In 2 Samuel 23:8-38 there is an interesting list of people that I am sure most of us have ever heard of. It is a list of the 37 of King David's mightiest men. It talks about some of the glorious battles they fought and the enemies they killed while many times outnumber 100 to 1. When I first read this passage I was wondering why it would be included. Most of these men are not named anywhere else in scripture. However, every word we find in scripture has a purpose and even this list provides us an important understanding of how God works in the lives of His people. Of the thirty-seven there are three that stood out above the rest and we read about them;
8 These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite; he was chief of the three. He wielded his spear against eight hundred whom he killed at one time. 9 And next to him among the three mighty men was Eleazar the son of Dodo, son of Ahohi. He was with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel withdrew. 10 He rose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clung to the sword. And the Lord brought about a great victory that day, and the men returned after him only to strip the slain. 11 And next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines gathered together at Lehi, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the men fled from the Philistines. 12 But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, and the Lord worked a great victory.
2 Samuel 23:8-12 (ESV)
When we look at these passages we see three stories of valorous men standing against great odds and overcoming what made others run in terror. They stood their ground and fought on but if you notice into two of the accounts we read these words; "and the Lord brought a great victory". How often do we fail to recognize that the battles we fight our not won because of what we do but because God has equipped us to fight them and has stood by us bringing us the victory. Too often we fail to recognize that simple truth. We want to claim the glory for things we have accomplished; however, in reality we have no control over it sometimes we just have to hang on to the sword; take a stand were we are and fight till we have no strength left. David understood this from his youth; it is recorded in 1 Samuel 17:47,
47 and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hand." (ESV)
I have to ask do we recognize this to be the case in our lives. This morning I have to say I have missed it myself on many occasions and have allowed worry about things beyond my control to cause fear to hold me back. This morning though I have a renewed understanding about who I am and who God is and I know that no matter the situation He goes before me and He has plans to bring a great victory out of the struggle I face. I want to assure you He can and will do it for you if you will make the choice to trust Him. I pray you have a truly blessed day as you walk in the Light of God's Word.
Rev. Brian H. Mathis CSC
Ordained Minister Church of God, Cleveland TN
Currently serving as the Associate Pastor of Discipleship at Westminster Baptist Church
Graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary MDiv in Chaplain Studies