Today: [1 Chronicles Twelve] You are One of David’s Mighty Men! In this chapter we see David at Ziklag. Warriors from many backgrounds joined themselves to David at Ziklag and we see that in time a great host “as the host of God” came to be with David and crown him king. The disciples who followed Jesus were an impossibly diverse and adverse to one another but they found commonality in Christ as their David. When the host came to David there was great joy and celebration – when we find our place of unity in Christ our joy likewise will be full.
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[1Ch 12:1-40 KJV] 1 Now these [are] they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they [were] among the mighty men, helpers of the war. 2 [They were] armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in [hurling] stones and [shooting] arrows out of a bow, [even] of Saul’s brethren of Benjamin. 3 The chief [was] Ahiezer, then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; and Berachah, and Jehu the Antothite, 4 And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite, 5 Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite, 6 Elkanah, and Jesiah, and Azareel, and Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korhites, 7 And Joelah, and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor. 8 And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, [and] men of war [fit] for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces [were like] the faces of lions, and [were] as swift as the roes upon the mountains; 9 Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third, 10 Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth, 11 Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh, 12 Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth, 13 Jeremiah the tenth, Machbanai the eleventh. 14 These [were] of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least [was] over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand.
In this chapter we find the further registries of David’s mighty men who speak to us of Jesus Himself and the army of Saints you and I are conscripted into as believers. In the previous chapter we see the men that gathered to David at Hebron. In this chapter we begin with those that gathered to him at Ziklag. Ziklag is an interesting word – it means:
- Winding place, place of wringing out.
- Place of pressure in order to bring out what is inside.
- Place of distress or oppression.
- To squeeze in order to bring out what is contained internally.
- To extract (as iron); to smelt and bring forth as a forge.
This all speaks to us of what it means to follow our David – the Lord Jesus Christ. In Hebron we gather to Him and establish our “association” with Him because of our “fascination” with Christ (see previous chapter). In this chapter we see ourselves gathering to Jesus our David, in times of intense pressure when our character is revealed. Whence to you turn when you are under pressure? Your actions under pressure reveal what is on the inside of you – what your true spiritual condition is. At Ziklag David and his men went out to battle and while they were away all their wives and children were taken captive by the Philistines. When they returned they were devestated and angry and plotted to kill David. They were under pressure and what was in them was revealed.
I remember when I pastored My second church for many years and the time came that God told me to resign. I really didn’t want to leave but the Lord said this – “it is expedient that you go away – for until you leave, what is in them will not be made evident…” I wasn’t quite sure but knew I was hearing from God. I tendered my resignation and in months following my departure there were several leaders who rose up and manifested their true character as a result of the pressure resulting from my departure.
Acts 14:22 says through much tribulation you enter the kingdom. That word “tribulation” means “manifold pressure”. We aren’t so much breaking into the kingdom as we are being extracted from the earthliness of our natural selves and brought out, forged and smelted with the fire of God to take on His character and His nature. Don’t resist the process. Let the Lord refine us and smelt us in the crucible of our personal Ziklag that we might come forth as fine gold.
15 These [are] they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all [them] of the valleys, [both] toward the east, and toward the west. 16 And there came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the hold unto David. 17 And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if [ye be come] to betray me to mine enemies, seeing [there is] no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look [thereon], and rebuke [it]. 18 Then the spirit came upon Amasai, [who was] chief of the captains, [and he said], Thine [are we], David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace [be] unto thee, and peace [be] to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band. 19 And there fell [some] of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to [the jeopardy of] our heads. 20 As he went to Ziklag, there fell to him of Manasseh, Adnah, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and Michael, and Jozabad, and Elihu, and Zilthai, captains of the thousands that [were] of Manasseh. 21 And they helped David against the band [of the rovers]: for they [were] all mighty men of valour, and were captains in the host. 22 For at [that] time day by day there came to David to help him, until [it was] a great host, like the host of God. 23 And these [are] the numbers of the bands [that were] ready armed to the war, [and] came to David to Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the LORD. 24 The children of Judah that bare shield and spear [were] six thousand and eight hundred, ready armed to the war. 25 Of the children of Simeon, mighty men of valour for the war, seven thousand and one hundred. 26 Of the children of Levi four thousand and six hundred. 27 And Jehoiada [was] the leader of the Aaronites, and with him [were] three thousand and seven hundred; 28 And Zadok, a young man mighty of valour, and of his father’s house twenty and two captains. 29 And of the children of Benjamin, the kindred of Saul, three thousand: for hitherto the greatest part of them had kept the ward of the house of Saul. 30 And of the children of Ephraim twenty thousand and eight hundred, mighty men of valour, famous throughout the house of their fathers.
The warriors came to David from many tribes. You and I each came from our tribes as well. When you consider the disciples of Jesus it is amazing that he chose such a diverse group of men:
Andrew was a fisherman
Nathanael was a member of the royal family and a distant relative of Jesus
James was a fisherman from Capernaum
James the Lesser was a tax collecter.
John the Beloved was a fisherman
Judas Iscariot was a zealot, equivelant to a first century terrorist.
Thaddeous was likewise a zealot and ultra nationalist
Matthew was a tax collecter.
Peter was a fisherman
Philip was likewise a fisherman
Simon was a fanatical, nationalist zealot
Thomas was a twin, his occupation was unknown.
In Gen. 15:5 God told Abraham that his children would be as the stars of the heaven. What he actually told him was to “tell” the stars, using the world “stelle” which is an ancient writing instrument. What he was actually saying was “connect the dots”. This is a description of a constellation. God connects believers in eclectic and unusual “constellations” of relationships that would not exist outside of the commonality found in Christ. Our connection to one another many times if very different and unusual. The people God puts in our lives we would otherwise not have anything to do with each other – yet we have been brought together for His purposes just like David’s mighty men and Jesus 12 disciples.
31 And of the half tribe of Manasseh eighteen thousand, which were expressed by name, to come and make David king. 32 And of the children of Issachar, [which were men] that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them [were] two hundred; and all their brethren [were] at their commandment. 33 Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: [they were] not of double heart. 34 And of Naphtali a thousand captains, and with them with shield and spear thirty and seven thousand. 35 And of the Danites expert in war twenty and eight thousand and six hundred. 36 And of Asher, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, forty thousand. 37 And on the other side of Jordan, of the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and of the half tribe of Manasseh, with all manner of instruments of war for the battle, an hundred and twenty thousand. 38 All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel [were] of one heart to make David king. 39 And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking: for their brethren had prepared for them. 40 Moreover they that were nigh them, [even] unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, [and] meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for [there was] joy in Israel.
After the initial gathering of mighty men to David the host grew into a great army. It was a time of war and battles but also a time of celebration and joy. There is comraderie in Christ. For all the struggles and persecution and misunderstanding we must never forget that God sets the solitary in families. It is not good to be alone. There is fraternity and brotherhood in Christ when we choose to overlook our differences and dwell together in unity. David wrote of this in Psalm 133:
[Psa 133:1-3 KJV] Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 [It is] like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, [even] Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, [and as the dew] that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, [even] life for evermore.
When we dwell together in unity the oil that is on the head (Jesus) flows down upon the body (you and I). That is why the enemy fights so hard to keep us divided and insular from one another. The tribes from which the men David chose often warred with one another but they found unity in serving with David. The men Jesus chose no doubt despised one another deeply because of their backgrounds but they found unanimity in Christ. God wants us to walk in that same unity today.
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