Every time I read about David and his Mighty Men, my heart is stirred. I love meditating on the kind of loyalty, bravery, and courage of these men. I am so challenged by their commitment to God, the kingdom, and one another. At times in the ministry, I feel like I am in the thick of battle, swinging my sword, seeing people attacked on every side, and needing the power of God to help us get the victory. Today, I wanted to study the characteristics of these mighty men from 1 Chronicles 11. Notice with me, the might men…
- Were committed to a worthy leader (11:1-3). After Saul died, all of Israel gathered themselves together unto David. David had already been doing the work of a leader and man of character long before he was given the position. David was prepared in obscurity.
Many times we plan to act like a leader once we are given the responsibility of a leader. The opposite should actually be true. We should be given responsibility and leadership because we are already worthy of the position. We should begin to prove our ministry now. We should prepare and perhaps our chance will come as Abraham Lincoln said.
David had already proven himself to be diligent, a good follower, loyal, committed to Christ, able to encourage himself in tough times, content, humble, brave, and a man of faith. 1 Chronicles 11:10 says, “the mighty men whom David had”. They were David’s mighty men because he was a leader that men knew was worthy to be followed.
- Were committed to a caring leader (11:2).The mighty men followed David not only because he was brave and had the head of Goliath in his hand (1 Sam 17:54), but also because He was a man of compassion and love. The Bible says that the men who came to him were in distress, in debt, and discontented (1 Sam 22:2). David welcome these men and turned them into a mighty fighting force.
David was not a bully. He led Israel out and in according to 1 Chronicles 11:2. He led by example. He would feed the people and take care of them. The men followed David because he was a leader who helped rather than used people. He gave and did not take. The men would follow him to the ends of the earth because they knew he loved them and would help them in whatever way he could.
- Loved a bit of friendly competition (11:6).David set a challenge before them to see who could smite the Jebusites. Joab did and became the chief. There is nothing wrong with provoking one another to love and good works, provoking others to jealousy, and a spirit of friendly competition. It keeps us sharp and keen in our fight. We just have to make sure it does not become carnal competition motivated by pride and selfishness.
- Were all leaders in their own right (11:10).These men were not “yes men”. They were all chiefs. That means they led other men.
Just because you are following someone else does not make you a weakling. Sometimes, people think that a true leader never follows anyone. On the contrary, good followship qualifies us for good leadership. When a person applies for leadership, it is important to find out if they have first learned to follow. David followed Saul (a very difficult, inconsistent, and mean leader) for probably over ten years before he became leader. The lessons he learned under Saul no doubt helped him immensely as a leader.
So these mighty men learned to follow and to lead. They did not have to be pampered or babied; they showed initiative and diligence. They were self-starters, and others followed them.
- Were courageous (11:11).Jashobeam lifted up his spear against three hundred men at one time! Abishai also killed 300 with his spear at one time (11:20). Benaiah killed two lionlike men of Moab (11:22). He also saw a lion in a pit on a snowy day and jumped down and killed him (11:22). Benaiah also killed an Egyptian who was nearly 8 feet tall and had a spear like a weaver’s beam. He went up to the Egyptian and took his spear and then killed him with his own spear. That is courage! Benaiah was a brave man, yet the Bible says he was nothing like the first three who were braver than him (11:25).
They were not afraid of being out-numbered. They had guts. They had the power of God. The did not quake at adversity and trouble. They faced it head on!
- Were dependent on God (11:14).They were fighting against the Philistines. The people fled, but David and Eleazar “set themselves in the midst of that parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines.” I am not sure if they got back-to-back and began to fight their way out or what, but they were doing some serious fighting. The verse does not stop there; it says, “the Lord saved them by a great deliverance.”
They were not Rambos going it alone in their own strength. They were dependent upon the power and strength of God to win the battle. Being a mighty man means our might and power comes from God not our own arrogance, experience, or strength.
- Were extremely loyal (11:15-19).David and his men were holed up in a fort. The Philistines were surrounding Bethlehem. David mentioned in passing that he wished he could have a drink of water from Bethlehem. Three mighty men heard it and broke through a garrison of Philistines and brought back a drink of water for David. The loved David and would do anything for him; and David loved them and would do anything for them.
That is the kind of loyalty they had. No one talked bad about the other men. Their was fierce loyalty. Uriah the Hittel in verse 41 would not even go home to his wife while his fellow-soldiers were in the battlefield! (2 Samuel 11:11)
Well, I kinda got carried away in my excitement of studying this passage and wrote a long post, but I hope that you and I will become Jesus’ mighty men and go out and fight valiantly for Him! I am so thankful for the band of mighty men that I am privileged to serve with, and I want to be a mighty man for God.