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      David's Mighty Men

      "These were the chiefs of David’s mighty men—they, together with all Israel, gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the Lord had promised -  this is the list of David’s mighty men:  Jashobeam, a Hacmonite, was chief of the officers; he raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter.


      Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men.  He was with David at Pas Dammim when the Philistines gathered there for battle. At a place where there was a field full of barley, the troops fled from the Philistines.  But they took their stand in the middle of the field. They defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory...

      At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 


      David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!”


      So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord.  “God forbid that I should do this!” he said. “Should I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives?” Because they risked their lives to bring it back, David would not drink it.


      Such were the exploits of the three mighty men."  1 Chr. 11:10-19, NIV

      These were the chiefs of David’s mighty men—they, together with all Israel, gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the Lord had promised - We often think only of David and his exploits for God.  No man stands alone.  David was supported by mighty men.  Without the support of these men David never would have become king.  I know the Lord moved the hearts of these men in order to fulfill His purpose, but the fact remains that David could not do it alone.  No wise leader - whether he be a government leader, a pastor, a father, or whoever - deliberately or carelessly alienates his supporters.  [I know there are times when a man must stand for what is right and if that costs him followers, so be it.  Politicians would be wiser to seek God's favour rather than man's favour, but it could cost them their careers.]

      Nevertheless, if we are to succeed in what God has given us to do we must learn to operate as a team.  We have to work together.  We have to seek and find God's will and God's leaders and then support them to become the successful men and women God wants them to be.  We may or may not receive credit.  That is not important.  What is important is that the kingdom of God advances on the enemy.

      this is the list of David’s mighty men:  Jashobeam, a Hacmonite, was chief of the officers; he raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter. - Sometimes we are impressed with Hollywood's fictitious "heros."  Here is a real man who went 300 to 1 in hand-to-hand combat and won!  This was not a coward.  He earned his military commission the hard way.  The best leaders are those who know from experience what it is like to face and overcome hardships in their field of endeavour.  Too many leaders today have degrees…and no real experience. 

      Jashobeam knew what it was like to be in the heat of battle.  He knew what it was like to face overwhelming odds and not give ground to the enemy.  As Christians we need to learn to stand firm on the Word of God and not give an inch of ground to the enemy.  Too many Christian are quick to compromise in the face of opposition.  Does the enemy believe in evolution?  They try to force it in the Bible to win acceptance in the eyes of world.  Does the enemy believe sexual perversion is a right?  These compromisers are more than willing to ordain and marry them for unity, of course.  Does the enemy want to slaughter the unborn?  Let's look the other way - our eyes have not seen it as millions of babies are butchered in our own "civilized" countries.  Does the enemy want to provide free indoctrination of our children in the name of education?  Let's give them our children, it is easier than teaching them in the ways of God ourselves.  [And then lets be horrified when they follow the ways of the world!]  Where are the Jashobeams of today?  If you stand your ground on the Word of God, you will be attacked - often from those with the label of "Christian."  But you will never know the power of God until you do.

      Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men.  He was with David at Pas Dammim when the Philistines gathered there for battle. At a place where there was a field full of barley, the troops fled from the Philistines.  But they took their stand in the middle of the field. They defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory. - Eleazar was another mighty man who did not know the meaning of the word "retreat."  The rest of the army caved in and fled before the enemy.  He, David and perhaps a few others stood their ground.  No enemy of God was going to move them.  Notice, they defended a barley field.  Two points:

      One, they were not going to allow the enemy to steal the harvest God had given.  This was their harvest and they were going to defend it with their lives if necessary.  There are things worst than death.  When God has given you something, the enemy may very well try to take it from you.  The enemy may come in like a flood, but God will raise up a standard against him.  Stand your ground.

      Two, standing in the middle of a field with an overwhelming number of enemy troops coming your way is not a good defensive position.  There were no walls to fight behind.  There were no rocky passes to reduce the number of enemies who could attack at one time.  Every side was vulnerable.  Sometimes God leads us into what seems like impossible or unwise situations.  If it was God Who lead us there [and not our own presumption], then the outcome is God's responsibility.  Nothing limits Him.  In fact, the more impossible it looks, the more glory He gets when He wins a victory on our behalf.  But we do have to stand!  God won't give a victory when all the enemy sees is our backs.

      Three of the thirty chiefs came down to David to the rock at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim.  At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. - David did not have all his army with him all the time.  That is not a wise strategy.  When under attack we have to stand and fight sometimes in vulnerable positions like a barley field.  However, if we have our choice, we do not take unnecessary risks.  David was in a stronghold.  He was doing what he could to defend himself even as he was preparing for his next move.  Sometimes we become careless or overconfident.  We are then headed for disaster.  The enemy is powerful and dangerous.  If we step outside the boundaries set by God we will likely be a causality rather than a victor.

      David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” - David knew the water in the well of Bethlehem was cool and refreshing.  In the hot stuffy cave with pressures of war and command weighing on him he looked to where he had been refreshed before.  It was tantalizingly close, but in enemy hands and not worth the risk of battle.  Sometimes in the heat of battle we long for relief.  Everything seems to be going against us and we think back to the "good times" we used to know.  It is fine to have good memories as long as they do not distract us from the business at hand.  God's will is to go forward, not to go back.  There will be times of refreshing ahead, too.  The Valley of the Shadow of Death does not last forever, there is the green pastures and still waters in front of us.

      So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. - These three mighty men were not afraid of anything.  What was the Philistine army compared with pleasing their commander?  Notice that it says they "broke through."  This was not a sneak in and out plan.  They marched straight to the well cutting down any enemy soldiers in the way, got the water, and then fought their way back out.  If our Commander, Jesus Christ, wants something do we make excuses?  Do we look for ways around it?  Or are we part of His force of mighty men who just go and do it?  Do we let fear keep us in the cave or do we go for the water at the well?

      But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord.  “God forbid that I should do this!” he said. “Should I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives?” Because they risked their lives to bring it back, David would not drink it.  Such were the exploits of the three mighty men." - David had been expressing a longing of his heart.  He had not really expected his mighty men to risk their lives for his desire.  So in honour of the men he made a sacrifice of the water.  Leaders [including fathers and mothers who are leaders in their homes] have to be careful of what they say and do.  Often their words and actions carry more weight with their followers than they realize.  They need to have restraint and think before they talk or act.  Their influence can greatly affect the lives of those under them for good or evil.  How many children have grown into adults thinking they were worthless or "bad" because they is what they heard from their parents - even if their parents were joking? 

      So be a mighty man or woman of God.  Walk in obedience and do not fear the odds.  You and God are the majority!

      SBI!
           

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