The making of God’s champions – Part 2
God’s champions are made of sterner stuff. They are not perfect human beings, but those who have suffered defeats in life, and managed to rise from the ashes of their defeat. They are victims of past mistakes, who went beyond despair to fulfil their God chosen destinies. David was a champion. So were his mighty men.
David’s credentials as a champion were beyond doubt. For forty days, no one in Israel arose to confront Goliath. No one in Israel’s army had the courage. Not even king Saul could face Goliath.
But David emerged to challenge Goliath. He had no military pedigree. He had no armour like Goliath had. He could not fit into king Saul’s armour. He had nothing other than faith in God. He had courage. He had faith in God’s Word. From human perspective, these credentials amounted to nothing. Also in terms of experience, he was no match to the experience and skills of Goliath. But God used him to deliver a nation, to the amazement of everyone in Israel.
David had many volunteers, but some distinguished themselves as champions more than the others. These men rose from being ragtag volunteers, hamstrung by the circumstances of life to a place of prominence. They had great potentials, but needed a leader who believed in them. Their credentials were not anything palatable, “And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him” (I Samuel 22:2 NKJV).
It took a champion like David to harness their potentials from ragtag followers to true mighty men. They turned out to be great warriors like their protege, David. Champions produce fellow champions. A study of their lives offers us a template of the characteristics of champions. Champions are brave and courageous. Their unrelenting attitude makes them great accomplishers. They are selfless. They are disciplined. They are loyal to leadership. They possess a team spirit.
Two incidents reveal the character of David’s mighty men. When David was thirsty and needed water, they put their lives on the line to get him water from the well at Bethlehem. “David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. And David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” So, the three broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless, David would not drink it, but poured it out to the LORD” (I Chronicles 11:16-18 NKJV).
Secondly, when the need arose, a few of them fought alongside David to defend and hold a piece of land. “And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had: Jashobeam the son of a Hachmonite, chief of the captains; he had lifted up his spear against three hundred, killed by him at one time. After him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighty men. He was with David at Pasdammim. Now there the Philistines were gathered for battle, and there was a piece of ground full of barley. So, the people fled from the Philistines. But they stationed themselves in the middle of that field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So, the LORD brought about a great victory” (I Chronicles 11:11-14 NKJV). May God give us champions.