2 Samuel 23:8-39: David’s Mighty Men
David is the great king that God appointed to establish Israel in the land and subdue the enemies of God’s people. But the scriptures are written in such a way that we could never idolise David and hero-worship him. As we come to the end of David’s life having just looked at his death bed speech, the narrative goes on and looks at those who supported David, his mighty men. David would be nowhere without them. God did not do it through David alone. It is more evident when you compare the other accounting of David’s men in 1 Chron. 11:10, ‘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.’ David’s men play and important role and highlight many things for us that are encouraging as we think about our own involvement in God’s work. The fact that the stories of these men goes all the way back to the time when David was fleeing Saul should remind us that all throughout the story of David, these men were there as tools of God. Putting them here at the end after David’s death bed speech leaves us with the impression that God has done it through many and David is not to be hero-worshipped.
The fact that God used David’s might men in such an astonishing fashion also highlights the sin of the next chapter where David feels compelled to count his fighting men. If God can do so much through a few, then why not trust God instead of trying to evaluate the forces.