I’ve been reading through the story of David. His life is an amazing testament of what kind of great feats men can accomplish under God’s power. And as a man, it got me thinking about what it really means to be a Man of God.
One of my favorite side sections in the story of David comes at the end of 2 Samuel where we are introduced to David’s “Mighty Men.” Leonidas has nothing on these guys.
Josheb-Basshebeth (leader of “The Three”) killed 800 men with his spear.
Eleazar (one of the three) stood his ground when all the other soldiers retreated. He slaughtered the Philistines until his hand froze to the handle of his sword.
Shammah (the last of the three) took a stand against the Philistines in the middle of a field!
On one occasion, the Philistine armies occupied the city of Bethlehem – David’s boyhood home. While David and his armies were stationed several miles outside Bethlehem, David started feeling nostalgic. Almost dreaming out loud, David said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem.” So “The Three” made the trek to Bethlehem, covertly broke through enemy lines, drew some water from that well, and brought it back to David. Talk about covert ops!
Abishai killed 300 men with a spear in one day.
Benanaiah killed two of Moab’s toughest fighters. Then it says that “he went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.” (!) That’s not all. He went up against a giant from Egypt who wielded a huge spear. All Benanaiah had was a club. He somehow took snatched the spear from the Egyptians hands and killed him with his own spear!
Then there is David himself, who as a teenager killed a lion, a bear, and a 9 foot tall giant! After becoming commander of Israel’s armies, the people started singing “Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands!”
When David was on the run from Saul, he gathered a following of 600 men who were professional warriors. That was their life. That was their job. 600 trained killers. Needless to say, they wiped up the opposition when anyone was bold (or stupid) enough to face them.
Again, Leonidas and his Spartans had nothing on these men.
Speaking of the Spartans, their most famous stand was at Thermopylae. This was where about 1000 Greek soldiers took a stand against close to 200,000 Persians. It’s an incredible story of bravery and sacrifice, for without there stand, Greece would have been taken by the Persians and life on this planet would not the be same.
When chronicling this epic battle, Greek historian, Heroditus, said, “Human beings were many, but men were few.”
Human beings were many, but men were few.
That brings us to today. Unfortunately, I look around in the church and think to myself, Human beings are many, but men are few. Where are the true MEN of God? Where are the fathers who are raising their sons to be true men, not just guys. Where are the men who will stand for the gospel like Eleazar stood against the Philistines? Where are the men who could, like David, be a warrior one day and a poet the next – a commander one day and a musician the next – a shepherd one day and a giant slayer the next?
In 1 Corinthians 16, Paul gives the men of Corinth this charge:
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.”
In the Greek, it’s literally – “be men,” or “act like men.”
Yes, God has often used scared, cowardly, meek men to accomplish great victories (see Gideon), but He has often utilized strong, valiant, testosterone infused MEN to lead His people.
Human beings are many, but men are few.
Stand firm in the faith. Be men of courage. Be strong.