A few Saturday's ago in the morning of men's group, the facilitators talked about an article in the newspaper about a former Chicago Bears Linebacker, Mike Singletary, who is a coach in the NFL and had impacted some very big personalities (Vernon Davis and Ray Lewis). Mike Singletary is a Christian man and the impact of his life and testimony off the field of battle (called the NFL) was clearly evident in these two controversial athletes. That being said, the conversation then turned to purely "man talk" (no crying aloud?). We turned through various passages about David and his mighty men and the "three" and "thirty men" in particular. What I found interesting is the different contrast (David and his mighty men compared compared to the Men of Faith at our church) but, then again, some similarities. I am not comparing any of the guys in that room being able to kill 800 soldiers with a spear, but I would like to propose some other comparisons.
There were 3 Chiefs in David's mighty men: 1) Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter. (2 Samuel 23:8). In Hebrew 'Tahkemonite' means one who possesses insight and practical wisdom. 2) Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty men, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the men of Israel retreated, but he stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead. (2 Samuel 23:9–10). 'Eleazar', in Hebrew, means the Lord is my helper. 3) Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel's troops fled from them. But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory. (2 Samuel 23:11–12). The word 'Shammah', when used by itself, means ruin or desolation, but the names the word 'Agee' is similar to a word meaning flame and 'Hararite' means mountaineer.
The one thing that stuck out was the men that followed David to battle were not well established men in the local communities, but they were outcasts and social misfits and wayward men that followed David with no questions asked. They trusted each other. They believed in his leadership and his right to be king of Israel. They loved him and would die for him.
Bringing that forward to modern day warfare, that is, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of this earth that are not of God. We call this spiritual warfare. We are told as Christians (and taught) that we should put on the whole armor of God - daily.
I propose that when David was walking with other men in his life (his mighty men, Jonathon, and so on) that he was held accountable. His men would do anything for him - and they did. He was fighting daily with them side by side. He cared for others and led the way that God wanted him to lead.
However, when David become complacent and lost his accountability (fellowship with other men) - things happened - Bathsheeba and so on. We are responsible for our growth - by reading the word of God daily. By being a part of a community of believers. By prayer and supplication. By walking with others and listening to godly men preach God's word.
When we try to do it alone - trouble. When we try to do it God's way - we travel the path of an abundant life that is only found in Him, his Son (Jesus Christ) and through his Spirit (that provides the growth in our lives).
What confirmed through that Saturday morning is that we all need this accountability in our life - a group of men that will go to war with me and carry me through any and every situation. The most awesome thing that we learn through this is, "Less of me and more of God!" What does that look like?
We have our answers, but do us a favor: 1) Join a men's group, or a bible study 2) if you don't have one, then ask some godly men in your local church to start a group and walk with each other (if that isn't happening) then 3) ask your Pastor or Elder to start one that you can be a part of - and grow!
Let us know how it goes,