We are introduced to David’s mighty men. The men who stood beside him through thick and thin. The ones who fought beside him night and day.
David had a core group that was closer to him than the rest. Within that core group was an even more special group. They were the cream of the crop. The top three men of all David’s men. Their names were Jashobeam, Eleazar, and Shammah. We don’t see Shammah’s name given here but 2 Samuel 23 tells us of his deeds. Interesting how Eleazar got credit for his own works and those of Shammah from our current author. 2 Samuel 23 tells us that it was Shammah who stood his ground in the field. Maybe it was two different fields. One was of barley and the other lentils.
These men would do anything for David they even risked their lives just to fulfill a wistful thought David voiced. Can you imagine if someone was so dedicated to you that even a seemingly impossible wish would become their absolute duty to fulfill? They thought nothing of their lives as they moved through the Philistines. They were determined to bring David what he longed for. They were also David’s BEST warriors so they probably had no doubt they could complete the task. Confidence in their ability and in their God.
David had more than just these three. He had 30 men who were the best of the best. We learn of a few others who also showed distinction but they didn’t rise above his prized three. I have a feeling the ‘water incident’ cemented their fame as a group.
David’s 30 mighty men stood with him in every way. They fought by his side. They followed his direction without question. They managed the people below themselves for David and according to his directions. They honored David’s God and served as His hands on earth more than a few times. And they cared for him when he was weary. His life meant more to them than their own.
Most, if not all, of these men were with him as he hid from Saul. Some joined him in the early days and some joined later but they ALL served him faithfully from the day they set foot in his camp until death. These 30 did NOT change allegiances or desert David. I have a feeling that if David had told Uriah the Hittite that he wanted his wife, Uriah would have surrendered her to David. His men where that committed to him.
Only once in all the stories of David and his men do we hear of them threatening to turn against him. This out of character event takes place when he and his men return to Ziklag and find their families gone. There was such despair in the camp that everyone was ready to throw in the towel. They were ready to blame David for their troubles. David turned the tide by calling on the Lord for direction. God’s assurance that they would recover their families gave them hope again and they were ready to fight on. And for their loyalty, God names each of them for us.
While I was thinking about what we could take from today’s reading I was reminded that Jesus had a core group and a core of the core group. Many people followed Jesus when He traveled. But he had twelve men He called by name to be His disciples. And among those disciples He had three that seemed to go with Him more than any of the others. Peter, James and John were Jesus’ closest friends. They stood on the mountain where He was transfigured. They were the first three He called to follow Him. They were the only ones allowed with Him when He healed Jairus’ daughter. There were probably other times these three were singled out but they are not coming to my mind right now.
I have no doubt that there will be stories told of Jesus’ three and David’s three in Heaven. The disciples will all be given special places. David’s 30 will be honored but not as much as the disciples. But ALL those who choose to give their lives to Jesus, God’s Son, will be named in Heaven in the Book of Life. I don’t have to be the BEST of the Best for Him to know my name. I don’t have to stand head and shoulders above the crowd for me to matter to Him. All I have to be is HIS child. All I have to do is live my life the best I can for Him.
The 27 who didn’t make the ‘big three’ were just as valuable to David. Those who served under those 30 were also valuable to David. He needed every hand and heart who would be faithful. The nine who didn’t make Jesus’ special three were critical to Him. Those outside His twelve were also crucial. Imagine if Nicodemus and Joseph didn’t feel valued and decided to stay home instead.
Jesus wants and needs EACH of us. We ALL have a role to play in His Kingdom. We may never be the one standing alone on the field of battle and slaying EVERYONE within reach but we each have a place to be used by Him. Funny thing is, David’s mighty men didn’t stand alone either. The Spirit of the Lord covered them and worked through them. Imagine how different the story would have been if they had said no to His presence. They were only extraordinarily successful because they were COMPLETELY available. Who knows what wonders God can do through each of us when we surrender COMPLETELY to Him!
Father God, I have NO IDEA what You have planned for my future. Whatever it is, I want to be open to Your Spirit. I want to yield myself to Your will. I want my desires to line up with Yours at all times. I know I’m not at that place yet in my walk. I find myself struggling with yielding to You in some areas of my life. I have sins I still fall into. I KNOW You won’t give up on me and I pray once again that I will submit myself to Your hands. Have Your way in my life Lord. Mold me, Your clay, to be the beautiful vessel You desire me to be. Write Your name on me. THANK YOU for writing my name in Your book.