Wednesday, February 29, 2012

brave hearts and a sovereign God

Now these are the chiefs of David's mighty men, who gave him strong support in his kingdom, together with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel.
1 Chronicles 11:10

This chapter quickly details David's installation as king over all of Israel. Most of it is a listing of the key leaders in Israel's army. David was a man of war, and most of his advisors and key leaders come from that military experience. The text says something as to the bravery and the exploits of these men.

When I read these accounts, I can see the sweat and blood that earned these guys the name "mighty men". The few war stories that are recounted are the stuff of a testosterone-soaked action movie! Just look at this short list:
> dispatching 300 of the enemy with a spear in one encounter.
> risking lives as an expeditionary team to sneak across enemy lines to bring back to their general a cup of water from his hometown well.
> singlehandedly driving back the enemy when a position has been overrun and the soldier's own platoon has retreated.
> killing a lion in a pit on a snowy day.
> slaying a giant with his own spear.

These men were amazingly brave. Their leaders were the "SEAL Team Six" of their day. And God used their service and valor to protect David so that he could faithfully lead the nation. But if I read this only seeing the elements of a Chuck Norris action flick, I will miss the big picture. Yes, these men were incredibly strong and heroic. But it was God that was moving through them to establish the house of David and to work His plan to bring the Son of David to the world, so that Jesus could be our heroic Savior! And Jesus did the ultimate heroic act: He gave His life for the sins of the world.

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