David’s Mighty Men

Mighty Servants of God

Together they will be like mighty men trampling their enemies in the mud under their feet. Since the LORD is with them as they fight, they will overthrow even the enemy’s horsemen.  Zechariah 10:5

Josheb-Basshebeth. Eleazar. Shammah. Not names that appear on any list of popular names for baby boys. But maybe they should. These three men were the trio of heroes in King David’s army.

Josheb-Basshebeth killed 800 enemy soldiers in one battle (2 Samuel 23:8). Eleazar stood firm when others fled and defeated a host of Philistines (2 Samuel 23:9-10). Shammah also single handedly routed a band of Philistines after his fellow soldiers retreated (2 Samuel 23: 11-12). God rewarded the valor of these men with great victories because they refused to give up when the enemy seemed invincible.

The roster of David’s mighty men includes 34 other names. Like the trio of heroes, they fought valiantly for God during David’s era. Many of them joined David when he was a fugitive and remained by his side throughout his forty-year reign.

We know their names because God chose to preserve their deeds in the Bible: both in 2 Samuel 23 and in 1 Chronicles 11. Sometimes when we read the Old Testament we’re tempted to skip over lists of names that are difficult to pronounce. But these lists indicate that God remembers the deeds of each of His children. Whatever battles we fight in His name and for His glory are recorded in his heavenly chronicles.

Josheb-Basshebeth, Eleazar, and Shammah were soldiers. They did their job to the best of their ability. They didn’t base their level of commitment on what others did. They just served their king.

Each of us is called to serve our King to the best of our ability. No matter what the battlefield is—restocking shelves in a retail store or managing a Fortune 500 company. Preaching to a crowd of thousands or reading Bible stories to a preschooler. Laundering clothes or cleaning up Washington.

Standing firm and serving our King even when everyone else is running in the opposite direction—that’s what God’s mighty men and women do. Will our names be recorded in His list of heroes?


Read through the lists of David’s mighty men in 2 Samuel 23:8-38 and 1 Chronicles 11:10-47. What character traits make them admirable?

Read Psalm 37.  According to verses 30-42, why was David able to defeat all of his enemies? What enables us to defeat our enemies?

David didn’t just make lists of his warriors. Read 1 Chronicles 25:1-8 and 26:1-19. How did these people serve the Lord?  Why do you think God preserved the names of all these people?

Read Colossians 3:24-25. What should our attitude be as we serve the Lord in our occupations and our ministries? How do you use the abilities God has given you for His glory?

Denise K. Loock

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