1 Chronicles 11:10-19 These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel.
There is one thing that successful churches, movements, and even companies have in common: mighty men who help the leader carry out the vision. In our context, mighty men help the God-given leader carry our the God-given vision. Much of King David’s success can be attributed to the men that stood by him from his time in the cave to his time in the castle.
I want to see God’s vision for our church carried out! But there must be mighty men that rally around pastor and the vision if this is going to happen. Are you a mighty man? Let’s see what made David’s mighty men, mighty men that made a great difference for the vision the Lord had given to David for His people:
1. They strengthened him when he came into the kingdom.
Simply put, these men gave him confidence to be established as king. The Benjamites questioned his legitimacy. The house of Saul fought against him as king. But the mighty men rallied Israel around him. When I was in China, and since, I was told that one reason President Xi has a political chip on his shoulder is because his predecessor and their loyalists never confirmed their support to him as the new prime minister. The leader should not question our loyalty. We should give him confidence in the position that God has given to him.
2. They stood with him when others fell away.
1 Chronicles 11:12-14 (KJV) And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties. He was with David at Pas-dammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines. And they set themselves in the midst of that parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the LORD saved them by a great deliverance.
Whether because of fear, envy, despondency, or desire for influence, there will always be dissent. There will be those who fall away, or run away, and influence others to do the same. Jesus faced it. Paul faced it. Moses faced it. What these men did that made them mighty, was they stood with David when others did not. Mighty men stand with the leader when others do not.
3. They were attentive to his desires.
1 Chronicles 11:16-18 And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines’ garrison was then at Beth-lehem. And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Beth-lehem, that is at the gate! And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the LORD,
Mighty men are attentive to the desires of the leader. They don’t only do so when it’s convenient. Sometimes it involves sacrifice. But they understand that the well-being of the leader is important to the vision, and when he’s strong and taken care of, he can better take care of those God has called him to serve. My dad had men that would wait late to give him a ride home when we only had one vehicle, or that consistently bought him carrot juice when he was trying to eat healthy, or that bought him a firearm after September 11 to show they were concerned for his well-being. These things may seem small, but they mean much to the leader.
4. They kept tabs on his physical well-being.
2 Samuel 21:15-17 (KJV) Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines: and David waxed faint. And Ishbi-benob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah succoured him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel.
Most leaders- especially strong and effective ones, will not tell their followers when they’re weak, discouraged, sick, or tired. They will push on, sometimes to their own demise. Sometimes it takes a well-trained eye to see that the leader is “faint”, and to do something about it. This is what these men did. They saw that David was in a vulnerable position. They didn’t just come to his aid at that moment. They made “system changes” so that he would not be in that position again.
5. They were proactive (took initiative)
1 Chronicles 12:20-22 (KJV) As he went to Ziklag, there fell to him of Manasseh, Adnah, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and Michael, and Jozabad, and Elihu, and Zilthai, captains of the thousands that were of Manasseh. And they helped David against the band of the rovers: for they were all mighty men of valour, and were captains in the host. For at that time day by day there came to David to help him, until it was a great host, like the host of God.
Mighty men don’t sit on their hands and wait for the leader to say something before they do something. They’re proactive in the work. They’re proactive for the vision. They’re proactive for the well-being of the people. Here, these mighty men noticed that the people and the land were vulnerable, and they took initiative to do something about it. Every leader needs mighty men who see a need, and take the lead. Men that are concerned about the vision, the people, and the possessions that the Lord has given. Leaders would rather have to pull back on the reigns than have to push.
If our our church is to be successful, and the vision is to go forward, we need mighty men like these.