I can have a tenacious tendency to brush help aside and attempt to do things alone. Not sure why I do this, though I’d venture to guess that it’s probably a product of pride. I’ll struggle along, praying in solidarity, waiting for God to step in and help. The irony of my approach is that as I stand staring upwards with arms open wide, I sometimes miss His help standing right next to me – the people which He strategically placed in my life.
The whole thing reminds me of the joke where a man is stuck on his rooftop during a flood, praying for God’s help. Rescuers show up in a rowboat, a motorboat, and a helicopter – but the man turns them all away saying that God will save him. Eventually, he drowns and goes to Heaven where he asks God, “Why didn’t you save me?” To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”
The truth is, very seldom are the giants of the bible walking alone. A quick scan through Scripture demonstrates pretty clearly how God puts people together to accomplish His purpose. Moses with Aaron. Daniel with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Paul with Barnabas and Timothy. David with…many!
When David succeeded the throne of Saul, (who had all but gone insane by the time of his death, thrusting himself upon his own sword as his army was overrun by the Philistines) – the burden must have felt crushingly enormous. The Philistines had just decimated the Israelite army, the king was dead, and the nation was in utter disarray. God didn’t just throw him in the deep end and say “go for it” though. He surrounded David with a core of fervent warriors.
1 Chronicles and 2 Samuel tell us of David’s thirty mighty warriors – three of them standing out above the rest: Jashobeam, Eleazar, and Shammah.
“Here is the record of David’s mightiest warriors: The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite, who was leader of the Three—the mightiest warriors among David’s men. He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle.” (1 Chronicles 11:11 NLT)
“Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. He was with David when the Philistines gathered for battle at Pas-dammim and attacked the Israelites in a field full of barley. The Israelite army fled, but Eleazar and David held their ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines…” (1 Chronicles 11:12-14 NLT)
“Next in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, but Shammah held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines…” (2 Samuel 23:11-12 NLT)
Sounds like these guys would go pretty early when picking kickball teams.
Together these three fiercely loyal companions would stop at nothing to help David accomplish the Lord’s task – even breaking into an enemy camp to draw water from a well when their commander mentioned that he was thirsty!
David – unable to accept a drink which risked the lives of his men – instead poured it on the ground before God.  I don’t know how Jashobeam, Eleazar, and Shammah felt about that, but it seems to me that David was well aware that his men were a provision from God – and thus deemed it appropriate to give Him the glory in that moment.
David realized that the key here isn’t people – it’s God. One God-centered, trustworthy relationship is worth infinitely more than a thousand surface level acquaintances. Where I have been slacking lately, is taking the time to pursue and invest in such biblical friendships on a deeper level. Not only does that mean that I am missing out on warrior firepower – it means that I am not lending full warrior support for someone else.
A mentor recently suggested to me an effective model of discipleship that I am determined to maintain:
- Someone who has walked a lot longer than you pouring into your life.
- Someone beside you to walk and grow together.
- Someone early in their journey that you are pouring into.
Look around you. Who are your mighty warriors? Has God placed people in your life to help you accomplish your mission? Do you overlook their help? What about your spouse? Would love to hear a story or two!
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT
– Nicolas C. Day
 1 Samuel 31:4
 800 in 2 Samuel 23:8. This could either be a copyist error as the number 3 (שְׁלֹשׁ־) and 8 (שְׁמֹנֶ֥ה) look similar in Hebrew, or this could in fact, be referring to two separate instances. For further reading check out: http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=749
 1 Chronicles 11:17-19
Life in the 21st century is fast, full of distractions, and overloaded with a paralyzing abundance of difficult choices. There are several products and resources that I have found helpful in navigating the waters as a Christian and a parent. You can check these out on the Fervent Recommendations page.