This morning I was reading about David’s “Mighty Men.”
Do you know the passage? Give it a a quick read-through (below)
2 Samuel 23:8-22
These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite; he was chief of the three.He wielded his spear[f] against eight hundred whom he killed at one time.
And next to him among the three mighty men was Eleazar 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.
And 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 lentils, and the men fled from the Philistines. But 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.
And three of the thirty 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 the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. And David said longingly, “Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!” 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 and brought it to David. But he would not drink of 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 the three mighty men did.
Now Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the thirty. And he wielded his spear against three hundred men and killed them and won a name beside the three. He was the most renowned of the thirty and became their commander, but he did not attain to the three.
And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man of Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds. He struck down two ariels of Moab. He also went down and struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. And he struck down an Egyptian, a handsome man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but Benaiah went down to him with a staff and snatched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and won a name beside the three mighty men. He was renowned among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. And David set him over his bodyguard.
And the passage continues with a list of others who were also part of the mighty men of David.
Where are the mighty men today?
I’m not glorifying violence or bloodshed here. But I do see that all things are appropriate at a given time or place. The age David and his men lived in was far different than ours. Even the way God had them go about accomplishing His ends was different.
And though we’re not told how these men developed their “mighty” mindset, I want to know.
Oh. Did you not realize that there was a mindset behind the fact that they were mighty?
There was. There always is.
I want to be one of those people.
I never want to be held back by a weak-minded attitude or way of thinking.
Our God deserves much more than that from me. I believe He’s created me for more than that.
What made these men so mighty?
As I said, the passage doesn’t tell us, but we can surmise some very obvious things from the descriptions of what some of them did.
- They didn’t believe in giving up when they knew the cause to be right
Did you notice the fellas who stood to fight – alone – when all the others ran? Thnk that one through. The “fight or flight” mechanism wired into our brains would typically choose the “flight” option when we’re the only one standing against such overwhelming odds. But these guys overcame that. Very interesting.
- They were able to conquer the strong emotions that others could not
This one is an aspect of the previous one, but bears a little more consideration. I know how tough this is. I had a rock climbing accident once. I fell 40 feet. For a long time afterward I’d physically feel a falling sensation when I even looked at a high rock face. But over time that feeling subsided…. until I climbed a ladder. Then it hit me again. Panic followed. In order to get up the ladder I had to wrestle that panic feeling and overcome it. It’s all mental. These guys had that kind of discipline on a mindset level.
- They knew how to be in submission to authority and suppress their own pride
You may not have caught this one, but one guy (Abishai) was the leader of the mighty men, including the 3 mightiest – BUT he was NOT part of the three. It sounds like he wasn’t as skilled or as dangerous as the three, yet he was their leader. What does that say for those 3? They were able to humbly submit to competent leadership without feeling threatened or insecure. It also says that leadership skill is more and different than practical skill. Sounds like Abishai had it.
- They were determined to overcome
The perfect example is the last guy mentioned, Benaiah. I have to laugh when I read his account because he takes on a guy who has a spear when he has only a club. Then he takes the spear away from the guy and kills him with it. That’s a guy with determination, and confidence, and a whole lot more than the average person in our day has. No doubt.
A mighty man mindset
As I read the accounts of what these guys did I realize that the kind of mindset they had determined everything about them.
A mighty man mindset has to do with:
- The way you view the world
- The way you view yourself
- What you believe your God capable of doing – in and through you
- What you believe about yourself and your capabilities
- What you believe about your role in God’s plan and will
- How you choose handle things like fear, apprehension, timidity, discomfort, pain, and negative thoughts and feelings
- Developing a confidence that is not only bold, but also able to be directed (by God and by others in authority)
I believe that this kind of mindset can be developed. I believe it comes to us as a gift of the Holy Spirit, as we work to achieve it.
How would a mighty man mindset impact your…
- Church involvement
- Commitment toward growth
- Diet and exercise
- Ability to learn and improve
These are among the hardest areas of life to manage & maintain. Mindset is at the root of every one of them.
A mindset activity for you to do
Answer these questions about yourself. Write out your answers. Answer according to what is true, NOT what you want to be true:
- How do you view the world? Good? Bad? Difficult? Full of wonder? Full of pain? Filled with opportunity? Fraught with risk and danger?
- How do you view yourself? Capable? Competent? Incapable? Self-doubting? Equipped? Lacking?
- What could God do in you and through you? Is there anything in your mindset keeping those things from becoming a reality?
- Are there specific things you find yourself eager to do in the world? Name them. Write them down. Could these desires be God’s direction for you?
- Why haven’t you started working on the things you just wrote down?
- Are you controlled by strong emotions? Fear? Anxiety? Doubt? Dread? Timidity? Pride?
As you find answers to these questions you’ll begin seeing yourself more clearly. You’ll uncover what mindset has been dominant in you thus far.
That’s when you turn to prayer.
Lay everything before the LORD. Ask for His help, direction, and clarity.
God’s made you to be more than you are. Ask Him to show you what that looks like and what it means for you.
I’d love to hear how this exercise goes for you. Feel free to contact me at Carey AT CareyGreen DOT com.