of Christ, who has the Spirit of Christ, has on a spiritual scale of 1 to 100 a 97.The Lord asks him.Hey, you there, you have a 97.Not bad.What about those behind you? What do you have to say about them? The disciple says, well Lord, I have tried to do well for myself.I have understood nothing of myself, neither have I been able to accomplish within myself.Everything I have ever done has come by the assistance of what was not in me.I believe that I am not the reason I am a 97.Lord the others behind me will never be strong in themselves.Lord, they will never accomplish or succeed because they are right, or because of some effort on their own.They will only be strong in you (2 Corinthians 12:10).Lord, I pray you show them what you have shown me.That we are not strong in ourselves, neither do we accomplish because of ourselves.The Lord says, well done. I have done as you have requested.They will receive the same spirit you have received and consequently learn the same lessons you learned and as a result, they will become 99ís.The Disciple says Thank You Lord.This makes me proud to have served you.Now that others have grown from my mistakes and have learned to overcome with the same spirit that you have blessed me with, I am ready to die content and satisfied.The Lord blesses the man and takes him home.40 years later the Lord asks the 99ís, hey you there.You became 99ís.Not bad.Not bad at all.This is worthy.This is truly worthy.Now let me ask you a question.Those behind you?What do you have to say about them?The 99ís say, Lord.Those behind us are truly important.Lord it is necessary they learn from our every mistake.Lord we together ask that you show them our mistakes, even the ones that we have not confessed because of our pride (Psalm 19:12, Romans 8:26).Lord we want them to achieve and grow in you so please Lord, we ask that you give them the knowledge to achieve and to grow inside your truth.The Lord relents and says.Well done.You have spoken very boldly.I will do as you requested.And since you were honest about your past and you had a desire to lift these people even above yourselves, then they will do it, they will become 101ís.They will even surpass my Son by the exploits they will do.Then the Disciples cry out to God and say.Lord we are not worthy.Thank you for teaching us to want others to do greater things than we ever did.Lord we thank you for this knowledge.The Lord responds.You indeed have the spirit of my Son formed in you.I am proud to call you my Sons, for you stood in the gap, and you desired others and preferred others before yourselves.

Just to strengthen the validity of this interpretation, please consider what Benaiah the son of Jehoiada said to David on the day that David lifted up his son Solomon to be the next king:

 

1 Kings 1:36-37,

 

And Behaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: The Lord God of my lord the king say so too.As the Lord hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David.

 

Can you see what happened?Behaiah is one of Davidís mighty men (2 Samuel 23:8,20-21).This statement perfectly illustrates how Davidís witness led to the Spirit of Christ being formed within Behaiah.Look at how he upholds Solomon and Godís purposes rather than Davidís pride.He truly understands what is important!!And look, a few verses later even the king himself bears witness to what Behaiah says, as do all of Davidís servants when they repeat the words of Behaiah son of Jehoiada:

 

1 Kings 1:47

 

And moreover the kingís servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better then thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne.And the king bowed himself upon the bed.

 

All of this took place right before Davidís death.This was like the icing on the cake for David.David got to see the spirit he had fought for come alive within all the servants which stood around him, and they meant it.These men understood what it meant to sacrifice and they learned what it meant to desire others to achieve beyond themselves.They had been with David in the trenches, and because of this they supported the Spirit David fought for, not David himself.

 

Do you desire to have this Spirit within you?If the Spirit of Christ is formed in you then it does not matter what your specific gifts are.The Spirit of Christ within you will long to want others to achieve.When they do achieve that same spirit passed down from you will eventually become strong in them.This process will trickle down throughout the generations.Eventually we will have people going so far and so fast and it all started with the same overall spirit.The Spirit of Christ.The Spirit of Christ in the first person is the same as the Spirit of Christ in the last person, only the last shall be first and the first shall be last (Matthew 20:16).††††††††††††††††††