My last post was pretty raw, emotional and generally more touchy-feely than I normally write or am even comfortable with. But I’m leaving it (rather than deleting it) in the hopes that either:
- It will help some of my readers as they struggle with their own hurt, or
- Readers who get the impression that I am a cynical dragon lady can see that there really is a soft heart underneath the callouses!
If I had been in a more rational frame of mind last week, instead of posting lonely girl pics, I would have written about David’s Mighty Men. Yes, you read that right. While my mushy gushy right brain was being emo and melancholy, my left brain was thinking about David’s Mighty Men.
For those of you not familiar with David’s Mighty Men, get your popcorn ready, because it is a freaking awesome story.
Everybody ready? Julie, do you have your Icee? Okay, great. Here we go.
[Setting: Israel, 1030 BC]
Once upon a time, there lived a boy named David. He was the youngest of eight brothers, and he worked in the fields of Israel as a shepherd while his three eldest brothers went off to fight under King Saul in his war against the Philistines. Occasionally, David’s father sent him to take food to his older brothers on the front lines, and on one such occasion, David unintentionally became the Champion of the Israeli army, single-handedly defeating the Philistines.
The Philistine giant, Goliath, had taunted the Israeli army and suggested a 1:1 battle to determine the victor between the two armies. David was young and untrained in sword fighting, but when he heard Goliath insulting the name of the God of Israel, David boldly stepped forward to fight Goliath, having full faith and confidence that God was behind him. All of the trained soldiers were afraid of Goliath, but David “triumphed over Goliath with only a sling and a stone.” Read more here.
What I love about David in this story is that he was just minding his own business, dropping off food for his big brothers. David wasn’t looking for fame or notoriety, but he was zealous for God’s honor and glory, and so he stepped up to defend God’s name when no one else would. He was humble and unassuming, but brave and fearless because of his faith, and that combination is what made him great.
King Saul was an insecure, angry, restless man in search of someone to soothe him by playing the harp. One of his servants had heard that David could play the harp, so David was contacted and requested to play for the King.
When David played, the tormented King would feel at peace, so King Saul grew to love David, until he realized that David succeeded at everything he did. David was an excellent musician, he was attractive, and he also began to get a reputation for being a strong warrior. The people of Israel began to sing, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands!”
This (understandably) made the very insecure King Saul jealous and angry, and he began to make attempts on David’s life. Read more here.
David didn’t ask to be called to play the harp for King Saul. He was simply serving the King and serving him well. By no fault of David’s, the jealousy of the King resulted in David having spears thrown at him (directly by the King’s hand!) and hunted down by King Saul’s army.
Soon David found himself alone and on the run, but people began flocking to him. Notably, Scripture describes the people who come to David as “everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented… and he became captain over them.” Eventually in 2 Samuel, we see this rag tag group of men transformed into a group renowned as “David’s Mighty Men.”
These distressed, indebted, discontented men rallied around David and, under his leadership, developed into epic heroes like Josheb-basshebeth who “wielded his spear against eight hundred whom he killed at one time” and Benaiah who “struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen.” Read more here.
Think “Guardians of the Galaxy” only better. A depressed group of misfits banded together and conquered evil as they joined under a united cause. Tell me that doesn’t get you pumped up!
Eventually, King Saul is killed in battle, and the shepherd boy David – youngest of eight brothers – goes on to become King. There is of course more to the story, but at its core, it is the classic story of the underdog triumphing against all odds.
Then again, I suppose odds don’t really come into play when you are God’s anointed.