Read 2 Samuel 23-24
Our last two chapters in 2 Samuel concluded David’s saga from shepherd to King. What a life! I love that time is spent not only saying David had a list of might men but we get to see their names (v8-39). If I could highlight one specific name, seeing Uriah the Hittite (v39) honoured is provocative. On one hand, it is creditable to David not to bury his shameful action to kill Uriah so that he could marry Bathsheba; while on the other hand it is saddening that a might man’s life was cut short so wastefully.
More broadly, this text makes clear that success is due to the work of many. Reading the accolades of these might men paints a picture that David wouldn’t have survived half as long without them! The African proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ could be stretched to teach any noteworthy human accomplishment requires the collective effort of a community. Have you ever thought that the success seems to work both ways? The legacy of the mighty men was that they helped David get to where he needed to be.
It doesn’t sit well in my mind to try to create a list of Daniel’s mighty men as if I were the David in the story. However, I can look across my life and see mighty people. People who make my life richer because they are in it. People who inspire me to improve. People who love Jesus and are infectious with joy. I believe that if you live within a community, such as Bethany City Church, you will see these people as well. We are all partaking in something that is bigger than any of us; the worship of God who revealed Himself through Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul picks up on this theme in the New Testament in what He describes as the body of Christ. If you have the time please read 1 Corinthians 12:12-26. Till tomorrow, I’ll leave you with this familiar proverb:
‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another’ - Proverbs 27:17
If you are struggling to understand God's anger in the following chapter (2 Samuel 24) I find that the parallel account in 1 Chronicles 21 brings more clarity. Seemingly David forgot about God's command in Exodus 30:12 (“When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the Lord ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them"). Perhaps David was wrongly attributing the Israelites success to His work rather than the provision and providence of God. To push this further, it wasn't David's mighty men - but God's!