“Among the Thirty were: Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem, Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa, Abiezer from Anathoth, Sibbekai the Hushathite…” —2 Samuel 23:24-27
Some of us tend to skip the lists of names when we read passages like the opening verse in the Bible. Yet, have we ever wondered who these people were or why God would devote parts of Scripture to giving a list of dead people rather than adding another miracle, psalm, parable or rule on how to live? It is true that we are not going to walk away every time we read the Word saying, “Wow! That was inspiring!” Hence, we should understand that reading Scripture is more than gathering information, but learning God’s voice, which is why we should read the Bible regularly, thoroughly and completely.
The above people were part of David’s mighty warriors and we can find the complete list in 2 Samuel 23 and 1 Chronicles 11.
The fact that the names were recorded in Scripture tells us that a lot of attention was paid to preserve the list. But who were these men and why were they important? 1 Chronicles 11:10 gives insight into the lives of these men: “These were the chiefs of David’s mighty warriors—they, together with all Israel, gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the LORD had promised.” This verse reveals three things about these men’s priority and purpose.
Firstly, these men knew God. Secondly, they knew God’s purpose and His plans for Israel, which was to unite the kingdom, secure the borders and restore the spiritual life of the nation so they could witness and worship. Thirdly, they knew David’s place in these plans as 1 Chronicles 11:1-2 tells us: “All Israel came together to David at Hebron and said, ‘We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, even while Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the LORD your God said to you, ‘You will shepherd My people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’” David’s mighty warriors gathered around him, knowing God’s purposes and plans as well as David’s place in them.
Take a moment and pull out the contact list on our cell phone or address book. As we go through the list of names, how many know God, know God’s purpose and our place in God’s purpose and are totally committed to seeing that purpose fulfilled in our life? If we have three such people in our life would that not be amazing? If we realize that we do not have such people in our life, maybe this is a sign that we need Christian community. As we join a local church, plug in and serve, God will bring mighty men and women into our life.
Dear God, thank You for allowing me to realize that I need mighty men and women in my walk with You. Help me to get connected in a Christian community.