David and His Mighty Men (Men’s Session)
Brody Holloway : Be Strong : 2 Samuel 23:8-19 : March 16, 2018
Brody kicked off the spring Be Strong men’s conference by teaching on 2 Samuel 23:8-19 and David’s Mighty Men. David is a “type” (a foreshadowing) of Christ. David’s life shows us much about not only Israel’s history but also the future kingship of Jesus. Also see: 1 Samuel 22, 2 Samuel 5.
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Amen. Alright, grab a seat, grab a Bible if you got one and turn to the book of 2 Samuel. We’ll be in, we’re in chapter 23. So normally what it is, is we got… We cap our adult retreats at 250. So we capped it and a bunch of knuckleheads that like to come to this thing didn’t sign up in time, and it was full and so guys started calling in. And so we’re in a staff meeting and I was… We decided, “You know what, when people call and say can we still get in, let’s just say yes every time, and let’s just see what happens. And God will swell the walls or something, and it’ll work out.” And it did, man, it’s just awesome. So we didn’t cap… Maybe we’ll stop capping adult retreats. Registration guys will probably freak out hearing me say that right now but… And the kitchen staff, man, those ladies, they’re not here, so you don’t have to applause or anything because they’re not around, but that food was awesome, man. It was so good. So yeah, that was good. And then the other thing is, these sessions, these main sessions, at least the teaching portion, will be livestreamed, which for those of you that don’t know what that means, it means it’ll be live on the internet, so people can watch it live in action. Now, let me say to those people that are watching on the internet, this is a room full of men, and I am a man and this is a men’s conference, and we’re gonna talk about men’s things. You have been warned, okay? So that’s how we’re gonna roll, roll things out.
Alright, so when I first got saved, I was a… A lot of you have heard my testimony, or at least a portion of my testimony, my conversion, and some of you don’t even know who I am right now so you ain’t heard nothing and that’s fine. But basically, I was 20 years old, I got saved, and I got saved because I was out in the woods, just walking, searching, soul searching. If you’ve ever been in a place like that where you’re just searching, man, you don’t know… And the Lord led me to faith in Jesus, it was awesome. And so I wanted to study the Bible, I knew I needed to do that. And so I thought, “Well, I’ll study the Old Testament. It’s killing and blood and swords and fighting,” and I was a young man, I was like, “That’d be awesome.” So I did a study of the life of David, was what I was gonna do. I was like, “I know this guy, he killed a giant,” but there’s a lot more to the story. And so I studied David’s life, and the first Bible study I ever did as a young Christian. And to this day, I constantly go back and study the life of David. There’s so much you can learn from it. And here’s what to know about David before we get into this passage tonight, David is what we see in the Old Testament… Throughout the Old Testament you’ll see what we call a type of Christ, or one who foreshadows Jesus.
So for instance, in the Old Testament, and for those of you that aren’t church guys and don’t know the Bible, let me… I wanna just make sure you understand what I’m talking about. Old Testament would be the period of history BC. BC. And the word “testament “means covenant. So God had made certain covenant promises to humanity before Jesus came into the world. Jesus came into the world and fulfilled all of those covenant promises and established a new covenant, which is through his blood, he’ll give you salvation, freedom from sin, victory in your life. And so Jesus is the ultimate mighty man. In fact, the Bible says that the Lord is a warrior, and Yahweh is his name, and Yahweh is the Old Testament name for Jesus. And so in the Old Covenant, in the Old Testament, long before Jesus had come into the world, God used three offices to sort of foreshadow Jesus coming and what his reign and kingdom would be like. The first one was, he used prophets who would proclaim the Word of God, and Jesus would be the final prophet. He used priests who would stand before God on behalf of people, Jesus would be the final priest. And then he used kings, and Jesus would establish what we would call a perpetual throne or one that’ll never end. And so David was the king that most foreshadowed Jesus’ kingdom. So when you study the life of David, there’s a lot to learn about Jesus. Makes sense? Everybody with me? Okay.
So when we go into David’s life, there’s a lot that we can learn not just about Old Testament history, but about the way Jesus would rule and govern and reign, and even looking into the future, the way he’s gonna do things. And so you get to the end of David’s life, which David’s life is primarily covered in the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Samuel. And about a third of the way into 1 Samuel, we get introduced to David, he’s just a kid. But as a kid, he’s already like an accomplished war fighter. And if you’ve ever been to third world countries, particularly countries in Africa where there’s a lot of shepherding, or where they’re… Like in South Sudan and in Sudan, where you have tribes and tribal control of areas where there’s a lot of livestock and cattle and things like that, boys at a very young age strap Kalashnikov rifles on and start guarding sheep and guarding cows, and they fight over that stuff. It’s actually pretty common even today. And so in the olden days, when David as a, I don’t know, 14, 15, 16-year-old kid goes and kills Goliath, it would seem he’s already a seasoned fighter, and probably because his family possessed property in a southern region where they were close to border lands and peoples like the Philistines, the Amalekites, groups like that were constantly raiding in and attacking.
And so at a young age, young boys learned how to fight, instead of like play video games or do activities. So he would learn to work and fight and he learned to take risks, and so we need to train our sons to be risk-takers in a healthy way and to be fighters and fight for the innocent and fight for the weak and do things that matter. And so David had learned that. So when we’re introduced to David, that’s kinda where it starts, and then we follow his life. And at the end of his life, at the end of 2 Samuel, in chapter 23, we have this story that’s like an appendix to his life that’s giving us a bunch of little snapshot stories looking back through his life. So it’d be like if you studied the life of General Patton, and then now looking back in retrospect, you just studied snapshots of battles or things that he had done, that’s what we’re doing in the last chapters of 2 Samuel. And so the passage we’re gonna read tonight is an appendix that’s looking back on David’s life and certain things that happened, so that’ll give you some context. Now, we’ll start through the text, we’re gonna start in verse 8, and we’re gonna work down to verse 17.
“These are the names of the mighty men whom David had, Josheb,” and something, a thing, “He was chief of the three. He wielded his spear against eight hundred whom he killed at one time. Next to him among the three mighty men was Eleazer, the son of Dodo, son of Ahohi. He was with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle and the men of Israel withdrew. He rose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clung to the sword. And the Lord brought about a great victory that day. And the men returned after him only to strip the slain. Next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines gathered together at Lehi where there was a plot of ground full of beans. And the men fled from the Philistines. But he took his stand in the midst of the plot,” that man loved him some beans, “He took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, and the Lord worked a great victory.” Don’t mess with that man’s beans, I’m telling you.
And the three… “And three of the 30 chief men went down and came about harvest time to David at the cave of Adullam when a band of Philistines was encamped in the valley of Rephaim. David was then in a stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlem.” Okay, let me stop and give you some context for what’s going on. So this is a flashback, you can actually read what most people think is the story, the part of that story being recorded in 2 Samuel 5, you can read about it. So here’s what’s happened, timeline is, there’s a king in the land, his name is Saul. The guy’s a… He’s a maniac, he’s maniacal, he’s crazy. And so Saul does some stupid, crazy stuff, and God judges him, Saul can’t be king no more.0:09:00.8 S2: Not only can Saul can’t be king no more, Saul also can’t be alive no more, and God takes him out. So God removes Saul, and he removes a lot of his army, his fighting force, he removes… And we’re talking key officers, NCOs, fighting force devastated, wiped out, okay? And while Saul is sort of leading the people in the wrong direction, God raises up this guy, David, and starts to prepare him to be the next king. And the way he raises him up… And this is awesome, it’s recorded in 1 Samuel chapter 22… Watch this, this is where he starts sort of building this guy’s army, and this is where the mighty men come from. 1 Samuel chapter 22 verse 2, “And everyone who was in distress and everyone who was in debt and everyone who was bitter in soul gathered to him.” Awesome party going on right there.
Lots of fun, good time. They’re living in these caves, so they can’t get no groceries, they’re stuck. They’re out in the wilderness, living in a cave. David is in exile, he’s on the run from this crazy king named Saul. God has promised David that he’s gonna be king next, but David can’t be king right now ’cause Saul’s still king, so David’s gotta wait. And sometimes you gotta wait on stuff. We live in a give-it-to-me-right-now culture, like, “I want it right now.” Like a lady freaked out at the drive-through at McDonald’s the other day in front of me, I could hear her yelling at this poor 15-year-old kid. I start blowing the horn, I was like… I was so mad at that lady, like, “It’s gonna take like five minutes instead of three-and-a-half, you will be okay.” But we… “And you are… You could do without them chicken nuggets, I can tell by your jowls right now you’ll be just fine.”
And so… But we’re in this culture where people want like, “Right now, right now, right now.” And then so we do that in our Christian faith. I’m like, “Well, Jesus said, I got this, and I’m gonna get this,” and it’s like sometimes God’s gonna purge you through a waiting process. I ain’t trying to get like charismatic Pentecostal TD Jakes on y’all, alright? But sometimes God’s gonna make you wait, and he’s gonna use that waiting process to prepare you for whatever he’s got in store for you. But too many men are impatient, and don’t wanna wait, “I want what I want right now.” God told David, “You’re gonna be king.” So David has been, at this point in the story, anointed to be the king, but he has not yet been appointed to be the king. And a lot of times there’s gonna be seasons in between those types of events in our lives.
And so David has to take himself and go hide in the mountains, he’s all by hisself, he’s in the mountains. But God sends these guys to him. Now, watch this, let me read again about these dudes. “Everyone who was in distress,” you ever hang out with people that are freaking out all the time? No fun. Welcome to the world of a pastor. Amen, brother pastors? Like, “You’re distressing? Sure, call me, I have nothing better to do at one o’clock in the morning than listening to you freak out over something that don’t really matter and you shouldn’t be freaking out over.” People freak out in distress, stressful. When people are stressful, it makes you stressful, right? When your kid’s freaking out over something, your grandkid’s freaking out over something they don’t need to be freaking out, you’re like, “You got to chill.” And it’s really not about that kid chilling, it’s about, “I’m gonna stroke out if things don’t settle down.”
So people in distress. Everyone who was in debt. In debt, which in that culture was much different than debt now. You’re talking about people who are facing prison time and slavery to pay off their debts. Everyone who was bitter in soul. “Hey, we’re gonna have a party, and we’ll get my invitations ready. Who are the most bitter in soul people I can think of? I’m gonna invite all of them jokers to my party. It’s gonna be awesome!” Nobody ever said that. Alright. So you got all these dudes that are bitter in soul, “And everyone who’s bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became commander over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.” So he’s got these 400 guys that are misfits, outcasts, ex-cons, criminals, escaped runaway slaves, guys that have no good resume. And God sends 400 of them to David. And Saul’s over here and Saul’s got a military strength of tens of thousands. And God brings Saul’s army down and he begins to raise David’s army up. So what we’re now reading tonight in 2 Samuel 23 is the accounting of those men that we just described becoming great and mighty man of valor and men of war. And it’s a powerful, powerful thing to think that God would take men described like we just saw them described and turn them into mighty men of valor, but that’s exactly what he does.
And so when they come to David, David’s hiding out in this stronghold in the mountains in a cave. So there’s like a network of caves and David’s living there. Now these guys come there. Well, then what happens is David’s group of 400 grows to about 600 and they started to really do this renegade warfare, the guerilla warfare is what they’re doing. And so David is fighting for the people, but he’s not fighting in alliance with King Saul and his army. So Saul is doing his thing with the army, David’s doing his guerilla warfare thing against bordering tribes and peoples and stuff like that, so he’s doing some really good work and he’s putting evil to the sword and he’s getting work done. So then what happens is Saul dies and most of his men die with him and when that happens, David then is positioned and poised to become king. The problem is when Saul dies, he dies in battle against the Philistine army. So when the Philistines kill Saul and all of his men, they also take over all of Israel’s garrison cities. So David has now inherited a kingdom that is under the control and rule of an enemy army. And do not be mistaken, when the Philistines, like any other barbaric tribe or group of people would take over, rape, pillage, total destruction, they would take all of the natural resources. They have devastated the landscape, they’ve taken over the garrison cities.
So one of those garrison cities is a city called Bethlehem. Bethlem happens to be the city where David’s from. That city is very near and dear to David’s heart. He loves that place. It’s where he grew up. It’s where he grew up learning to fight, learning to shepherd, learning to work, learning to take care of business and he’s the youngest of a bunch of boys and they were a rough and tumble group. And so David grew up in this place called Bethlehem. Bethlehem was a fortified city. It was in an elevated position and approaching Bethlehem, the landscape was terraced and on each terrace there were tall man-made, hand-made rock walls. So for an army to advance on that city, especially when you had very… Like everything was close proximity, you wouldn’t have any real range to your artillery, those guys would have to scale up and down over these terraces coming uphill, trying to claw their way up into the city. And so it was a really solid and fortified position, so it was a garrison city. Now what the Israelites would do is these garrison cities, when they’re being attacked by an invading army, they would get the people from the surrounding countryside to fall back into the city as a last resort and bar the doors and so they’d be safe in that city to be able to make a stand.
And so that’s Bethlehem. Bethlehem is real close to the city of Jerusalem, which is like the capital city of the South. So David is from Bethlehem, but now Bethlem has been sieged and taken over by the Philistines who have killed the king and wiped out most of the fighting force of the Israelis and so David’s still in the caves with his 600 dudes. Now if you wanna read a really good story, go read the account of this in chapter five ’cause David’s like, “Hey, God, should we go try to kill these guys?” And God says, “Yup.” And David goes down there and they wipe these guys out and it’s impressive. But before that happens, this story that we just read takes place. So David and his men are up in the stronghold, okay? Everybody with me? You tracking the story? Okay, ’cause I could get… I know I do like that, so stop me or whatever… You can stop and ask questions at this thing. You can be like, “Hey, that didn’t make sense,” alright? So that’s fine. That’s healthy and good, but most men don’t want to do that. Alright.
But you can. I’m just saying you can, alright?
Is David in the city or a cave?
David’s in the cave. He had a stronghold. He had a bunch of them. He had these strongholds in this cave network. What they’d do is they’d move around in these caves and they’d come down and do this like guerilla warfare attack, and do their thing, and they’re a real-life fighting force. So the Philistines control the city of Bethlem, so that’s what’s happening. It’s about 12 miles from the cave where David is to the gates of the city of Bethlehem, 12 miles. That 12 miles is pretty open desert and it’s hot, which I guess all deserts… Most deserts are hot. I don’t know, maybe there’s some cold deserts. I’ve been in the hot desert out west and it would get cold sometimes, but for the most part, it’s hot. So it’s hot. You’re talking about hot, hot desert, 12 miles.
I love this story. Good. This story lit me up this week, man. I got so excited thinking about… There’s some really cool strong application in this story and this is not gonna be when we’re done, “Go find your battle, your giant and kill it.” It’s gonna be Jesus, is what this is gonna be all about in the end. And so you got 12 miles to go across the desert to the city. So David’s men are in a stronghold, the Philistines are in the city, and what happens in a city like that is there’s one gate system. Sometimes there will be multiple gates, but the main gate system would be the most fortified position in the city. That makes sense, right? That’s where you’re gonna put your strongest contingent, your best fighting force, and typically that’s where an attack is gonna have to happen in that type of a city, that type of a setting. And so you’ve got a strong, strong, fighting force that’s also typically close to where water source… The main water source for the city would be because that’s where the traffic came and went and cities were built around major water sources.
So you’ve got this well at the gate to Bethlehem which is heavily fortified, and that’s a well, David grew up, country boy, out taking care of the sheep, living in the wilderness, but some of you, especially older men, and you can remember as a kid… I was talking with Steve Finn who’s gonna be speaking tomorrow morning, we were talking today, I remember as a kid, I grew up right outside of Waynesville, which is about 50 miles from here, and I can remember my granddad, on Friday nights, I spend the night over at my granddad’s house about every Friday night, and we’d get up on Saturday morning and we’d go downtown Waynesville, we’d go loafering. Y’all know what loafering is, right? If you from the South, you know what loafering is. Or if you’re from Illinois, now you do. Alright. So we got some brothers here from Illinois who are like family. Okay, so go loafering just means you go doing… You go do nothing but just like walk around and talk to people, think Mayberry and Andy Griffith, alright? Floyd and them dudes to do sitting on the bench out there talking smack and accomplishing nothing.
Okay? So we go loafering, and I have fun memories of that. And it was always exciting to, watch this, the younger generation ain’t gonna get this, the older generation will, go to town. You know what I’m saying? Like it was fun, man, I got excited about Saturday morning, that’s when the only time I went to town. And so we’d go to town and we’d go walk up and down Main Street, and I’d be always crossing my fingers that my granddad would take me in a Leh’s department store ’cause I’s get a Hot Wheel or a matchbox or some kind of old toy gun or something, so anyway, good times. So there’s these fond memories of going to town. One of the things we would always do is we’d go to… There was a little filling station that had one of these old drink machines, you open the door after you put your money and then pull the bottle out. Remember those? And I loved… I would a peach Nehi about every time. That was… And I loved it. Or I would get a brownie. I don’t know if you remember brownies. And so there’s this fondness when I think of it. So today we’re not go down Main Street, Waynesville changed, it’s changed now, ’cause the little downtown districts are not like they used to be, but it’s still very nostalgic. Okay?
So David grew up going in and out of that city, drinking water from that well. Now, what’s this. So David is hanging out with these guys in this cave, Adullum, in a stronghold, and the garrison of Philistines is a stronghold of David’s home city. David’s 12 miles outside of town, David has been anointed king, but he is not feeling very kingly ’cause they’re in his home town, somebody’s sleeping in his bed, somebody’s smacked his sister around, somebody’s eating the sheep that his family farm raised, I mean he is not like… It’s not sitting good with him, “I’m king, but is this what it’s gonna look like?” That’s where David is at. David feels injustice.
Listen, y’all it ain’t about the water for David. David sees Bethlehem as the place where he was anointed to be king, where God, the God of Heaven, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob looked him dead in the face, poured out the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit on his head and said, “You will be my king, you will lead these people from a throne that will foreshadow an eternal and perpetual throne.” David has been called to something great, and he can’t even go to the city where he’s supposed to be. So it’s not just that David is longing for water, it’s that David’s faith is longing for his place in Bethlehem. This is the place where Jesus would be born. It’s a significant place for David. And so David is thinking about this water, he speaks it out loud, “David said longingly, ‘Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate. And then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and carried it and brought it to David. But he would not drink it. He poured it out to the Lord and said, ‘Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?’ Therefore he would not drink it. These things are three mighty man did.”
Okay, let’s break this last part of the story down, so here’s what happens. David is in a stronghold and he says, “Man, I wish I could drink water out the well of Bethlehem.” Okay, these dudes, really good fighters, super faithful… I don’t think they’re real sharp.
‘Cause it ain’t about the water. And they’re like… One of them’s like… I mean Josheb’s like, “Hey fellas, listen. Let’s do it, man. Let’s go down there and let’s get the water, let’s bring it back.” You gotta love these guys, they’re so ballsy. They’re like, “We’re gonna go straight down into the gate of the city, right to this garrison city,” heavily fortified with Philistines. And these three dudes [0:24:07.3] ____ don’t you think about this, I don’t… So either this is like a highly covert operation where they’re able to sneak in, get water out of… I don’t know, I forget how many feet deep this well is, I’ve read it somewhere, I can’t remember now. But it’s not just like go scoop, go fill your noggin bottles up and run back into the house, it’s like they’re gonna go get a water bag and fill it up, a water skin. So they gotta get water out of this well, so either they covertly do this, which means cutting dudes’ throats, I guess, right around the well, I don’t know, or what I think… Like, this is what I think probably happened. But did you… Did you read, did you hear what we read about these guys, the way they fight… Let me go back to that. Let me go back to that, verse 8, talking about Josheb, “He wielded his spear against eight hundred whom he killed at one time.” Oh, that’s a big deal.[laughter]
That’s a big deal. Next to him, among the three mighty men, Eleazer, what did he do? Let’s see, verse 10, “He rose and struck down to Philistines until his hand was weary and it clung to the sword. And the Lord brought a great victory that day.” He killed… He killed bunch of people, he fought so long, his hand, it was cramped around the sword. Next to him was Shammah. What did he do? That’s the dude that fought over the beans. He’s like, “You’re not taking my beans, man.” I told you, man, these guys… You gotta love these guys. “You ain’t taking my beans.” He took his stand in the middle of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, killed a bunch of them dudes over his bean field. Okay, so you got these three guys, that’s the characters we’re dealing with. I think they walked right up to the gate of the city and started killing stuff.
And were like, “We may not take the city today, which, PS, we’ll be back. Let me give you a little dose of what that’s gonna look like,” and they started killing stuff, and then they said, “We will take water from this well, we’re gonna take it to our king.” These guys, I don’t know if they went back, they had to go back bloody, dirty, muddy. Then they got this bag of water, they carry it 12 miles back across the desert. This is a 24-mile round trip rock. Back across the desert, bloody, nasty, stinky. I live in the mountains, I’ve lived in the mountains my whole life. My house, the water at my house comes from a spring, I do not have a well. I can taste the difference. Well water here is good, we got good well water, but the water that comes out, I would go right outside and put my mouth straight on the pipe coming out. I had to do some maintenance on my spring head this past week and just drink it straight, and people are like, “You’ll get Giardia.” I ain’t never had Giardia, maybe I will get it, but so far, it ain’t bothered me. But I can tell you right now, water coming out of a spring, it’s good. David’s in a mountain stronghold. He had good water. You build a stronghold around a water source. He’s elevated.
I’ll never forget, me and… Me and Little, me and my wife were out in Moab, Utah, one time. We were doing some mountain biking and some climbing, and we just went out there, the two of us, left the kids here, went… It was an anniversary trip, I think… And we went in August. Well, I remember, after we booked everything, I remember reading… I was like, “I’m gonna do some research on this.” I’m reading the articles. And everybody’s like, “Don’t go in August. It’s like desert.” So we get out there and it was like, if you’re gonna mountain bike, do it and be done by 9:00 AM or something like that. I’ll never forget the first day, we’re pedaling, coming back to our camp site and here comes these two… This guy and this girl… I’m off track for a second here. And here comes this guy and this girl wearing like hiking boots, big wool socks, looking like Smokey the Bear, and they come pedaling up.
And I stopped, and I said, “Y’all just getting started? It’s heating up.” It’s like 90 degrees at nine o’clock. And the one dude said, “Yup, but when you’re on holiday, you’ve got to go for it,” and he started pedaling off. I was like, “You get it, bro, you go get it, man, that’s gonna be awesome. Lemme know how that works out.” So they went… They rode. So anyway, but we… Guys, it was so hot during the day, we couldn’t stand it. We’d see the La Salle Mountains up there. I’m like, “Little, I know it’s cooler up there, let’s go there.” We went up there, 25 to 30 degree difference, and we went swimming. We’d try to go swimming down there in Moab, and it was like bath water. I grew up swimming in the Nantahala River and the Nantahala Lake, and so I don’t… I take cold showers. I don’t even take a hot shower ever, so I’m like, “We’ve got to find some cool water.” So we go up there, Ice Water Lake. That’s what it was called. Ice Water Lake. I’m like better to go right here. We swam, it was awesome.
Look, y’all, the mountain’s where the good water’s at. The desert floor by Bethlehem ain’t where the good water’s at. It ain’t about the water. It’s about David’s possession of the city God promised him. That’s what it’s about. And you got Dumb, Dumber, and Repeat running across. But they’re brave, they’re bad, I love these guys, man. I love those dudes. And they’re like, “We got you some water, dude! Right here!” They’re so proud of…
They’re just ramped up. And David’s like, “You did what?” [laughter] So David takes it and pours it out. Now watch. This is crazy, ’cause what you think at this point is you go, “Okay, David, come on, dude, throw ’em a bone.” Be like, “Fellas, thank you, this lukewarm tepid water that’s been in this animal bladder for the last 18 hours tastes so good. Thank you for being perceptive.” But David’s like… What happens is David is vexed in his soul, he’s grieved, his soul is tearing from him because he realizes the loyalty of these men and it… Watch what it does. It drives him to worship Jesus, he pours it out. Is he just dumping it? No, if you go back in your Bible… Hold on, I wrote this down. Hold on, hold on, hold on. If you go back in your Bible to… Hold on, hold on…0:30:00.7 S?: Take your time, Preacher. [chuckle]
Anyway, if you go back in your Bible to another place, [laughter] there’s this place, in Leviticus, Exodus, I think. It’s Exodus and Leviticus both, I think, where… You go look it up. Well, you read about drink offerings. What do they do? They take the drink offering and they pour it out on the ground, it’s an offering to God. David is turning this, their sacrificial act of service, into an act of worship.
Let me tell you something. When you serve others selflessly as a man of God, when you care about others more than you care about yourself, when you love your wife more than you love yourself, even when she ain’t reciprocating it, when you love your child, more than you love yourself, when their needs are higher than your needs, when their desires are higher than your desires… These men, here’s the first thing we know about these three dudes is that they’re discerning to the needs of others. They hear David say, “I wish, I want, I need.” What is that? Well, we will give, we will provide, we will serve sacrificially. The basic definition of Biblical masculinity that we use here at Snowbird is, biblical masculinity says the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility. Say it again, it comes from Pastor Doug Wilson, the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility. In other words, we gladly assume the responsibility God’s given us, and we do it sacrificially.
This goes to the heart of what God created men for, in Genesis chapter two, when he said to Adam, “Work the garden,” which means be a provider, “keep the garden,” which means be a protector, and “shepherd the garden,” which means fight for and care for the people you’re entrusted with. God wove this into the fabric of a man. These dudes get it. So they’re discerning to the needs of others, particularly those they’re loyal to. I’ll tell you this, I know this for a fact, biblically, God wants us to discern the needs of our sons and daughters, and our brothers and sisters, and our friends and co-workers and our wives. He wants us to be men who are discerning of the needs of others. That’s what Jesus is all about. Seeing the need that we have in our sin for a deliverer. And he who thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but didn’t think of that a thing to be grasped, but let go of it and emptied himself of that physical position and entered into humanity and laid down his life at the cross of Calvary, and poured out his blood to give us freedom from sin, that is the ultimate sacrifice.
Jesus is the ultimate giver of sacrifice. So what these men are doing is they’re acting like Jesus, and that’s what every one of us has opportunity to do every day in our lives. Act like Jesus. Care more about others than we care about ourselves. These men get it. And here’s what their behavior does, it drives David to worship God. You want your wife to love Jesus more? That’s your goal. That’s your task. Ephesians 5 says we’re to love our wives as Christ loved the church, gave himself up for a fragrant offering and sacrifice, and then he washes her with the water that she’d be cleansed, that she’d be sanctified. Washes her with the water of the Word of God. So my goal for my wife is her holiness. My goal for my wife is her love of Jesus, that I want to serve her so she loved Jesus more. My children, I want them to love Jesus more. But I gotta be discerning which means that God’s given you as a man, this… I’m speaking right now to dads and husbands. If you’re single dudes, that’s good, listen up, ’cause you’re gonna be there. If you’re granddads, listen up ’cause it still matters. God’s given us a position of influence and authority. He has appointed that to us. We did not take hold of that. Men get in trouble and begin to either abuse their authority or neglect their authority and become cowards in the home when they assume that authority is something that they take unto themselves.
The authority that God’s given you as a man in the home and in the marriage, he’s given that to you. He has anointed you for that purpose and that reason. God’s called you to that. And so God’s called us to lead, and it requires discernment to know the need… Listen, you got three kids, four kids, five kids, I got five kids. One, two, three, four, five, they’re different. Every single one of them. And what works for one doesn’t work for the other always. Does that mean that… Does that mean that I’m not being consistent? No, it means that I, hopefully, I’m being discerning. Gotta be discerning to the needs of others, it’s what God’s called us to. It’s what he’s called us to. These dudes are discerning. And what it does is it drives David to worship God. It’s a powerful moment.
Consider these things also from these men and learn from their example. These men are very loyal. If you’ve ever been betrayed, if you’ve ever had somebody not be loyal to you, you understand the value in that. These men are not only brave, but they’re unselfish in their bravery, and they understand what it is to accept responsibility. But for David, it’s not about the water. He’s not longing for the water because of a sense of nostalgia, even though that’s certainly part of it, he’s longing for the freedom of Bethlehem, it’s his city of faith. David longs for the water, but David’s faith longs for the fulfillment of God’s promises. God has promised him that he’d be king, yet here’s the city of David’s home and has actually now become a garrison city of the enemy. The enemy of David’s family who has pillaged, raped, robbed, defiled the very way of Israelite life, and is standing guard over that which belongs to David and his men. It’s not about the water. Those who hate the very God David has devoted his life to serving are standing guard over the city that David loves. The water represents something much bigger. As a man, I need to understand that little things are big things in my life. Little temptation leads to big sin. Little sin is big sin. Little failure is big failure.
If David is content with the water and the stronghold, he would likely have been content with the stronghold altogether. The problem’s not the water, it’s that David’s living in a place that is not designed to be his home or his position of appointment. David longs for the wells of Bethlehem, but he longs for the city and the throne of Bethlehem that God’s promised him because he’s been promised the kingship. David’s seen God do so many things to spare his life and grow him into the leader that he has become, but David is at a place of discontentment. Sometimes God builds longing in our hearts for something and uses a process to prepare us for it. We’ve all been there, we’ve all been there. Everybody’s been here. So David’s ready. He wants this city, he wants it. And now what… This is what… This is what… In pouring that water out, David is giving thanks for the faithfulness and selflessness of these three men. I’ve always read that story and I’ve always just thought, “Why did he do that? That’s not very nice.” Turn it into an act of worship, it’s beautiful. What if our families would turn our sacrificial leadership into acts where they worship? What if my sons and daughters would worship God because of my faithful leadership in the home?
Listen men, you can believe and trust that God will do that in your life. That is not name it and claim it, that is not prosperity gospel. That is biblically faithful preaching. That when we obey and we trust and we act in obedience and we do what God’s called us to do in humility, to the best of our ability, knowing that some days you’re gonna fall flat on your nuts… Someday you’re not gonna get it done the way God wants you to get it done. Someday you’re gonna be bloody and muddy and jacked up spiritually, and you’re gonna need some brothers in Christ to pick you up. Some days you’re gonna walk in repentance and other days you’re gonna walk with your hands raised in victory. The whole process is a process that’s gonna take every breath of every day of your life from now until you see Jesus. And you can’t just name it and claim it for today. It’s that God has called you to things like be more than a conqueror and wage war with weapons that are not of this world. That’s what he’s called us to. Ultimately, if David is a picture of Christ, this is cool.
In other words, he’s a man who’s life and kingship as we mentioned earlier, foreshadow Jesus’ own ministry and work in a kingdom that will come a thousand years later. And then in that thousand years later, Jesus kneels in a garden near the same spot where the mission took place and prayed that God might take the cup that he was to drink. This is different. Rather than pour it out on the ground, Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath and poured His own life out on the ground. He poured his own life to give us salvation and freedom to live in the victory over sin. No matter what you’re facing in your life, Jesus died so that you could live. You may have to wait and fight and grind it out before you see all that God’s gonna do in your life, but in the end, your faithfulness will be worth it, man. In the end, your faithfulness will be worth it. Your faithfulness to fight the good fight of faith, as Paul told Timothy. Your faithfulness to take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, as Paul told the church at Ephesus. Your faithfulness as Paul wrote to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 10, to fight with weapons that are not of this world, but on the contrary, are designed to demolish strongholds in your own life. Your faithfulness to be obedient to God will be rewarded.
And here’s one of the things he’ll do to reward it. In the end of your life, and maybe long before the end of your life, Christ is gonna put all things right. He’s gonna put all things right. I gotta drive out of here Saturday night and drive through the night to go to do the funeral of a very dear brother and friend who after being severely damaged as a little boy, spent almost five decades unable to get out from under the thumb of that sin that was committed against him as a child. And so on Tuesday morning, he blew his brains out. And here’s what I know to be true. Some of you have been hurt, some of you’re in the process of being hurt, and some of you have… You’re the one that’s guilty and you’ve done the damage. But Jesus will put all things right. And when we submit to him, we become part of the solution, not part of the problem. Jesus will put all things right.
He said in the book of Revelations, “I’m making all things new.” It’s gonna be brand new. One day, I’m gonna be brand new. There’s coming a day when no sorrow will exist because no sin will exist, because Jesus, the one who would a thousand years later come into that same city, Bethlehem, and shepherds would be keeping watch over their flocks by night, watching over those sacrificial lambs that were closest to the city, being prepared to be moved in for the Passover, to be slaughtered, the blood of those lambs insufficient to take away the sin of man. And those shepherds watching over those lambs would have the angel and a host of angels of the Lord appear to them and say the glory of the Lord would shine round about them and usher in the God man into creation. One would come to Bethlem who would establish a throne, through a cross, that would never end. That’s Jesus. That’s who we worship. And I’m only here tell you, tonight, brother, if you’re not a Christ follower, Jesus is the only hope you have.
That’s right, brother.
Jesus is the only hope you need. You want purpose, it’s in Jesus, it ain’t in your work. Do you know why you won’t find it in your work? ‘Cause your work don’t go deep enough to your need. You know why your wife can’t provide what you need, ’cause she can’t get deep enough into your soul. There’s one who can, and there’s one work that does it, and it’s Jesus at the cross doing everything that’s necessary to satisfy your deepest, eternal, soulful longing for peace with God, and then to give you purpose and a sacrificial attitude in the way you live your life. In that 2 Samuel 5, a story of David is told and his men drive the Philistines ultimately out of this city. In the end, David’s kingdom was established, and the Lord put him on the throne that would be symbolic of the throne that Jesus would sit on and all of his eternal kingdom. Today, Jesus sits on that throne. He’s your king. We fight for him. We fight through him. Let’s give him the loyalty and the praise that these men gave to David. Amen?
So give Him the praise he deserves in our lives, the way we live our lives, the way we submit to him. Tonight, listen to me brothers. If you don’t know Jesus, tonight, here’s what the Bible promises. All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. And the Bible says in Romans 10:9, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. When I was 20-years-old, huddled over an old copy of my King James Bible my momma gave me, I read a verse that said, “Without the shedding of blood, there’s no remission of sin.” And the lights went off. I didn’t understand at all. And Jesus, that night, I can tell you right now, he wasn’t softly and tenderly calling. He was roaring like the lion of Judah at my soul. And some of you right now, that’s what’s happening. Christ is roaring at you saying, “Come to me all you that labor and are heavy laden, I’ll give you rest. I’ll fill your soul.” And tonight, if you call on Jesus, He’ll give it to you.
And it’ll be a life that’s full and free. And one day he’ll put all things right, all things right, and you’ll become the man right now starting to make the steps towards being a man that God wants you to be.
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