Sunday, June 03, 2007

David's Mighty Men

1 Chronicles 11 described the mighty men that gathered around King David. So verse ten begins, “Now these are the chiefs of David’s mighty men, who gave him strong support in his kingdom, together with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the Lord concerning Israel.” This is a fascinating introduction on several levels:

(1) It marks out that being a “mighty man” was worthy of documentation. There was something honorable in the old world mind about being a “mighty man.” In a culture continually encouraging men to be “sensitive” and more feminine, it is a breath of fresh air to read this testosterone filled passage. Mightiness was a quality to be applauded and appreciated, and even documented to pass on that individual’s legacy.

(2) It marks out what a mighty man is. Mighty men “gave…strong support.” These men had a goal to help King David and they gave him all the support they could muster. There is no half-hearted effort involved, but mighty men give mighty support. Furthermore, to be a “mighty man” in any biblical sense of the word is to be concerned about the “Word of the Lord.” These men were not out to make David king merely because he wanted to be king. They saw in it the fulfillment of the Word of the Lord. They gave David strong support because they saw in it that they were giving God strong support. They were giving all their effort to see accomplished what they knew the almighty sovereign was going to do. Mighty men are men of God!

(3) It marks out why mighty men are needed. David’s kingship was a promise from God and was, therefore, guaranteed. There was nothing in the universe that could stay God’s plan from coming to fruition. He is the sovereign ruler and controls all and works out, with perfect precision, His eternal plan. Yet David knew too that God worked through means. That is to say that God’s will to make David king would not happen by David’s sitting on his hands. He would have to gather support and claim the throne, and to that end he would need “strong support” from “mighty men.” Mighty men serve God by serving others, and they are needed because God uses the community of the faithful to bring about His eternally purposed plans. Mighty men are needed to help one another accomplish the tasks God has ordained they do.

There is, in verse 11, the fascinating description of one particular “mighty man” of David’s entourage. Jashobeam was a MIGHTY man, as mighty as they come. The author of 1 Chronicles gives the following remarkable account of Jahsobeam’s might: This is an account of David’s mighty men: Jashobeam, a Hachmonite, was chief of the three. He wielded his spear against 300 whom he killed at one time.

Whoa! The man was a warrior! He killed 300 men with a spear, at one time! There is something right, honorable, and manly about this description. I do not mean to sound as though I am encouraging us to go out and kill 300 men with a spear, nor do I suppose any man today could do it. And, of course, murder is wrong, God himself says so. But there is something right about a man being mighty. There is something right about a man being a defender of his home, his country, his church (in whatever form that takes). We need men today who will rise up and be warriors! And raise up young warriors in their homes! NOT murderers, or violent crusaders for Christ, or something ridiculous like that. But men who understand what it means to be “manly!” Men who aren’t afraid to be tough, and hard, and who boldly resist the feminization of our culture and our manhood! We need men who will work hard for their families, lead them spiritually to see the fulfillment of the “Word of the Lord,” and yes even men who are strong enough to grapple with evil (physical and spiritual). What we need today is a recovery of “Mighty MEN!”

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