David's Men: The Toughest Lineup Ever AssembledJuly 30, 2014
By Joe Smith
Have you ever lined up for a faceoff and realized that you were in for a tough shift? Whether through past experiences or through word of mouth you knew that your opponents were tough as nails. You needed to tighten your chin strap before the ref dropped the puck because you knew it was going to be a long night! I don’t mean guys with anger issues who would selfishly punch you in the head for no reason. I’m talking about players who would do anything and everything for the team. They finish every check, make every attempt to block a shot, and don’t shy away from confrontation. Guys who were tough, but not stupid. Players every team loves to have.
King David assembled a group the Bible calls his “Mighty Warriors”. These guys all possessed the same qualities that David had: Toughness! This should come as no surprise considering these were David’s draft picks.
There were five men who receive special recognition and this is the lineup I want to focus on. The first guy is Josheb-Basshebeth. Not just a great name, he is credited with killing 800 men in one confrontation (2 Samuel 23:8). You read correctly; 800! The next guy was Eleazer. He was facing off against the Philistines when his army decided to bolt. Everyone ran from the Philistines except Eleazer. The Israelites must have felt guilty and later returned, but the Bible says it was only to “strip the dead” (23:10). Eleazer had killed so many that the Philistines retreated. The third warrior was Shammah. The Philistines again met up with the Israelites, but this time in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, but Shammah refused (He must have been crazy about lentils). He, like Eleazer, also struck down the Philistines himself (23:11, 12). Two other warriors are singled out apart from these three. Abishai is said to have been the commander of these three soldiers and he killed 300 men with a spear in a single meeting (23:18, 19). The fifth was Benaiah who would later be David’s bodyguard. He killed two of Moab’s greatest fighters. He went into a pit with a lion and came out the victor, and also went after a giant Egyptian soldier, wrestled the spear from him and killed him with it (23:20, 21).
Now, what is the point of me telling you this other than the fact that they are really cool events in History? My point is that we can learn something about trust and courage in our own lives through these men. These men may seem reckless, but they were so confident in the Lord’s plan that they were willing to do anything and everything they were asked. God doesn’t call us to be reckless. He calls us to be courageous and faithful to His promises no matter what dangers may await. He wants us to be spiritually tough. Maybe the danger is a drop in popularity, misunderstanding from friends or angry responses from society. It’s not about lentils and lions and body counts. It’s about trusting through adverse circumstances and still playing hard “every shift.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).