Few leaders attract our attention as much as King David’s story. David’s story, however, was not his own. When God raises up a man or woman to do his work, he surrounds them with many men and women whose stories are just as fascinating, though lesser known. David’s story is told in four books in the Bible, with the addition of many psalms. His mighty men had one chapter. Yet David would not have succeeded without them.
In David’s case, these “behind-the-scenes” leaders were known as “David’s mighty men.” That’s how God chose to describe them in the Bible. As you read 2 Samuel 23, you discover they were mighty in courage and faith, anointed by the power of God. Their stories capture your imagination.
- Adino was outnumbered in battle 800 to 1. He won.
- Eleazar slaughtered such numbers that his hand cramped so much that his muscles froze up on his sword. He walked away victorious while others stripped the slain.
- Shammah stood against the enemy by himself in a field of lentils. He was the only one left on the field—by the way, he saved the plot of lentils and Israel.
- Three warriors broke through a complete Philistine garrison in order to get a drink of fresh water from Bethlehem for David. David couldn’t drink it because it was too sanctified by their courage.
- Ira the Tekoite adopted himself to David’s troops and became known far and wide, even though he was a foreigner.
- Beniah struck down an Egyptian giant—not as tall as Goliath, but a mammoth of a man. Beniah had only a club, but laid the Egyptian out.
They all came to David in the wilderness. Some were persecuted by Saul’s government. Others were in debt. More were just distressed and disappointed by what life had for them. But they all had one thing in common. David was their last hope and they loved him. With time, they became like him. They were willing to risk and sacrifice. Their story became David’s story because David’s God became their God.
When Christ raises up a man or woman to start a work of God, he surrounds him with many men and women whose stories are just as important to the vision and work as the first person’s story. Call them whatever you want. Volunteers. Servants. Helpers. Their faith captures hearts of other people for Christ. God uses every one of them. By the way, you’re on the list if you’re serving somewhere. Though we can’t tell all the stories of our Calvary family in one devotional, you’re on God’s list of significance.
If you know yourself as I know myself, you wonder, “How do we become one of these mighty men and women?” If we’re not careful, we will believe that we must pull up our bootstraps and just do it. Doesn’t work that way, right? It is only as we, like David, trust the Lord Christ and live from love for him and the gospel that our heart steps into places of service as mighty men and women. Since Christ works that way, no one is left out. You, too, can be a mighty man or woman. You, too, have a story that is crucial for the work and vision of Calvary Church. Trust the Lord Christ and live from love for him and the gospel this week.