April 18 - Nº 108 2 Samuel 23:8-23; 1 Chronicles 11:10-25
Over the years, David assembled an entourage of 30 brave men who formed the elite core of his fighting force. They allowed David to expand his kingdom until he ruled over the entire land that God had shown to Moses (see Deuteronomy 34:1-4). David could not have done this without such dedicated followers. But three of these warriors stood out above all the others. They were the men who inspired the rest of his soldiers. · One of the men personally killed 800 enemy soldiers with his spear in one encounter. His name was Jashobeam. · Another warrior named Eleazar stood his ground and fought the Philistines by himself when the rest of the Israelite army fled. He fought so long and clung to his sword so tightly that when the battle was over, he could not loosen his grip—his hand was stuck to his sword. When the other soldiers finally returned, all that was left for them to do was plunder the dead bodies around their fearless leader. · And then there was Shammah. When the Philistines banded together in a field to face David’s men, the Israelite troops fled from them. But Shammah stayed and fought in the middle of that field, defending Israel’s territory, and killing all the Philistines that tried to attack him. God gave him a great victory that day. These mighty men demonstrated their courage and loyalty in many ways. At one point, before he was crowned Israel’s king, David was forced to seek shelter in a large cave. The Philistines were camped around him in the valley below. These three warriors found David and joined him in the cave. While they were there, David became very thirsty and wistfully mentioned, “Oh how I wish that someone would bring me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” Although Bethlehem was about 13 miles away across enemy territory, the three men secretly left the cave, snuck through enemy lines, and brought David the water he longed for. David was so overwhelmed with their courage and dedication that he wouldn’t drink it. Instead, he poured their gift out as an offering to the Lord. “Lord, there is no way I can drink this,” he prayed. “This is far more than just water. It is the life-blood of men who risked their lives to bring it to me.” There were many other amazing young men who followed David—like Abishai, the brother of Joab, who killed 300 men with his spear. And there was Benaiah, who jumped into a pit on a snowy day to kill a dangerous lion. He also killed the two most feared warriors in Moab. One time he confronted a very large Egyptian man who was carrying a spear. The only weapon Benaiah had was a club. But he was able to snatch the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and kill him with it. David later put him in charge of his bodyguards. All of David’s men loved him and risked their lives to serve him.
If God were to make a list of Mighty Men and Women who are dedicated to Him, would you be one of them? Are you convinced that your relationship with Him is worth fighting for? Are you committed enough to serve Him in whatever way He wants? Are you courageous enough to stand up for your faith when others challenge it?