Serving God by serving others
2 Samuel 23:8 says; “These are the names of the mighty men whom David had…” That text goes on to name some of the mighty men who followed King David. They were great warriors, their exploits were known throughout Israel as they protected the land from its enemies.
One of them (Josheb-basshebeth) once wielded his spear against 800 of the enemy. Another (Eleazar) was alongside of David and they defeated the Philistines while others fled in fear. Eleazar kept fighting clinging to his sword and it’s said; “And the Lord brought about a great victory that day…” A third guy, (Shammah) protected a strategic bean field while others fled. Shammah took his stand and again the scripture says; “The Lord worked a great victory.”
A couple of things stand out about those men; first, their loyalty and devotion to “King and Country”, nothing was going to stop them from completing their task. And in that, there are a lot of lessons for the believer.
One lesson is devotion; their cause was righteous. The things they did were credited to God and they took no fame for themselves. Jesus said in Matthew 20:26-28 “…Whoever would be great among you must be your servant… even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
If you’re a Jesus follower you serve God by serving others, you take the humble seat and your example is Jesus who blessed everyone by his teachings, miracles and ultimately by giving his life for those who were not always devoted to him. The result (Philippians 2) is that his name is exalted and every knee will bow before him.
The challenge for the Christian is to consider the examples from the Bible (like David’s mighty men) and examine your loyalty and devotion to “King and Country”. Our King is Jesus who calls us to represent him by being salt and light to the world. Our country is Heaven where those who trust in Christ will dwell forever.
A second lesson from David’s mighty men comes from how they got to be known as “mighty”. When David was hiding in a cave because Saul was after him, a group of men came to him. 1 Samuel 22:2 says; “And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became captain over them…”
David’s mighty men didn’t start out that way. When they gathered around David they were a rag-tag group of disgruntled men, but years later they were considered great warriors. What happened? For one they had a great leader, David is called “a man after the heart of God”. Their causes were righteous because their leader sought God’s will. So as we live in God’s will and follow our King, Jesus, we too will be viewed as mighty warriors for God.
Our causes are not fighting Philistines, but fighting spiritual battles. Our battles take place each day as we overcome temptation and live differently than the culture. Standing on God’s word, praying in the Spirit and holding fast to his ways we become the mighty warriors for God in our day. When the church stands with Jesus, others will see our faith and devotion and they too might be drawn to become mighty for God.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.