Today is my last entry in this devotional. It works best to stop here. The last sermon in the series is on Sunday and the last few chapters of 2 Samuel are tough ones to find deep insight. At least for me!
I’d appreciate you taking a minute to write me back and let me know if you found these devotionals helpful, and if so, how. Many people have already. Some suggested I turn this into another book. Your feedback will help me decide if that’s a good idea or not.
Personally, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to share with you my thoughts on these stories. Thanks for showing interest in hearing what I have to say! I’m sure many people didn’t make it to this last post. Life got busy. So a special thanks to you for hanging in there until the end!
Towards the end of the book, the writer lists a number of men that stood with Daniel through thick and thin. What I want you to see here is that few people achieve success on their own. An individual might achieve specific feats of heroism, like killing a giant, but moving a nation requires a team. I’ve experienced this first hand in leading Cedarbrook. Our success has come from the deep commitment of many people.
Let me point out a few notable phrases in the words below.
Eleazar was “with” David. Sometimes that’s all it takes to help someone. Just knowing that there are others supporting you can mean so much. But Eleazar did more than that. He “stood his ground.” He didn’t run when the going got tough. He wasn’t a fair weather friend, but he was someone David could count on. Plus Eleazar was tireless. He fought until his hand froze to his sword. That’s commitment!
There is an odd little story wedged into this section. David longed for water from the gate of Bethlehem. That was his hometown. I’m sure he hated to see it overrun by the Philistines. I don’t know if this was a request. It was probably just a longing that he spoke out loud. But three of his men thought they’d do something special for David and broke through the enemy’s line to get David the water.
David was probably in shock when they turned up with the water. He didn’t ask anyone to get it. My guess is that he was humbled to think that his men were so dedicated to him that they would risk their lives for a drink of water. That’s why he didn’t drink it. It was David’s way of saying, “I would never ask this of any one. To drink the water would be like saying that I’m worthy of their sacrifice, and I’m not.”
Great things can happen when people are dedicated at this level.
It seemed like there was nothing these men weren’t willing to do for David and Israel. I love how it says that Benaiah “went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.”
The most shocking name in the list is the last one: Uriah the Hittite. Do you remember who he was? The husband of Bathsheba whom David pushed to the front line so he would die to cover David’s sin. Uriah was so noble that he refused to spend a night with his wife when his men were fighting on the front lines. But David was so underhanded that he was willing to sacrifice one of his mighty men.
It’s an interesting and unflattering way to end the list of mighty men. I have to wonder if the writer was making a political comment: that David was not worthy of the men that sacrificed for him.
David wasn’t worthy. No one is.
In closing out our time in the books of Samuel, the message isn’t on how to be a great person of faith like David. The message is that God is faithful to us in spite of our failure. As Paul put it:
If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 2 Timothy 2:13
If you haven’t lived up to your own expectations in life, take courage. God hasn’t given up on you. He still has plans for you!
Prayer: Father, I am humbled at your faithfulness in the face of my failure. Thank you for that. Might I never take your faithfulness for granted and presume upon it. Might your faithfulness inspire me to do the same. Might I be like David’s mighty men in support of what you are doing through your church. Amen.